Today (Tuesday 8 March) is International Women’s Day, a chance to not only celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women worldwide but also to support this year’s theme by pledging to play a part in reducing gender inequality.
Organisations are being asked to make a #PledgeForParity in which they commit to helping achieve gender parity more quickly. This could be through helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, calling for gender-balanced leadership, respecting and valuing differences, developing more inclusive and flexible cultures or rooting out workplace bias. The theme has been chosen in response to findings from the World Economic Forum which has predicted that it will currently take another 117 years for the gender gap to close entirely, if more is not done to address the issue.
How can Pure help businesses make a #PledgeForParity?
Here at Pure we are strong advocates of achieving gender equality in the work place. This is because evidence shows that organisations with an equal gender balance at senior levels have a more collaborative and creative approach to problem solving, make better decisions, and are more considerate on how business issues will impact on their people, as well as the bottom line.
We’ve already worked with People & Performance to create our Women’s Leadership Programme. This has been designed specifically for women to develop their authentic leadership skills and for organisations to create a balanced talent pipeline, with the ultimate aim of achieving inclusive leadership at Executive or Board level.
Our aim is to inspire organisations to create rewarding work environments where any barriers to progression are removed and everyone is able to work in a way that makes them feel productive and engaged. Because this programme has a dual approach of developing both participants and their organisations, it will actively help to address the following three key gender parity accelerators identified in ‘Women. Fast Forward: The time for gender parity is now’ report:
- Illuminate the path to leadership by making career opportunities more visible to women
- Speed up culture change with progressive corporate policy, such as paternity leave and flexible working
- Build supportive environments and work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias
We are about to launch the second intake for 2016 of this successful programme with courses due to start in April. It is the ideal way for organisations make a #PledgeForParity this International Women’s Day. It is not only a commitment to helping aspiring female professionals to develop their careers and become more effective leaders, but also to developing a more inclusive culture in the organisation by actively mentoring delegates.