Imagine a gender equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
We are still far away from that achievement yet, but the celebration of International Women’s Day is certainly a step in the right direction. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
Breaking down barriers for women in leadership
The world needs women leaders, from running companies to running countries. Gender equal leadership is vital for a more inclusive and effective society. Even though women enter the workforce in relatively equal numbers as men, the rise to the top is often slower and harder for women. Global talent shortages are at a record high, and almost double what it was a decade ago, so it is crucial that companies are able to harness talent in this period of high skills shortages and low unemployment.
How workplaces can attract and retain women
Having good workplace policies, processes, as well as excellent benefits and a strong commitment to inclusion are some of the ways companies can aim to attract and retain more women leaders.
An aspect of recruitment that is thought about less is companies seeking employees that are willing to adapt, rather than having a huge amount of experience behind them. If an employer is willing to employ people that show they are flexible, adaptable to change, and willing to learn, the company will attract more women, rather than asking for many years’ experience in the role, which greatly favours men who haven’t had career breaks. Some of the biggest barriers to women’s progress is a work culture of male standards and companies need to remove the bias and barriers from interviews and ensure their assessment criteria is designed with all candidates in mind.
Another important strategy is for current leaders to take responsibility in helping to lift women. All leaders are able to influence change within their organisation, so it is important that the words, actions and decisions of leaders are fair and inclusive in promoting and encouraging women. Leaders should ensure that there are policies and strategies in place to create inclusive workplace cultures where people’s differences are valued.
Break the Bias
Together, we can all #BreakTheBias – on International Women’s Day and beyond.
In celebration of IWD, our colleagues from around the world struck the IWD #BreakTheBias pose to show solidary and support for the cause. Watch the video here.
At People2.0, our company prides itself on giving everyone every employee equal opportunities. IWD is an important cause to us as an organisation, and we strive to do our part eliminate disparity at the workplace.