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/retention?
Companies and leaders should make an effort to understand their employees on professional and personal levels. We are motivated differently and it should not be a “one size fits all” approach.
It is heartening to see the level of awareness increase tremendously in the last few years, and employers have started to recognise the need for change. To be successful in giving support to their employees, companies should have a structure in place to promote equity. Above everything else, I believe education is key. Introducing training, having access to information and having open platforms for discussion are equally important.
2. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?
Employers could share more about their culture and practices that show their inclusivity in the job descriptions or on their websites.
3. What advice would you give women in the industry you work in?
I find that women are generally harder on themselves than our male counterparts. Some call it the confidence gap, and others the imposter syndrome.
It is a continuous journey and one that I am also working on as well, but it is important to focus on our strengths, celebrate the small wins, keep staying true to ourselves while refining our craft.
4. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. What woman/women inspire you?
I meet so many amazing women because of my line of work and they inspire me in countless ways. That said I am very close with my mom and she continues to inspire me every day.
While she does not hold any formal achievements as she did not receive a high level of education, she taught us to be tenacious – believing that we can definitely succeed if we set our minds to it.
5. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I’d say pre-conceived ideas of what good leadership looks like and the internal barriers within women. Both male and female leaders might portray themselves differently and there isn’t a “one size fits all” type of leadership. It is important to assess each individual’s capabilities independently without any form of bias.
I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” recently and found it quite insightful. “Lean In” also shared about most women having more self-doubt than men and that imposter syndrome, again. Many of us hold ourselves back, not wanting to look too domineering or aggressive at work. At home, many women are also ingrained to be the main caregiver even though they also hold demanding jobs.
The book goes on to discuss about knowing our equal place, both at work and at home, choosing to sit at the table and make our voices heard, and encouraging our partners to contribute equally.
It is easier said than done and will be a continual process. That said, hopefully, we will see even more female leaders in time to come.