In the lead up to International Women's Day, we've run a series of blogs in which our people have explained how they create a better balance in their work and professional lives and why it's important to do so.
In this final article, falling on International Women’s Day itself, Partner Danielle Roman examines the broader gender picture and how inclusivity should only benefit a business.
08 March 2019
Striving for balance across all genders
Oprah famously once said that “excellence is the best deterrent to sexism or racism”. This is because excellence doesn’t distinguish between gender or the colour of someone’s skin – it looks to talent, drive, ambition and innovation.
The best (and arguably most successful) organisations embrace a diverse and inclusive workplace, which advocates for equal opportunities for people to speak up and to be leaders, regardless of gender (or race, social class, physical ability or sexual orientation).
Men and women aren’t identical – indeed, the lines between genders have become increasingly blurred and are far less binary, as differences emerge in how people choose to identify themselves.
But it is precisely these differences which make us realise the need for one another. Gender balance – the equality of opportunity across the gender spectrum – creates a dynamic workplace with diversity of opinion and leadership, which is critical to business success. Varied perspectives and the ability to embrace differences create a holistic approach to tackling problems, which drives change and innovation.
To be a high-performing business, it’s essential to attract and retain the best talent, regardless of gender. However, it’s often difficult to see through our natural preconceptions and inherent biases.
Merely attempting to fulfil a hard 'gender quota' is not a satisfactory solution to achieve gender balance - the underlying issues are far more complex than a game of numbers. Leaders can disrupt the status quo by advocating for equality of opportunity, whether it is for females to have a louder voice in senior positions, or for men to reconcile balance with work and family (or vice versa).
When we were kids, the world was full of possibilities – we could be doctors, firefighters, Lego master-builders, painters, dancers. Gender wasn’t (and isn’t) a barrier to imagination. If the workplace was also blind to gender, and looked only to excellence, imagine the world of possibilities for us all.