IWD 2023: Why Collaboration is Key to Embracing Gender Equity

Mar 8, 2023 | Blog

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8 to uphold women’s achievements, identify challenges, and to further promote gender equality. This year’s IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity – recognizing that each person has different circumstances, and calling on society to allocate the exact resources and opportunities needed for both men and women to reach an equal outcome.

We spoke to a few of our female team members to understand their perspectives around the topic ahead of this year’s IWD, and how they feel about current barriers for women, and the steps that still need to be taken to drive equality across the tech industry:

Understanding the Correlation Between Equity and Equality 

Equality plays a crucial role in eliminating gender discrimination, according to Carmel Doyle, our Operations Director, Europe & Asia, who explains that: “Women need access to the same opportunities and resources as men in order to be able to achieve the same level of success and rewards.”

However, it’s worth asking the question: Can there be true equality without equity? Rachael Dark, HR Office Manager, Europe, asserts: “Equality is what we are looking for but we can’t have true equality in anything without equity to correct the balance.” Of course, both – equity and equality – are important but a suitable balance is needed. Society needs to redefine factors on which opportunities and resources are provided to ensure there is a fair distribution. Going away from a male-dominated era, everyone must come together to eliminate spanners in the works.


Barriers Still Exist

There is no denying that society has made improvements over the years to break gender biases and improve opportunities for females. However, there is still a significant amount of work to be done. Doyle adds: “I still see many times when men are held in higher regard than women in the same position, or females are passed up on progressing in their career because of their gender.” These barriers can have a negative impact on company culture and organizations must develop a strategic criteria for career development and progression to ensure it is completely bias-free.

Moreover, challenges for women are not limited to career progression. For example, working females, who are also mothers, face increased workload due to professional responsibilities mixed with childcare duties. In fact, according to a 2020 survey, 9.8 million working women in the US suffered workplace burnout. This makes it highly important for businesses to recognize these hurdles for working mothers and provide them with some tailored benefits to support their work-life balance.

When asked about how organizations can support working mothers, Doyle says: “Companies need to offer more flexible working options for working mothers to support them coming back to the workforce and also allowing them to balance their family life with a rewarding career. By changing the mindset and allowing working hours to be flexible, or implementing job sharing, the company can benefit from having a reliable, loyal and satisfied employee. Furthermore, they will appreciate flexible working time and will work harder and smarter to show their gratitude for the support, resulting in an engaged and productive employee.”


Collaboration is the Key to Breaking Barriers

To break underlying barriers, everyone must play their part. Whether it is at a workplace or in a domestic sphere, both men and women need to collaborate to eliminate gender bias and embrace equity. Brandi Van Loon, our VP of  Corporate Affairs, describes the importance of the domestic sphere in empowering females.

She says: “Growing up, I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to participate in whatever my father, grandfather and brother were doing. No matter the task, I was allowed and encouraged to lend a hand. Looking back, I can see how that empowered me and taught me that there are no limits when it comes to male or female, if there is work to be done, it is a matter of one’s willingness to participate and to lend a hand that matters most.”

Moreover, workplaces have a vital role to play as well when it comes to driving equality in the workplace. According to Doyle: “Companies need to recognize the Gender Pay Gap issue and ensure that all positions are paid equally regardless of gender.” Organizations must be strategic in their pay structures and should pay employees based on their experience, performance, and attitude regardless of gender.

Businesses have a responsibility and commitment to their employees, and must work hard to ensure that they are eliminating gender biases at every opportunity within their operations. Taylor Schad, Senior Business Development Executive, describes how Teamwork Commerce has played a crucial role in helping her build a successful career. She comments:

“Growing my career as a woman in the retail technology industry at Teamwork Commerce has allowed me to be in the driver’s seat for my future. It is a pleasure working with like-minded women and supportive male figures who forge the path for the future of retail.”

The world is advancing but issues like gender biases in the workplace still remain. In order to embrace growth, the world needs to be free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. With greater collaboration, it is possible to build an inclusive, diverse, and equitable society that values and celebrates the achievements of both men and women.

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