Invest In Women!

The UN has named the mission for this year’s IWD as ‘Invest In Women’.
Why? Well, without investing in women’s ideas, businesses and selves, we won’t speed up progression or be able to demonstrate and showcase women’s development and brilliant work effectively.
The goal is to not have a world where we have to talk about barriers, discrimination or inclusion – it should just be a given.

Start Investing!

You can invest in women in many ways, whether quite literally in a financial sense or investing in their time and knowledge.
  • Find and buy from women-owned businesses
  • Support women around you by sharing their work, listening to them or being an advocate for them
  • Be an ally and call out and stand up to discriminative behaviour
  • Look and make others aware of new policies you can make, improving wage gaps and closing inequalities in your workplace
  • Make change inwardly – this means educating yourself and being aware so you can share with others in your life.
  • Talk to women – listen to how they want to be treated and invested in.
These are not simple checkbox exercises or a one-fix that solves all issues, but these are catalysts for innovation, growth and diversity.

Learn about intersectionality – and understand it!

A huge part of DEI is knowing and understanding what intersectionality is.
Intersectionality is the recognition that everyone has unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and that we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, and so on.
Kimberlé Crenshaw, a legal scholar, coined the word “intersectionality” in 1989 to describe how oppressive systems overlap to provide diverse experiences for people with various identification categories.
“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there.” – Kimberlé Crenshaw
Why learn about intersectionality? Well, we are all different thus we are treated differently – whether negatively or positively. Understanding the barriers for women and the challenges they face based on how they look, where they are from or their experiences allows us to shift or adjust our own behaviour and be aware of our bias.
Without looking through an intersectional lens, the efforts to address inequities and injustices towards and against women are likely to sustain inequality. A black woman may be subjected to misogyny and racism, but she will experience misogyny in a different way than a white woman, and racism in a different way than a black man.
The hard fight for women’s rights must be intersectional — individuals who focus solely on the experiences of white, middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual, and other women will fail to achieve equality for everyone.

You will miss out on outstanding individuals!

That means we need to invest in EVERY woman – not just our friends who look like us or the people we grew up around. It’s about expanding your world and discovering and meeting new and amazing people.
If we constantly invest in the same people, who may look or sound like us or have the same views as us, we will stagnate; whether that’s in our careers, in life or within workplaces.
Our teams will have no diversity of ideas or processes, and our skills and abilities will be similar – we can’t grow with just one kind of seed. We need a range of individuals to find a different way of looking at things!
When you don’t invest in women, you will miss out on outstanding individuals and they in turn will miss out on amazing opportunities.

Reasonable adjustments help everyone

Despite the rumours or myths that individuals are getting preferential treatment, reasonable adjustments can help everyone.
Reasonable adjustments are when an employer makes changes so you can do your role with ease or without difficulty. They can be changes to policies, working practices or physical layouts, or providing extra equipment or support It’s not because they are the ‘favourite’ – there are justifiable reasons and rights why they should be able to have those adjustments.
When leaders see that reasonable adjustments work, it expands to the rest of the team. If you’re a man for example, and need a half day off for a doctor’s appointment, your leader might say ‘of course, your peer does flexible work and it works great, so make up the time another time.’
That is a very simple way of thinking about it, but that is how easy it is to show that reasonable adjustments work and can support other individuals, who don’t need them all the time when they do need them!

Reasonable adjustments help everyone

On days like International Women’s Day, months like Women’s History Month or any event involving women, it can absolutely feel like we are talking into the void.
Many of the webinars or events we attend are often full of other women who know exactly why we need to invoke change – but we can’t do it alone. We need to encourage more men and those in positions of power into the room because that is who needs to hear the message.
It doesn’t mean we need to shame or coerce these individuals into the cause, but they need to be willing to learn and understand. This is exactly who this blog is for as we already know, women invest in other women – but this needs to extend to everyone.

“When talking about girls‘ (and women’s) empowerment, you’ll often hear people saying ‘You’re helping them find their voices’, I fundamentally disagree with that.

Women don’t need to find their voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

– Meghan Markle

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