Women have made important gains in representation in recent years, but we’re still a long way from equality. What was initially forecast to take 99.5 years to close the gender gap is now estimated to take an additional 36 years after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report.
We each have a role to play in helping to close this gap, and employers have a responsibility to support, retain, and advance women in their organisations.
Combating the biases that both women and men face at work is critical to getting this right. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough–we all need to take action to effect change.
Rachael Townsley – APAC
“I will celebrate women’s achievements and advocate for work-life balance.”
As women, it’s important to support, empower, and celebrate each other; we all have a voice and should have the right to be heard. Having diverse opinions brings new ideas, fresh ways of thinking, and helps create balance–all of which can positively impact a business and our lives. I commit to shining a light on women’s voices, encouraging them to step in and have their say. We all have something to bring to the table and should be given the opportunity to do so; some may just need a champion to help them along the way, and I will be that person.
I will champion and promote work-life balance for all. Though it shouldn’t be, work-life balance is inextricably linked to gender equality. Creating a workplace that supports both women and men to balance paid work and shared caring responsibilities is critical to achieving gender equality whilst also strengthening all aspects of life. This is really important to me as a full-time working parent and leader. I want to devote time to the people and things that matter in life and be present in all situations. I will lead by example in practising efficient time management, setting boundaries, nurturing relationships, and focusing on my own health. I will be open in sharing my progress and journey and will encourage my team to do the same.
Andrew Double – APAC
“I will forge positivity for women.”
I think the most important thing in life is that we listen, share, and grow. At Quantcast, I have hired many people in the last few years from diverse backgrounds whom I have learnt a lot from. I definitely feel like I have grown as a person: I am present, patient, and show empathy, which has been key, especially given the pressures of the past two years. I will continue to encourage forums that showcase how we can make a difference and grow.
We shouldn’t be scared of making mistakes and challenging each other. For many years in the media sales environment, it used to be a “rinse and repeat” attitude and not a lot of people would feel comfortable to challenge the status quo. Don’t get me wrong: some of the traditional values we used to hold ourselves accountable to are still hugely valuable, but we need to be adaptable, agile, and flexible and treat every individual equitably, whatever their position or background.
I will forge positivity for women. Since hiring more women in senior leadership roles, I have learnt it’s okay to be vulnerable. If you are more vulnerable and open up to the challenges you are facing, it is mostly reciprocated. And if we tackle challenges together, we will all be stronger in life and the workplace.
Elissa Brown – North America
“I will rally to ensure we have diverse role models who can empower and give more visibility to women in our workplace and girls in our communities.”
In these confusing times, it is easy to stick to the mundane and settle into routine, saving challenges and dreams for another day. It is important as women leaders that we empower our teams and peers and encourage them to find passion and fulfilment in their day to day. This comes from empathy: listening, but also challenging them to reach their full potential. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing another woman grow, succeed, and show her strength.
We should also work to live, not live to work, and a positive work-life balance is critical, not only to ourselves but to our families. As women, we take on a lot and need to realize it’s okay to not have all the answers and raise our hand when we need help, encouragement, or just time to reset.
As a mother, I want my daughter to see that you can do whatever you put your mind to, and encourage her not to be afraid to speak her mind. We all fail along the way, but it’s the confidence and strength to push forward that makes great women. We deserve the best, and showing our children we have strong, proud voices can influence their futures more than we know.
Ray Yuen – North America
“I will champion women in the workplace, treat women with respect, and challenge gender stereotypes for a more equal society.”
Growing up as part of an immigrant family in a rural part of the US, I am familiar with discrimination. Blending in and fitting in were difficult because of things I couldn’t control (what I looked like). When I finally understood the concepts of equality and discrimination, I understood my hardships more, and I wish I had people to guide me on that journey.
Having had this experience empowers me to help others who might be going through something similar. I am passionate about creating a workplace culture that is safe and supportive, where all people feel empowered to share their voice without fear or retribution. I commit to promoting the equality that I wanted to have and talking about gender equality with my peers, especially with the next generation.
Tina Wild – EMEA
“I will rally for cultural diversity and empathy across Europe and my teams.”
Gender stereotypes and equity are a challenge we all face today in some form or another, but it can be even harder when you throw cultural bias into that pot. Working across several markets in EMEA, I am committed to challenging these biases and calling out gender assumptions, which are often more prevalent in certain countries. Understanding the impact that cultural stereotypes have on women’s confidence to have a voice, empowering them, and giving them opportunity to be heard is key, and something I strive to promote daily. The value as women that we have in how we manage and drive our team’s success is immeasurable.
I try everyday to be the example my daughter needs to see, to give her the confidence to know she is equal, and to be the person she wants to be, not who she thinks she should be.
Alexis Wrightson – EMEA
“I will consciously set a level playing field for everyone.”
Don’t be scared as a man to speak out on behalf of women and ask for equal representation–it’s so important we do so quickly in order to improve and get to a point where it’s normal to be open and honest about what we do and don’t know.
I have been lucky enough to grow up with a lot of strong women in my life and be inspired by them to know that no woman should ever feel the need to do more than men, just to be equal. That’s not right. We need to empower everyone to be successful, based on the same level playing field on which we ourselves expect to be judged.
Hearing real-life stories from colleagues and peers of how they’ve had to change for the perception of others has made me conscious to ensure that no one should ever have to feel they have to behave in a certain way to get ahead. We should embrace each other’s differences and learn from each other to ensure the best results in our work and lives as a result.
Be Part of a Movement
We all have a role to play in helping to close the gender inequality gap. Our team has pledged their commitment. What will you commit to? Have your say and join in the conversation: #BreakTheBias.