Saturday, March 7, 2015

Preach to the Unconverted

I could have gone to an International Women's Day breakfast on Friday.  Why didn't I?  Because any of the speakers that morning would have been preaching to me what I already know ... that women are still not being treated equally, either at home or in the workplace. Sure, I could have learnt a few new stats, but no matter how you cut it, it's still the same root issues.

Organisations that buy tables at these International Women's Day functions should really have some sort of plan for who should attend. (Not run around/mass spam employees desperately trying to fill these seats).

Of course, anyone who wants to go should go, but, attending a breakfast is not going to narrow a nearly 20% pay gap.  Awareness is the first step. This is what the networking sessions should be used for. Those who are already converts, should be championing for changes back in their workplaces.

So, who should be tapped on the shoulder to attend?

1. Middle managers - those responsible for teams at the front line. It's your people who require work/life balance, who ask for pay rises, who negotiate salaries at time of appointment.
2. Self-proclaimed non-feminists or those who don't believe in a gender pay gap or flexible work.
3. People being counselled for discrimination.
4. The leadership or management team - lead by example.
5. The grads (graduates) fresh out of uni - the pay gap starts after year 1 in the workforce.