Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful. The IWD 2023 campaign theme seeks to forge worldwide understanding about why equal opportunities aren’t enough, and a focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.
International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
1. How can companies strive for more equitable talent attraction?
Ensure the people responsible for hiring (TA / Managers etc) are diverse and there are role models for people to look up to. You cannot be what you cannot see. But also, this needs to be authentic. Tokenism or inauthentic efforts will be seen and have a negative impact.
2. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?
Decide what is actually key and what is not, and leave the “not” off, or make explicit that it will be trained.
Women typically seek to have 90%+ of boxes ticked to make an application, men, much less so. So an “off the shelf”, very detailed spec will deter female applications. Also, looking at the language and ensuring it is not in a male- dominant tone.
3. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women, and why?
Sadly not. I think it has had a massive impact on the future, but we are still in transition as those who are top decision makers, are of an age where they do not have the childcare commitments to manage (or never did) and are looking to return to the previous on-site model.
Future generations of leaders will be different, but currently, I don't think the dial has shifted massively.
4. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Not having the requisite “battle scars” if they had childcare breaks in the mid part of their career (25-40). Often the decision makers on C-Suite hiring are male and will lean to those in their own image or the “rising star” who has moved internationally, put work first and done the “hard yards”. These are all things that anyone who has children and is the primary carer will struggle to compete with.
5. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?
Being mindful of language being used to working parents/women who have to adjust hours to accommodate childcare or caring in any form. For example, not making comments such as “half day again?” when leaving at 4pm, and calling it out if you hear this being said by others.