We’ve come a long way… but we’re still on the journey. International Women’s Day offers a chance for all of us to reflect on, and look towards, a gender-balanced world. This year, we partnered with Verizon Media to champion the success of women and to learn and be inspired by one another.
The International Women’s Day website states:
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, and balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.”
Together with Verizon Media, PUSH selected panelists from different walks of life who have succeeded in their own way. Adah Parris is part of the Top 100 Most Influential BAME Tech Leaders in the UK, Charlie Craggs is an Award Winning Trans Activist and Author, Clemmie Telford is the curator of Mother of All Lists, and Cate Murden is the Founder of PUSH Mind and Body.
The panel was facilitated by Head of Research at Verizon Media, Anita Caras who recognises the importance of diversity in the organisation. “Let’s face it: 50% of the workforce should be women and so we have to think about equality throughout the workplace. For us it’s about recognising the talent within Verizon Media and making sure that we are there for each other, to rise up the ranks together.”
Our goal with Verizon Media was to inspire and encourage the team to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. By listening to the stories told by our panelists and how, against the odds, they have overcome adversity on their road to success, the Verizon Media team were is inspired to pledge for a #BalanceforBetter in their own way. One example was to use privilege to call out discrimination in the workplace, as Trans Activist Charlie Craggs stated “bigotry only blossoms where it is allowed”.
From the pay gap to gender bias and work-life imbalance, women in the workplace undoubtedly face challenges. Our panelists offered advice to encourage equality in the workplace that we can all take on-board. Tech Philosopher Adah Parris believes that ‘diversity’ is a mindset and ‘inclusion’ is about behaviours, “There is a level of individual and collective power and responsibility to change. Recognise your own levels of power.”
We asked our panelists which stereotype related to women in the workplace they’d most like to break. Their answers unmistakably reflected the inequality they have faced – ageism, the feminine seen as ‘less than’, and Clemmie Telford’s battle with being a mother and having a career, “you can absolutely have both”. Our Founder Cate Murden would like to breakdown the perception that all men are ‘strong’ and that all women are ‘weak’, which brings into question, what is strength? Their answers gave great insight into the practical and real inequalities women face daily at work, but bigger than the stories of unfair treatments was the honesty, passion and positivity in the room.
It was clear to see that the theme of the International Women’s Day evening with Verizon Media, centred around identity and being our most authentic selves. “Take time to listen to one another’s stories. If we take time to listen to them, we can learn and empower one another” Clemmie Telford said when asked how we can support each other to be ourselves. As Charlie Craggs mentioned, we’ve all overcome adversity no matter who we are – this is what unites us as people.
Our inspiring panelists communicated to the Verizon Media team that learning about ourselves and knowing who we are is a step towards accepting others being unapologetically themselves. Once we adopt this mindset, injustices in the workplace become clear and when we begin to reject these, equality can flourish.
As our Founder Cate Murden puts it “You are as good at being You, as Beyoncé is at being Beyoncé”.