In this year’s International Day’s theme, we try and ‘imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality’. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.
The meaning of ‘embrace’ – is this enough?
· an act of accepting something willingly or enthusiastically
· to include something, often as one of a number of things
· the act of holding someone tightly with both arms to express love, liking, or sympathy, or when greeting or leaving someone
The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone equitably, or justly according to their circumstances." Race Matters Institute
In order to make real meaning change for women and ensure that gender parity is obtained for all it must be through an intersectional lens towards creating equitable workplaces.
Organisations need to shift the focus just on being equal but look at how they operate internally with their policies and procedures to deliver outcomes that are equitable to all.
The latest available Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 data shows that the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. It will take another 286 years to close the global gender gap. Advancing Gender Equality: UN Women at Davos 2023
With stats like these we need to do more than just embrace equity, how much longer are women expected to wait, and campaign for the same outcomes as their male counterparts?
It isn’t just about embracing it; it’s about creating A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
The Bristol Women in Business Charter’s belief is that businesses cannot reach their full potential if they fail to recruit and retain a gender-balanced workforce. Our ambition is to help accelerate the pace of change for the benefit of women, the businesses they work in and the communities they live in.
We recognise that it is the voices of the most marginalised that are often silenced. It is therefore critical that the work of the charter implicitly includes all aspects of intersectionality and #embrace equity. We are striving for an equitable, inclusive, gender workplace where all women are involved in all their diversities, and we are seeing the whole person.
It is vital that initiatives like ours help to accelerate the pace of change that is required. We are creating a legacy and we are proud that Bristol is the only city in the UK to have its own Charter that focuses on achieving gender equity in business, which includes a diverse range of sectors. Businesses work together on a number of key goals in the charter that help them to deliver a more equitable workplace for the women who work for them. The collective community approach to ramping up the change is what is needed.
We hope that the work we are doing will be a blueprint for other cities to follow and emulate in the future. The organisations we work with have over 35,000 full time equivalent employees, ranging from over 7000 employees to just 5 and we recognise and celebrate any progress they achieve towards gender equality, no matter how small. The key focus for us is making gender equity a business issue, a driver for competitive advantage that is driven from the top of organisations.
So, businesses, what meaningful change are you going to make for #IWD23?
We all need guidance and support.
For more information about the work of the charter and the impact our businesses are having, visit www.bristolwomeninbusinesscharter.org or come and hear us at our next public event https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/annual-impact-event-the-last-12-months-success-stories-tickets-542741613777
Let’s do more than just embrace equity for 2023.