Actions to #EmbraceEquity
There are a number of ways that organisations and individuals can #EmbraceEquity. Here are 8 concrete actions to #EmbraceEquity
I am struggling to get with the programme for this year’s #IWD theme. The concept of #EmbraceEquity is totally fine, it’s about driving strategic actions that bring about the changes needed to achieve equality. It’s about understanding the unequal privileges and inequities within society and our workplaces, and then taking specific actions to move the agenda forward.
We need that.
But what is missing is the piece on concrete action. Without a specific strategy, all we end up with is stereotypical female fluff of self-hugging selfies. It’s gender-washing PR. This is the bit that leaves me cold with a dropped jaw. I was very relieved to see I am not alone.
Different groups have different needs whether LGBTQ+, black or brown women, neurodivergent or disabled women all of whom need specific support.
The #IWD website gives minimal suggestions on the actions you can take to embrace equity, just how to buy a lot of purple merch.
But it is collective activism is which drives change. Not selfie-posing.
Factors which drive workplace change
Three factors drive workplace change:
- Leadership commitment: on last year’s #IWD #BeatTheBias campaign we saw companies hastily take down their social media platitudes when the gender pay bot exposed the pay gap in their organisatons.
- Systemic change: changes to our workplace systems that create a culture of “this is the way we do things here.” This might be in sourcing and hiring talent, promotion and assessment systems, communication preferences, and even the way meetings are run.
- Individual behaviour: which is something we can all be responsible for. For leaders, it’s about walking the talk and role modelling. For the rest of us, it’s about being a better ally, increasing our self-awareness, and changing our own approaches.
How not to #EmbraceEquity on the Day
8 concrete actions to #EmbraceEquity for organisations
There are a number of ways that organisations and individuals can #EmbraceEquity. Here are only some of the ways which we suggest:
- Provide equal pay for equal work
- Promote more women to leadership positions including those who are under represented including LGBTQ+, black or brown women, neurodivergent or disabled women. Create quotas if necessary.
- Offer flex and hybrid work arrangements to ALL, not just women. It should not be a “mummy perk” or an executive (male) reward for being privileged.
- Making caregiving a female benefit embeds gender stereotypes even further.
- Have a zero-tolerance policy to combat discrimination and harassment and supportive reporting systems for targets.
- Provide training and ongoing resources to become a bias-conscious organisation. Remember you don’t go for a walk once to train for a marathon.
- Commit to sourcing and hiring more women into functions that are male dominated. Have gender-balanced shortlist.
- Acknowledge intersectionality issues and address the specific challenges of marginalized women.
Concrete actions to #EmbraceEquity for individuals
Many of these are covered by one important shift. Be a better ally. Look at our infograpic below.
It’s hard to manage something you can’t see. Get details of our Unconscious Bias Training today