Progress requires pressure – it always has. And that’s the reason why days like International Women’s Day exist.
How do we measure this progress? Big 4 firm, EY UK have a countdown clock on their website which suggests, at current rates of progress, we still have 216 years to go before achieving gender parity. And that is for women in the western world. If we count all women the number is sure to be much higher.
This is why we need to #PressforProgress. For women everywhere, for their wellbeing, for their success. Pressing for change can take many forms: from social activism to being an advocate and champion for talented women in your workplace. Is there parity in the choices, opportunities, and rewards available?
EY found that an organisation with 30% female leaders could add up to 6% to its net margin. They also found that companies with even one female Director outperform those with none. Women remain underrepresented on boards of directors and in the C-suite, despite evidence that companies with women Directors have better business outcomes.
Alison Keogh, Board Director at Pro-Group mentions, “We’ve never looked into gender when selecting the best experts for our organisation and we’re proud to still have maintained an unintentional 50:50 male-female split for the third year running here. Gender should never be a deciding factor or hindrance when looking for the best talent, this is something we advocate for everyone we work with”.
As an executive coach, I #pressforprogress through my work on leadership, diversity & inclusion and wellbeing, because they are linked. An effective leader learns how to create an inclusive environment for all their people, and realises that their wellbeing is not only essential for the bottom line but essential for each person they are responsible for. To enable them to thrive.
If we all find our own way to #pressforprogress, for women, and in fact for all underrepresented groups, we really will be able to enact change.
Guest writer - Heeral Gudka - Executive Coach