Last week’s blog explored the history of the fight for LGBT equality and why we needed to include the LGBT+ community in our societies.
This week I wanted to explore the need to figure out how we get to the point of having gender parity. Currently I feel that the world of work is designed for a man who no longer works in any of our organisations. You know the person who is happy not to see family and friends, the person that does not have any emotions and does not know how to balance his life, I guess we are thinking Don Draper Mad Men. With more men committing suicide more than every we as people are now all looking to be in a space where we can be ourselves can be present to the things we want to be present too whether that is our families, our hobbies or just that afternoon spent watching TV we want that space and that time to reflect while enjoying our jobs.
What is gender equality? according to the dictionary it is the State in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender.
Currently we do not live in a world where this is the case. Globally Women face issues in access to employment, equal pay and respect. With that in mind In the United Kingdom, greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift…. for every 10 percent increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5 percent. (McKinsey, Diversity Matters 2020)
As we look to the future Women make up 60% of all graduates globally, they also own 80% of spending power not only clothes, food, and cosmetics but also technology, real estate, financial services and cars. Gender equality needs to be and should be considered in any organisations planning and mission.
What do you do if you don’t have good a good gender mix in your business/sector? I would suggest that you look at what your business currently does and explore where innovation might come from. Take the time to listen to the women and men that work in your business and review your policies & practices (flexitime, Culture, Pay. Bonus, promotions). Think about the wording you use in your job descriptions; research has shown that women might opt out of applying for a role based on language alone. The same research has shown that wording has no impact on men.
- Masculine: We are a dominant engineering firm that boasts many leading clients
- Feminine: We are a community of engineers who have effective relationships with many satisfied clients.
*research project by University of Waterloo and Duke
While exploring and considering the impact of gender on your business. You should also consider that in the product you design and roll out. Most phones are designed for men why is that because currently most designers are men. So we live in a world designed for men and we need to work to included women and we need to do that now, as research shows it will take us 150 years to get to gender parity and in reality we don’t want that do we?
Geoffrey Williams is an Inclusion & Diversity Professional, Owner of Geoffrey O. Williams Ltd, a consultancy that focus on I&D, Culture, Communication, and confident I&D narrative building. He is also the co-founder of Rocking Ur Teens a social enterprise that works with young people aged 13 – 16 across the UK to build strong self-esteem, good mental well being and career goals.