I’ve recently set up a new business partnership promoting gender equality with a focus on the development of women.
My 80-year-old Dad was intrigued and wanted to know more.
“What is it that you actually do?” Good question Dad; how do I explain what I actually do, without resorting to business speak? I made a bit of a hash of it and did resort to lots of business ‘twaddle’. I threw in lots of phrases about achieving gender equality and parity, glass ceilings, cultural change, C-suites… My Dad glazed over and went back to his crossword, none the wiser about what I do or why I feel achieving gender equality is so important.
This set me thinking – if I can’t succinctly and articulately explain what I do to my Dad, maybe I need to do a bit of work.
I was idly scrolling through training and development websites when a comment caught my eye “the business, legal and moral cases for gender equality”. The lightbulb went on in my brain – no matter whether I’m an organisation reluctant to change the practices of many years (or perhaps don’t even know where to start), a forward thinking company promoting itself as a great place to work or a parent/brother/sister/aunt/uncle/whoever wanting their offspring to have the same opportunities no matter their sex – there are a myriad of reasons why it makes sense to achieve gender equality. I tried to make sense of a few of these reasons and explain them as simply as I could.
With my business head on, I want to add to my company’s profitability. A gender diverse board helps achieve this. Don’t just take my word for it, there is oodles of research to back this up. What company wouldn’t want to make more money?
It is unlawful for my organisation to discriminate on grounds of gender (and much more). Who wouldn’t want to work for a fair, equitable and legally compliant company?
As a mother, sister and auntie I want my nieces to be treated in the same way I want my sons to be treated – recruited, managed and paid in exactly the same way whether they are male or female. I would be outraged if this wasn’t the case, so why would I accept it for anyone else?
So, Dad, that’s why I do what I do. And as for what I actually do, well I’m still working on explaining that bit.
Dad – “So, you get paid to tell people what to do?”
Me – “Not quite! I call it training, coaching and giving advice, Dad.”
Possibly still a work in progress….