This year’s International Women’s Day is all about trying to #pressforprogress so we decided to do just that! We rallied together the Work.Life community and asked them what change they’d like to see for gender equality… the answers were truly heartwarming! Here’s what they had to say:
Danielle Woods – Reading Member
There’s a lot I’d want to change. More females in tech and innovation roles. Parental leave parity. More female leaders in politics and business. For all of us to stop judging females primarily on appearance.
The conversations we have are key. Feminism often gets a bad rap. The term ‘man-haters’ is carelessly thrown around. If we look at how we communicate, could we make more progress?
Mariam French – Bermondsey Member
It’s a sad situation that women are hugely underrepresented in both businesses and also politics around the world. There is simply no reason why there are less than 10 female CEOs in the FTSE 100 companies, and why women represent just 7.3% of the 137 chiefs of governments.
My personal experience of female leaders has been that they have had this incredible propensity to view a business more holistically, have focused on connecting with their teams, have high EIQ levels and can nurture and lead teams effectively towards success. This is the type of leader I want to work for, and one we should be encouraging and mentoring upwards within all our businesses. Let’s all make sure to do our bit to close this gap!
Chris Ioannou – Clerkenwell Member
For me, gender equality means the equal sharing of freedoms, pay and power to all sexes; based on merit and ability in professional settings, and mutual respect in day to day life. The changes I’d like to see, to allow us to reach this equilibrium, are:
- The promotion of speaking up and sharing ideas – helping to lead to two-way dialogue.
- More support and recognition of good work and deeds for all sexes.
- In the workplace, ask for honest feedback from employees. What do they like/dislike, what would they change etc. talk to them and work with them.
Alex Summers – London Fields Member
It is clear that things have come on a long way in the last 100 years, and although I prefer positive discrimination to negative, unfortunately negative is what I have most experience of. After having meetings filled primarily with males, I often find myself overhearing some derogatory comments either about handshakes, posture or appearance and not necessarily any discussion of the well-prepared facts demonstrated by the woman.
Although, I do believe in feedback and praise for women, I don’t believe in highlighting their achievements as a ‘shock’ simply because they are female. We are just as intuitive and smart, and potentially have a greater level of emotional intelligence we can bring to business to enhance relationships. I would like to see a greater appreciation for what we can bring to the table!
Alice Low – Camden Member
More celebration, more action. IWD is a chance for people to put on their activist hat and celebrate the incredible contributions made to ordinary lives by extraordinary women – so let’s celebrate.
Often with Gender Equality comes talk of what divides the sexes, what sets women apart and what men do wrong. More time should be spent on what brings humanity together and what special women have fought for and succeeded in working towards a place where men and woman are treated fairly.
This year marks 100 years since the first group of women were given the right to vote in the UK – so celebrate this achievement. Use this day to remember milestones, achievements and positive changes and not the disconnect or divide that will only lead to regression. Use your voice and take action to help globalise fair opportunities.
Ana Bernardo – London Fields Membership Manager
My grandmother had four sons, and when I was about 10 years old, I decided to ask her if she wasn’t sad for not having any daughters. She shook her head and replied “No, because I know life is harder for girls”. Today, many years after that day, I am able to understand what she really meant with that, and all the different layers in her answer. For this reason, to me, IWD is a day dedicated to celebrating and remembering strong women, like her, but also a reminder to continuing our work towards equality. Life shouldn’t be “harder” or “easier” depending on our gender, sexuality, colour or religion.
Massive shout out to all our members involved for making International Women’s Day 2018 so memorable! Thank you for sharing what change you’d like to see for gender equality. We’re blown away by your response and are feeling super motivated to #pressforprogress ?
To see more from our members on International Women’s day check out our Facebook post.