This year's global campaign for International Women's Day (IWD) is to #BreakTheBias. The aim is to imagine a gender equal world, free of bias and discrimination - and work towards making that a reality. The campaign asks us to consider how we can take action as individuals, and Goodlord's Diversity Club has set up a number of initiatives to help Goodlordians do just that.
Why is International Women's Day still important?
Although the gender pay gap is decreasing in the UK, falling by around a quarter in the past decade, it still sits at nearly 8% on average for full-time employees - and research from the World Economic Forum shows that we are unlikely to see global gender parity in our lifetimes.
Creating an equal society is, unfortunately, a big project, and this year's theme for IWD helps to tackle just one aspect of what makes it so hard to achieve. Bias makes it difficult for women to get ahead so shining a light on our deliberate or unconscious biases will make us consider how and where this is impeding the march towards equality.
"Anyone can celebrate International Women's Day," says Brittany Knight, Customer Adoption Manager and a member of Goodlord's Diversity Club. "It's a day to make a positive difference, focus on gender equality and celebrate and elevate women. You can get involved and become an advocate for IWD in so many ways. It can start with a conversation on the topic with a friend or colleague. You can support a charity, you can post on social media, you can praise the amazing women in your life and so much more. By getting involved in any way you can, you are helping us break the bias and shine a light on such an important subject."
What are we doing at Goodlord?
We can't change the world overnight, but we can help to break the bias. To do that, we've set up a series of activities for Goodlord's team over Women's History Month, to raise awareness and create spaces for debate and discussion:
Calling out bias: We've created and will share regular fact sheets for female role models that have called out bias, and how they did it, throughout the month. Check out Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, and Ayumi Moore Aoki, founder of Women In Tech, for example, to read up on just two of the inspirational women we're shouting about in our Slack channels.
Smashing stereotypes: Bias can come into play in the world of work, sometimes preventing women from advancing in their careers, so we've organised fireside chats with some of our female Goodlordian role models to hear their stories and understand how they've still managed to break that glass ceiling and become a success their field.
Last but not least, breaking inequality: We'll be surveying Goodlordians to gather data on workplace equality at Goodlord - and will create a pledge for how we will improve this in the next 12 months.
Freya Morrison, Customer Success Manager and another member of Goodlord's Diversity Club, shares her thoughts on how businesses can address these topics. "It's so important to set an inviting, welcoming, encouraging tone when it comes to a topic as emotive and honestly heartbreaking as women's opportunities, rights, and safety," she says. "To do this, women's success needs to be championed and calls to action for accelerating women's equality need to be encouraged. This goes hand in hand with an emphasis that all staff - no matter their gender - should be invested in this topic and the work IWD are doing."
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