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. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?
Have a diverse interview panel. If prospective candidates can see the diversity and, therefore, potential similarities to themselves i.e. women interviewers, then they will be more enthusiastic about joining. People do look for role models/inspiration within companies, and if they can see evidence that someone who has similar characteristics to themselves have built out a successful career there, then why can’t they?
2. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?
Avoid using biased gendered language - this can be reduced through AI such as Textio.
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?
Yes, definitely, although more could be done, such as through job shares/more 4-day working weeks etc. The shift from 5 days in the office to a hybrid set up has made an extremely positive impact on the insurance market from a location perspective, but personally I think there is still a lack of discussion around condensed working weeks/part-time work.
4. What advice would you give women in the industry you work in?
Network! Whether that’s through recruiters, working groups, conferences, your company etc., the more you speak to others, the more likely it is you’ll pick up tips and advice as to how to better your career and hit the targets you have personally set.
5. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. What woman/women inspire you?
My mum. She raised my brothers and I whilst having a career.
6. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Family responsibilities. Although good progress has been made in some companies, such as enhanced paternity and shared paternal leave, this is still probably one of the main reasons for the gender pay gap and barrier to leadership positions for women, taking the time out to raise a family.