Some people may roll their eyes at the prospect of exploring the ‘Gender Equality’ debate and they would be quite right to do so. Really quite simply put, the subject of gender equality shouldn’t be an issue in today’s society.
I recently attended a technology event and a lady from Iran (an experienced senior technology professional) commented on how she had a shock coming to the UK in realising the severe lack of women studying technical subjects. In her home country, this was just not an issue (and why would it be) but they had quite the opposite, with 90% of women enrolling on technology courses compared to men!
I read recently that there are embedded values or codes that shape our lives, much in the same way that code defines our digital world. Coding language shapes our digital world and reflects what you will see and similarly this is largely what we need to do to achieve gender equality. ‘Rewrite the gender code’ and use this to empower young women in classrooms, in the same way that we write digital code. No opportunity is out of reach.
Back to the working world and truth be told, the proportion of male to female staff at hedgehog lab is uneven but increasing steadily. Whilst we encourage ‘Women in STEM’ and equality and diversity through family friendly policies, flexible working hours etc. there is still a lot of work to be done with regards to building a diverse talent pipeline and eliminating gender inequality brazenly remaining on the surface with those people who believe Engineer’s or Developer’s are roles that girls shouldn’t be doing.
Personally speaking, I don’t want to be treated any differently just because I am a woman and certainly don’t believe anyone should be paid more just because they are female, that is a ridiculous assumption. However, we should reward people equally if they are good at their job.
Part of the solution to the ‘debate’ is involving our male counterparts and whilst gender bias does exist, this can be on both ends of the spectrum and everyone has a responsibility to take action.
Further to the feedback obtained from staff across our international offices and as a company, we have pledged to take action to further improve diversity in the workplace:
We will monitor the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ as part of the Remuneration Committee to ensure pay is fair for everyone.
We will remove any gender bias and increase the female presence on our website. This includes more diverse testimonials and increasing coverage in relation to more diverse personal profiles and job roles.
We will ensure all offices work together on equality and diversity and we are all working towards the same common goal.
We will explore fairer and more balanced paternity and maternity pay.
We will aim to have more male staff attending and representing at ‘Women in STEM’ events.
We will explore coaching or courses with regards to awareness of gender equality.