Mar 24, 2022 2:56:54 PM 15 min read

Talent Point celebrates Women's Month

The importance of Women's Month

Initially established (in the US) over 20 years ago, Women’s Month celebrates women and their contributions to history, culture and society, shaping our lives today and having a continued impact and recognition as well as being recognised for their brilliant in the future.

The Month raises awareness on how far women have come overcoming many obstacles along the way. In essence, the celebration highlights how amazing women are and shines a light on what women have done as this often doesn’t get recognised. It also shows how much work is still needed for there to be gender equality, as well as highlight the importance of all women by breaking gender stereotypes across the world.  

Women who inspire

At Talent Point, our TP’ers were keen to be involved in this year’s celebrations and have a say on what the work environment (and society) needs to do to normalise the progression we want to see for the decades and centuries ahead. Here is what Team Talent Point had to say about the women who inspire them the most:

“Apart from the strong women in my family, my mum (retired legal secretary, sister-in-law (nurse practitioner) Amelia Earhart who famously said “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.

Amelia Earhart was an American aviator who set many flying records and championed the advancement of women in aviation. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and the first person ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. During a flight to circumnavigate the globe, Earhart disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in July 1937. Her plane wreckage was never found, and she has officially declared lost at sea.Vicky

      “I’m really inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) who is a US
      congressional candidate for New York. She is truly smashing gender
      stereotypes, and regularly faces adversity at work from people who don’t
      believe a woman should be working within the government/politics.

      However, this never bothers her, she uses this to fuel her work, despite the fact        she shouldn’t be facing it at all. To me, she really shows what women can 
      achieve when given opportunity, and how they can tackle issues with
      compassion and fairness.” Beth

“The women in my family and my closest friends are the women who inspire me the most. They are all very different people, but they all have qualities in them that inspires me each day. They all show me, especially being women of colour that anything you put your mind to you can achieve.” Ardelle

      "Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman of colour who co-founded the S.T.A.R   
      activist group in 1970 which sheltered LGBT kids from abusive homes and who
      was an integral founding member of the Gay Liberation Front.” Shane

"My Mother Lucinda who lost her long battle to MND in 2020. She was always adamant that she would continue doing things whilst she could, rather than give in and ask for help – the first time she ever caved and had a cup of tea made for her was the day before she died! Throughout her illness she always remained positive and even though she was forced to give up favourite things, like work and swimming, she made sure to find new hobbies and made the most of every second of every day. Her outlook on life was truly inspiring and something that has shaped who I am today." Jena

      "Jessica Ennis-Hill, a highly successful athlete who dominated on the track and       
      has recently started a training programme which is tailored for women. My mum
      has always been a woman I look up to in every aspect, having a women who is
      strong and compassionate has really helped me with the person I am today.”     
      Alice
 

“My wife is the kindest person I know and that inspires me to a better person every day.” Dan

      “Honestly, every woman inspires me. It’s incredible to see the resilience, strength
      and courage women have. I love seeing women support one another, lift each
      other up and amplify each other’s voices. We’re in this together and it’s so
      empowering.” Anneline

“Emily Davison. To be willing to die for what you believe in is quite something. Hugely inspiring.” John

      “Florence Nightingale and the vital role she played in healing wounded soldiers,     
      she founded modern nursing. My mum is a nurse and that is very inspirational for
      me.” Tom

“So many to choose from. I love the film Hidden Figures and the women who 
played such important roles at NASA: Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and
Dorothy Vaughan.” David

 

Some initiatives to support Women in the work environment

Looking at the present day and into the future, we wanted to look at what society is doing in and around the working environment to continue the influence mentioned above and go further. The below are some recent initiatives and actions which are key to supporting women:

  • Creating an environment for women to be supported, valued and respected. Actively creating a gender-balanced leadership by increasing the proportion of women in managerial positions, including in their most senior executive posts
  • An increase in mentorship and highlighting the success of female leaders is a great way for women to get support and guidance, have role models and see themselves represented within the work environment
  • Addressing and narrowing the gender pay gap
  • In terms of getting more women into STEM, there are groups like GirlCode and WomenWhoCode are doing some great work in promoting roles in the technology sector, and showing these roles are for women as well. STEM Women also hold regular careers fairs across the world, which can offer support and advice to women and all genders considering a career change into STEM
  • Many work environments have also been implementing enhanced parental leave, shared parental leave, flexible working and other benefits which is a great initiative for working parents. Further support through policies for miscarriage and adoption leave being written into contracts to create inclusive workspaces for women
  • Creating and implementing policies and training to support areas such as Policy Against Discrimination, Violence and Harassment at Work, and ongoing training on unconscious bias. Putting in place Guidance for Providing Support to Employee Victims of Domestic Violence or Abuse

 

How can everyone become an Ally for Women within the work environment

There is a lot that can be and should be done:

  • Treat everyone with respect, be accountable for your education on sensitive matters, and hold others accountable where necessary
  • Have open conversations and voice your opinion to ensure equal opportunities and measures are in place to enable a secure and comfortable working environment
  • Invite and encourage women to participate in meetings where key decisions are made, make them part of the conversation and ensure they feel like they are part of the conversation
  • Have more inclusive activities and policies, make women feel safe and comfortable
  • Listen and use your position and influence to raise concerns and ensure women are treated equally
  • Stand up for others, call out misogynistic or sexist behaviour and create opportunities for women
  • Promote women into leadership roles, give them seats at the table and break your glass ceilings. Opportunities flourish from these settings, and women, alongside all genders, deserve access to opportunities
  • Involve women in everything!

Truthfully, Talent Point believes, a month is not enough, we need to celebrate what women achieve on a daily basis.

 

Did you know?

  • A recent survey (WEForum, 2021) showed it’ll take approximately 136 years to achieve gender equality globally
  • The gender gap has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Within the work environment, women face higher redundancy rates and greater job instability. For example, women make up 70% of the health workforce. Although, they hold fewer leadership positions than men
  • Data from LinkedIn also demonstrates a decline of women’s hiring into leadership roles, creating a reversal of 1 to 2 years of progress across multiple industries
  • Employees with women managers are more likely to say that their managers have supported and helped them over the past year (McKinsey, 2021)

 

Sources:
https://www.womenshistorymonth.gov
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace

https://www.pwc.co.uk/who-we-are/women-in-technology/time-to-close-the-gender-gap.html, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/03/international-womens-day-flexibility-work-jobs-coursera-linkedin/