International Womens Day has been around since 1909 but in its current form is a force to challenge, create conversations and facilitate change. Hasson Associates is a female owned business and for the first 5 years was female only.
Now we are a collective of humans who are wives, fathers of daughters, daughters, sisters, brothers of sisters, nieces, uncles to nieces, mothers of daughters, aunts. That change has slowly taken effect and since I have been working in recruitment in the market research industry I have seen how the voice of the woman is being heard. There are more female leaders and MD’s and that is motivating the next generation.
This year we asked the team what they hoped the workplace of the future would look like in light of the IWD movement and what they hoped for the next generation both women and men.
We have a lot of parents at Hasson Associates so naturally childcare was a common theme from the team and seen as a real barrier to equality. Catherine, Julia and Abi all talked about how the assumption that the woman will be the main caregiver can lead to difficult decisions around work. The fact that childcare is so expensive can make work prohibitive, and then when the mother returns to work she is playing catch up – both in terms of progression and salary, this has long term impact on development.
Nikki pointed out that in Scandinavia the equality message is focussed on home and work and that approach in the UK might lead to better conversations about who should be the main caregiver.
Whilst the UK has shared parental leave it is rare to hear of the father taking their parental leave, as employers you can help here, when an employee tells you their partner is pregnant — tell them you will start preparing for their parental leave in the same way you prepare for a pregnant employee.
If the conversation around shared parental leave can be reframed to show the benefits then the future will involve true shared parental leave, helping with equal pay and gender equality across the workplace.
For the team @HassonAssociates talking about IWD naturally leads us to conversations around diversity. Gender, class, race, religion and the bias involved prevent workplace equality according to Abi and Danny and Charles and to achieve equality the future workplace should show true representation across all of society – emphasis on IWD should continue to provoke these conversations in the classrooms, the boardrooms and the home.
Danny feels that proactively tackling the issue helps but that it should be done from the top down and the bottom up. It’s a catch 22, Charles thinks that having blind CV’s in the early part of the recruitment process will help. As employers you can also ensure that job descriptions and job ads are gender neutral and make sure that your recruitment/talent partners are committed to your goals of diversity.
Danny and Julia also feel that if this is done by the larger firms and government then those who are most visible will lead the way.
Damon and Anna both feel strongly that equality in work and society creates a better environment, better morale meaning that everyone will thrive and that for their daughters equality is the norm. There is no doubt that IWD has achieved a lot, we are lucky in the recruitment and market research industry that there is strong representation of women in leadership roles but there is more to be done. At Hasson Associates I am proud to say that we are passionate about equality in the workplace and that means having these conversations with men and women, we can only have equality if we are all in the conversation.
At Hasson Associates we believe that an equal world is an enabled world and we support Each for Equal.
Happy International Womens day from all the team @HassonAssociates