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?
By doing everything they can to reach out to marginalised groups in society who may be disadvantaged in their ability to access certain roles or sectors.
2. Within your market/industry sector, what progress have you seen businesses take to progress gender equity?
Within alternative investments, I’ve seen some incredible efforts made by firms to access marginalised talent - 10,000 black interns and Women Returners being the two that spring to mind. But a heck of a lot still needs to be done, especially across industries like private equity that are heavily male-dominated on the investment and non-investment side.
3. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?
Create a benefits package that has inclusivity and equity at its core, from simple things like enhanced maternity and paternity leave to support for further studies and access to mental health support. If you really want an inclusive culture that attracts people from all walks of life and backgrounds then you need a holistic benefits package that appeals to people from disadvantaged as well as privileged backgrounds.
4. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Lack of affordable childcare and this is the biggest reason, in my opinion, why a huge percentage of women either scale back their career plans or leave the workforce permanently or temporarily. The UK lags behind most of Europe in this respect.