Ahead of International Women’s Day 2021, a number of Fletcherians shared their thoughts. Here’s what our CEO, Alex Hatchman had to say:
Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I wrote an article for International Women’s Day last year and as part of this I did some research into the percentage of global female leaders, both on a per capita basis and on an economic basis. This is a subject I have been passionate around for some years now and even I was surprised by the results. My conclusion from these was that we would need to celebrate IWD, not just for years to come, but for decades to come.
The theme this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’. How can staff challenge gender inequality in the workplace?
I think this is a big question. In fairness, women have been choosing to challenge gender inequality in the workplace for a long time. However it is becoming more acceptable, and there is a greater willingness to listen to constructive challenge. When challenging gender inequality, I would encourage thoughtfulness around which battles to fight and how and when to fight them. This is important to maximise chances of success, and minimise unintended consequences.
How can women have the confidence to challenge gender inequality in the workplace?
Confidence can be drawn from multiple sources. Firstly, and importantly, know your rights. Knowing your rights is an essential hygiene factor in this discussion. Secondly, research and discuss this subject more widely. Challenging from a position of being informed gives strength. Thirdly, use your influencing skills to maximum effect. Start with those who are more sympathetic and work progressively towards those whose mindset needs resetting.
What does the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ mean to you in your work life?
For me it means a continuation. I have been choosing to challenge for the last decade of my career, and I do not anticipate stopping before I retire!