The 3 things you need to tackle gender equality in your company are:
2. A comprehensive transformation programme
3. Commitment from the top
With this statement, the panel discussion on diversity and gender equality hosted by Engine London was kicked off this morning. A pretty powerful start, in my opinion. It was really interesting to see how the creative industry is targeting diversity issues but the women and men I heard speaking on stage today were determined to change things.
"You don't have to be a CEO to make a difference, it's everyone's responsibility"
So how exactly can you make a difference? Where do you start? Here are some ideas from this morning's session:
Advice for employers:
- Talk about failure and give us the chance to learn from each other
- Make it everyone's problem, not just an individual's or HR's
- Lead by example and create role models (Support Managers who take paternity leave, Directors who use flexible working to balance work and family and give the teams the same opportunities)
- Introduce a women sponsorship programme
- Use a gender balance target to recruit a diverse team
- Create a culture where people feel comfortable to talk about their concerns
- Train your team in unconscious bias (most people in the room had done training already!)
Advice for individuals, especially women who want to be recognised:
- Make others aware of your achievements
- Don't sit there and wait, become a diversity champion yourself (for example, speak up when you think other people should have a seat at the table or should be included in discussions)
- Be the change you want to see in others and recognise your own responsibility if you want things to change - you can be a role model, too
- Know your strengths
- Think out loud - speak up when you disagree or have an idea. Don't hold back. We need to unlock everyone's potential.
Doesn't sound too hard, does it? Obviously, things won't change overnight but if every person acknowledges their responsibility, we can change things, step by step.