The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 was #BalanceforBetter – a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.
The unfortunate fact according to the IWD is that women are still paid less than men, there are many more men than women in business and politics and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, a lot of great battles have already been won. We have female CEO’s and prime ministers; more women are starting businesses than ever before. And so, each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements on International Women’s Day.
However, we need to do more to push for gender equality and make real change, not just celebrate one day a year.
We need to be open to organisational change.
Think about one thing you can change in your workplace that will promote gender equality BEYOND International Women’s Day and implement it.
Here are 9 of our recommendations that you could implement in your business to #BalanceForBetter once and for all.
1) Commit to tackling your gender pay gap
According to the BBC, 74% of the companies they had information on reported a pay gap which favours men. “Closing the gender pay gap is not a quick fix, and employers may take time to see their gap close as they implement long term action plans,” the Government Equalities Office said in a statement.
2) Offer flexible working hours and part time positions
Business in the community say that 43% of employees believe that flexible working would help them with stress, while 52% believe it would make them happier.
3) Adopt family-friendly policies
Offer creche & childcare provision, leave to care for adult/elderly family members and decent maternity leave.
4) Invest in your female employees (training, development, pay a good wage)
Women’s leadership programs are necessary to accelerate women’s leadership aspirations. But just having a women’s leadership program isn’t enough. If it’s not done right, women can’t move forward.
5) Champion career progression for women into management and leadership positions
There’s a large imbalance with men and women in leadership roles throughout business, only 17.3% of FTSE 100 directorships and 13.2% of FTSE 250 directorships are held by women. 7 of FTSE 100 company boards and 67 of FTSE 250 company boards are all-male.
This needs to change, we need to better the balance.
6) Promote diversity in all senses.
Whether it be gender, age, ethnicity, disability promote and aim for a diverse workforce. Businesses with a healthy balance of men and women are 15pc more likely to outperform their competitors, while those with employees from a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 35pc more likely, claims research by McKinsey & Co.
7) Eradicate stereotypes about women in leadership
It’s no secret that women get penalized for the kinds of behaviours that earn men respect for, when a man takes charge, he’s a leader. When a woman does it, she’s being bossy. Even the word itself is ridiculous; it underlines this double standard. Why would “bossy” be an insult? We need to work together to get rid of these stereotypes and let women be leaders just like men.
8) Talk less, more action
We can get told the fact and figures over and over again but now we all need to do something to make a difference together.
9) Still stuck? Speak to women’s groups who work on women’s economic equality and seek advice
Speak to experienced women’s groups who can advise you on how to implement diversity.