#IWD2019 – How the #balanceforbetter has shifted at makepositive

Our CEO Mark Richards discusses the steps makepositive have taken over the past 12 months to ensure greater equality for women.

Twelve months ago a wave of feminism swept over us here at makepositive. The evidence was clear – we were failing women in our organisation.

Not enough women in leadership positions – I could and did improve that immediately. A decision that took some time to settle in but thank you to the team for accepting how important that decision is.

I encouraged our team to share their experiences through equality sessions and it became obvious that a sub-culture of sexism existed both inside and outside the organisation.  We heard stories from both sexes on how they had felt uncomfortable with something that was said, or they had seen.  Numerous examples of our female consultants being consistently interrupted in meetings.  Although it was disappointing to hear such stories, it was heartening to hear people opening up and giving us the opportunity to change.

So what has changed?

All project kick offs now include an equality section.  We state that we expect everyone to be treated equally and ask that the customer agrees to that. We agree points of contact if an incident occurs.  We state the obvious right?

Internally, we have more work to do. Yes our leadership is better represented but we have lost some direction and momentum with our equality work.  Perhaps this is a sign that things are getting better?  There is no doubt in my mind that the world is changing and what used to be considered acceptable is no longer.  Personally speaking, I feel more able to call out discrimination when I encounter it.  This is down to the bravery of the those who have been discriminated against and have spoken out.  To those people inside and outside our organisation – thank you.

Finally, if you like your feminism served with comedy, do seek out The Guilty Feminist podcast – http://guiltyfeminist.com/.  I went to a live recording recently and it was both hilarious and empowering.

Happy International Women’s Day everyone.

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