This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual.
Before we delve into making collective individualism work and bringing that change to the workplace, we need to believe that, to build a culture of equality, an individual must be comfortable to bring one’s authentic self to work.
Sometimes bringing your authentic self to work is about managing your identities with ease – we may have multiple spheres to ourselves – with our family, society, spiritual, health and wellbeing, hobbies, and of course, career. When we’re able to create a connection to each of these dimensions and leverage it, we can be our fuller self. Doing this enables us to create a culture of trust, accountability, belonging and purpose, and that, in turn, builds family-friendly practices, supports genders and are bias-free in building a culture of equality.
A culture of empowerment trusts employees and respects you for who you are. It gives employees the freedom and authority to respond to situations in real-time.
An empowering environment gives way to #EachforEqual by having these culture drivers:
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Breaking stereotypes
- Mentoring through peer circles
- Creating a community and embracing your identities
Creating a culture of equality has gone beyond just a diversity story, and to an agenda in a CEO’s scorecard, and organizational scorecards. At the heart of this journey is building a respectful and gender-neutral workplace where women feel safe, respected, and valued for the skills (technology and soft skills). #EachforEqual happens when the workplace is gender-sensitive.
#EachforEqual in teamwork and collaboration
Where we celebrate our differences and co-create, we can collaborate better, this results in a cohesive teamwork where we celebrate being equal. Our diverse thoughts, perspective, enables in propelling innovation. A diverse team brings in a varied set of skills, knowledge and thought processes and almost always is better equipped to tackle any curveball thrown at them.
#EachforEqual in diversity by breaking stereotypes Where our thinking broadens from celebrating diversity, empowering underrepresented groups, and encouraging people to be themselves. The culture drivers should focus on enabling these groups with decision making, designing their work schedules, and being self-reliant. Groups with representation from diverse members do produce more well-rounded solutions, than those with homogenous members. It makes a significant impact in the fields of policymaking, education and technology, among others.
#EachforEqual by mentoring through peer circles
Where we have women networks that allow her to express themselves. This community enables women to learn new skills, meet role models, and have peer circles (like returning moms group) to support one to ensure a women’s life journey doesn’t hamper her career journey. By increasing the representation, through focused efforts on gender diversity hiring, the ability to impact the community is more. Organizations all over the world face the issue of lower women representation in the higher ranks. Mentoring women at entry and mid-levels opens doors for them keep climbing the ladder and not quit.
#EachforEqual by creating an environment to embrace your identity in totality
A true #EachforEqual culture is created when women at the workplace start feeling fully empowered. Women play multiple roles, and seamlessly move across their roles at ease – that of a homemaker, intrapreneur, leader, a returning mother or a caregiver. Building an ecosystem at work that helps women balance these multiple roles they play in life is what makes a woman feel empowered, and paves way for #EachforEqual.
We at GAVS, have taken several initiatives to ensure an equal and supportive workplace for all genders. From women’s peer group, to mentorship for women returning after breaks, to maternity and paternity leaves, we are always striving to give GAVSians the most productive environment.
About the Author
Padma’s Clifton Strength Finder Top 5 Signature Themes are Consistency, Discipline, Developer, Empathy, and Harmony.
She is part of the HR team, and enjoys listening to her audio books, journaling, and practicing yoga.