Today, Thursday 8 March 2018, is International Women’s Day – for some it’s a reminder of how far we have come or even… how far we have to go! For Entity Solutions, it’s a celebration, a day to honour the women that help make our business what it is, as well as women leaders throughout history who have fought against tough opposition to achieve gender equality in the workplace.
Entity Solutions is proud to have five women in our Senior Leadership Team, not because they are female, but because they are strong, effective leaders. While Entity Solutions is progressive regarding women in business, family-oriented and allows employees flexibility, we couldn’t have developed our policies in this area without being aware of the many challenges that women face. From being overlooked for promotions, to stalled careers due to maternity leave and gender discrimination, the path to career success can be problematic for women.
As we acknowledge how much progress has been made towards gender parity in the business world, we must also remember those who stood up for their beliefs and met with opposition. Feminist, activist and journalist Gloria Steinham said, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." Our “collective effort” as an organisation is filtered through our core values of Courage, Care, Confidence and Commitment, shaping the way our team handles issues such as diversity and equality.
We interviewed some prominent women in the company addressing important questions about their experiences in business.
How has the business world changed from the beginning of your career to now in regards to providing opportunities for women to become leaders?
Customer Account Director, Sophie Burchell, says, “Unlike when I started in this industry, the opportunities that are available to me at Entity Solutions are the same as those available to the males within the company. I feel confident that gender does not play a role in career opportunities that are offered; you only need to look at the number of female managers in this company to see we support gender equality.”
Do you believe the corporate world has embraced gender equality?
“I think the corporate world has certainly embarked on the idea of gender equality and whilst some progress has been made, there is much room for improvement when it comes to levelling the playing field. As a senior executive, your network is arguably as critical to your career success as your skills, yet many women miss out on the opportunity to network outside of the office. For example, why is that taxi travel to and from events can be claimed as an expense but babysitting services so that the woman can attend still not? It’s solving these policy issues that will help more women to progress their careers.” Sabah Khan, General Counsel
How do you achieve balance between work and family responsibilities?
Marketing Manager Sally Clifton says, “Fortunately, my role lends itself well to flexible work. Work / life balance is made easier by the fact I can work anywhere at any time - all that’s needed (in my role) is an internet connection. What’s great about our modern workforce is that more and more organisation are wrapping a role around a person not the reverse – we don’t all fit in the same round hole so providing some flexibility is a great attraction and retention strategy for any organisation. Entity Solutions, at the forefront of future of work trends, definitely leads by example.”
Who are your female role models and why?
“Peggy Whitson – NASA Astronaut and two time Commander of the International Space Station. I find it inspiring that Peggy has achieved so much during her career – including most cumulative time in space by any NASA astronaut, most spacewalks by a woman, and being former NASA Chief Astronaut- and is still very down-to-earth (pun intended) about her achievements.” Fatima Rizwi, Business Systems Manager.
Although it is evident that there is more work to be done before there is true gender equality in the workplace, the business world is evolving in the right direction. With a culture of embracing diversity and providing equal opportunities for all staff regarding career progression, Entity Solutions is truly a unique place to work. Our policies reflect this, with flexible work options possible for all staff.
We hope that today you can all find some way to honour the women in your workplace, and in life, who inspire you.