This International Women’s Day (IWD), we’re celebrating the theme “Embrace Equity,” which focuses on promoting gender balance and inclusion in all areas of society. The campaign seeks to get the world talking about why equality, or equal opportunities, are no longer enough. We need equity – recognizing that people have different circumstances, and allocating the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
The theme of “Embracing Equity” is an acknowledgment of the progress that has been made towards gender equality, but also a reminder that there is still work to be done. It is a call to action for individuals and organizations to work toward creating a world that is fair, equal, and just for all. While International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, it also raises awareness of the ongoing struggles that women face in the fight for gender equality.
One of the main focuses of IWD 2023 is promoting gender balance in leadership positions, which is a cornerstone at Vested, where 4 out of 5 members of the C-suite are women. We also have women in every position from the top down, from Managing Director to Account Coordinator. By promoting gender balance in leadership positions, we can ensure that women’s voices are heard, and that decisions are made with a more diverse range of perspectives in mind. Ishviene Arora, Vested President & Chief Client Officer, “feels fortunate that we built a work environment at Vested that I believe supports women. But there is always more that can be done, and I think organizations should focus on listening more to better understand areas that can be improved in order to be more supportive and inclusive of women.”
The women at Vested shared their experiences with equity in the workplace, as well as their wisdom for fellow women looking to grow in their careers. Take a look at their responses to the following questions and go into International Women’s Day (and the rest of the year!) ready to embrace equity.
What does equity for women mean to you, and how do you think it relates to being a woman in the workplace?
Equity for women in the workplace, to me, means that women have access to opportunities for career advancement – title, pay, exposure, responsibility, benefits, etc. – and that being a woman in the workplace, and the many aspects of that, is in no way an obstacle to that advancement. – Binna Kim, CEO
There are many stereotypes about being a woman in the workplace, whether in books, TV shows, movies, etc.; fiction is not reality. Equality in the workplace as a woman means breaking those barriers and setting boundaries to ensure you’re being treated without prejudice or bias. – Olivia Bagatelle, Account Executive
Equity thrives in environments of trust, understanding and openness. It drives perspectives and empowerment, and is a crucial step on the pathway to equality. Only by embracing equity will we ever be able to make fundamental and necessary change. – Jo Field, Director
What piece of advice would you give to a young woman entering the workforce?
Work hard and fight for yourself. Ask for what you deserve, whether it’s a promotion, a raise, or a seat at the table in a meeting you want to participate in. Network, hold your own, and grab on to every single opportunity to learn more about the things that make you excited. – Senior Account Executive
Just because you’re not great at something doesn’t mean you can’t be good at it. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to keep challenging yourself. And most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. – Ishviene Arora, President & Chief Client Officer
Don’t be afraid to raise your hand for the opportunity. There have been so many times that I regretted not volunteering for something because I thought I was too junior or there was another colleague of mine with a better resume to lead on something I was passionate about. – Jacqueline Gogel, Managing Director
What would you like to change about the way we either perceive and talk about female leadership?
One day, it would be lovely to call it ‘leadership’ instead of ‘female leadership’. Society and the workplace will be so equal that there will be no need to differentiate. – Sophie Paterson, Associate Director
Leadership doesn’t have to be loud. I think society still holds up a more masculine emblem of leadership – aggressive, loud, perhaps even brash. I think as more women hold CEO positions at some of the biggest companies in the world, this definition of leadership is changing. Leadership can be empathetic. Thoughtful. Analytical. Leadership can listen, not just talk. – Binna Kim, Group CEO
There’s only so much time in the day. We should embrace asking for help and resources. That can include digital tools, or teams of people to support you. Otherwise, it’s physically impossible to achieve everything on your own. Enable women to get these tools, to seek out education (can be school, an apprenticeship, a new career path), and be an inspiration not only to others, but to ourselves. – Ashley O’Brien, Director