Nishma Patel Robb
Oct 23, 2023

The future of women at work

The fight for gender equality in the workplace is not a “women’s issue” and doesn’t come at the cost or displacement of other groups, says Wacl's president Nishma Patel Robb.

Wacl president, Nishma Patel Robb.
Wacl president, Nishma Patel Robb.

A critical aspect in the fight for equality is representation and, as women’s rights have come under attack worldwide, our fight has never been more important.

The fight for gender equality in the workplace is not a “women’s issue” and doesn’t come at the cost or displacement of other groups–quite the opposite. Activism for women furthers equity for all. 

Right now, eight out of 10 companies pay men more than women. 

Not only would gender parity boost our economy, increase business productivity and profitability, and create a more stable, equitable society, but it would improve workplace DE&I for everyone, across gender, race, age and disability. 

At Wacl, we’re focused on creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces with pay equity, improved flexibility, childcare and healthcare support, and inclusive mentorship schemes and training opportunities. These advances clearly benefit all groups.  

A critical aspect in the fight for equality is representation. As well as eradicating stereotypes, our industry needs to take a more intersectional approach. Women are not an homogenous mass, and shouldn’t be categorised by age or whether or not they have children. All marketers need to work from deeper insights into people’s experiences, views and needs as individuals. This is the primary goal of Wacl’s #RepresentMe initiative, where we’re working with diverse communities of women to understand how they want to be represented.

As women’s rights have come under attack worldwide, our fight has never been more important. The future of women at work will be shaped by policy changes and evolving social attitudes, but also by advances in technology. There has been a significant rise in women founding their own businesses across the UK and around the world, with the accessibility of emerging tech and AI tools opening up opportunities for everyone. 

This new wave of female business leaders will help to create a more diverse and inclusive working culture. Women founders and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds need to be supported to fulfil their ambitions and reshape business and the world of work for the better.

Going forward, Wacl’s mission is to increase the representation of female chief executives to 50%. We’ve outlined the pathway to this in our 50% Playbook, through five key levers for change: changing the language of leadership, which is traditionally defined by “masculine” traits; boosting health support for women at all stages of their life, including the menopause; flexible working; recruitment based on potential; and improving representation. We’ve also got to engage more men in gender equality. At Wacl, we’re aiming to do this by giving a platform to inspiring male leaders in our industry who are DE&I champions. 

Advancing gender equality is how we progress, innovate and stay relevant as an industry, and it is the responsibility of every leader to make the changes necessary to get us there.


Nishma Patel Robb is president, Wacl, and senior director brand and reputation marketing, Google.

 

Source:
Campaign UK

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