This year the theme for International Women’s Day is, “Choose to Challenge”. The idea being, and we quote, “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.”
The operative word here is “we”, that means all of us because it is not “just” men who are guilty of gender bias – in so many subtle way we all are and it is up to every one of us to change the narrative.
International Women’s Day is not only a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, but an opportunity to reflect on how we can collectively contribute to keep the momentum going.
So, our challenge to everyone this year is to take a very personal approach – because unless change is made in your personal life -- nothing much will change in business.
Where to start?
If you are a male advisor, first and foremost think of all the women in your life, not just clients and colleagues but mothers, daughters, sisters and wives and partners. How do you treat these women? Do you listen to them, really listen? Do you encourage them to reach for success and support their efforts? Do you treat your sons and daughters equally and provide them with same opportunities and guidance. Or do you make assumptions based on their gender?
Women in the financial community, we have a role to play at home too. You are already setting a great example by taking on a role that has “traditionally” been considered “men’s domain” but don’t stop there. Be careful that your expectations of your daughters/nieces/sisters are not gender biased. Try to encourage and support other women in their journey to success – whatever success looks like to them.
We should all remember that everything we do and say, no matter how trivial it might seem, means something and impacts the people around us. If you do nothing else this International Women’s Day – make a pledge to yourself to take an honest look at how you interact with all the women in your life. Could you do better?
Let’s take up the challenge this International Women’s Day, when you see a woman or a girl being talked down to, minimized, taken for granted, sidelined or treated disrespectfully – whether you are a man or a woman, at home or at work, call it out! Our society will be better for it.
The value of embracing women is undeniable – companies with women in the C-suite and on boards outperform others and the financial power of women as investors is growing exponentially. At StrategyMarketing.ca we are 100% committed to supporting women, whether they wish to work in the financial community or be better served as clients. Check out our website www.strategymarketing.ca