Gender equity, the workplace and me…
Kerry Pitt, our Chief Strategy Officer talks about gender equity and the workplace for International Women’s Day 2023 #embraceequity
I’d say we’re quite traditional in how we run our household, my Husband and I have pretty stereotypical ‘pink jobs’ & ‘blue jobs’ as we were raised watching each parent pick up the slack on certain roles i.e.: Mum does the cooking, Dad mows the lawn.
Both of us have, by default and upbringing, un-conscious bias around household chores but we’re both far more modern in our approach to roles within the workplace and I genuinely believe this is because our household ‘chore’ bias was drummed into us from a very early age whereas our workplace experience started much later in our journey. As the years tick by and the world progresses, we’ve become far better educated on gender equality, what this means and why it’s important for the future generations.
We’ve all heard of gender equality and for quite some time businesses have worked hard to better recognise and understand equal treatment of men and women. But now, as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 gender equity shines a new light on the perspective of respecting all people without discrimination, regardless of their gender, and forces us to recognise that equal opportunities aren’t enough.
But how does this translate to the home and the workplace and why is it important that our children grow up understanding gender equity?
The term gender equity forces us to consider the inequalities that limit a persons opportunities. This opportunity could be related to accessing educational resources, better health and indeed decision making that helps to drive career aspirations. My personal view is that we still have a long way to go in really understanding how we apply gender equity in the workplace, in businesses where most of the leadership teams are of a generation where these types of issues weren’t prominent, how do we ensure the younger generation feel supported in equally accessing the resources they need to succeed?
If I speak about Sam the HR Manager and Toni the Software Developer are you instantly assuming the gender for each role? I’d say 80% of us would agree that, based on the role titles, we’ve made an assumption about the person’s gender. Years ago it was more commonly assumed that particular roles were undertaken by a specific gender but movements like #womenintech and #girlswhocode have started to push the boundaries of capabilities and role suitability regardless of gender.
We’re in a difficult era where gender equity awareness is raised but businesses are largely being led by a generation who were brought up seeing stereotypical roles in both the home and the workplace. Couple this with the fact that young children below the age of 15 will enter a very different working world to the one we are currently used to, and you have a tricky period to navigate. As parents, showing our children that chores are equal, that career aspirations can be whatever you want regardless of gender, that everyone has the same rights to access the same opportunities and that Mum can indeed bring home the bacon alongside Dad is just one way that we can promote gender equity for our next generation.
It’s a current hot topic and one that I’m not sure is fully understood yet but this years #IWD2023 is promoting and raising awareness of this issue. So if you read one thing today make sure it’s the resources available on https://www.internationalwomensday.com/ it might just open your eyes to how you can better #EmbraceEquity in your workplace.
Kerry Pitt, Chief Strategy Officer – EF-group