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For all the days after IWD: practical business actions

For all the days after IWD: practical business actions

March 13, 2023
June 29, 2023
For all the days after IWD: practical business actions

The message of International Women's Day is being lost to corporatisation, but the need for women's economic and social equity remains. Here's what your business can do.

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International Women’s Day 2023 was a day to celebrate women’s contributions across society (or to land your business in hot water for virtue signalling!). Its roots are in the women’s rights movement, born from the likes of campaigns for the right to vote and better work and pay conditions. 

As IWD has become increasingly corporatised over the years, the strength of its message seems to have weakened; but the need for systemic change on economic and social equity remains. UN Women reports

“Worldwide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. As a result, there’s a lifetime of income inequality between men and women and more women are retiring into poverty. This stubborn inequality in the average wages between men and women persists in all countries and across all sectors…”

(On the UN theme of technology for this IWD: 44% of AI systems globally demonstrate gender bias and fewer than a third of tech workers are women.)

So, practically, what can you and your business do?

  • Start with data: do you know if there is a gender pay gap in your workplace (here's a primer)? How demographically diverse is your board and leadership? How do you publicly report? (In Australia, this could soon become a legal requirement).
  • Address the barriers: if there is a gap in your business, can you identify any structural or cultural blockers? Consult your teams, and redesign your policies and processes to reduce these (e.g. flexible working; promotion & remuneration).
  • Suppliers: Review your suppliers and supplier policies. Could you switch to support more women-led/minority-led businesses, or work with your suppliers to help them change over time?
  • Speak up: can your business take a public stance against gender-based discrimination and violence, and/or support organisations working in this space?
  • Mentor: intentional mentoring (formal and informal), combined with clear opportunities for professional growth, provide pathways to leadership within your business and beyond. 

What's missing from our list? Or do you have a different viewpoint?

In other news:

Gill from the Pickle team recently spoke with Nate Bailey on the Championship Leadership podcast. Hear the origin story of The Business Pickle and the priority of progress over perfection when it comes to improving your business's impact on people and the planet.  Listen here.

The Business Pickle is here for leaders ready to do good.

Research, case studies, podcasts, toolkits, actions: everything to help you fast track doing business for good. We provide resources and strategic advice for teams to improve their impact.

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Using business as a force for good can be quite the pickle. While you want to balance profit with purpose, real-world challenges get in the way. We don’t have all the answers at The Business Pickle, but we sure have fun seeking them out.

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