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International Women's Day 2023 | Embracing Equity

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International Women’s Day 2023 | Embrace Equity

This March 8th, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the focus point is equity and what that can and should look like in an inclusive environment. Equity or lack thereof, has a massive impact on Women in the workplace, along with other marginalised groups who often experience bias of one form or another.

When first discussing Equity, Equality is usually introduced to the conversation, so let’s start things off with a quick example of how equity and equality can differ. Equality is giving everyone a pair of shoes, while equity is giving everyone a pair of shoes that fit them. Offering everyone the same opportunity is great, but ensuring a diverse audience actually has access to this opportunity is the first step in equity.

As a recruitment business, Fortis is always looking to improve our processes, reach new talent and provide fair opportunities for our candidates, while we like to ensure we keep our partners and clients up to date on best practices and drivers in diversity, inclusion, and equity.

The positive impact of having a diverse and inclusive workplace is undeniable, with increased innovation, greater productivity and a strengthened employer brand. We are sharing our key tips on driving equity in your workplace, starting with the recruitment process:

  • Addressing Bias within the recruitment process can help in attracting a diverse candidate pool. We are all aware of obvious biases including Sexism and Racism, but there are other biases that can impact the process too. Writing an inclusive job description seems straightforward, however, studies have found that gendered language can deter individuals from applying for roles. Examples include ‘competitive’ and ‘dominant’ as being perceived as male-coded language, while ‘support’, ‘understanding’ and ‘interpersonal’ are often considered female-coded.
  • As of February 2023, the mean gender pay gap sits at 12.6%, according to the analysis of 500 firms based in Ireland.  Although the reason for this gap varies in each business, an undeniable trend is males occupy more senior and highly paid roles, compared to their female colleagues. Put in very simple terms, this equates to women working for free for a month and a half each year, compared to the compensation of their male counterparts.
  • The widespread introduction of remote and hybrid policies has opened a door to a new approach to hiring. The option to work from home or work flexible hours has provided access to work for too many who could not join or stay in the workforce. This could be due to caring responsibilities, disabilities, or physical location. Offering flexible, remote and hybrid opportunities has empowered many employers to diversify their talent pool, however, they must also provide remote and flexible hires with the right communication tools and support once onboarded for workplace equity.
  • Opportunities for growth and progression are also important talking points when discussing equity, and access to promotions. As noted above, a large influence of the current gender pay gap is males occupying more senior roles. Providing education opportunities and training programs can deliver a more diverse leadership team and employees grow within the business.
  • Attracting diverse talent is one thing, but providing them with an accepting work environment is essential in retaining them. Individuals should feel comfortable speaking up, bringing their full selves to work, and even making mistakes. An equitable culture ensures that each individual feels welcome and set up for success in their role, while supported and accepted by their colleagues.

There are so many small and large changes that we can make as organisations and individuals to embrace equity and equality. The above actions can have a great impact on your organisation and your workforce, however a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is essential for long-term success.

We are continuing this conversation on our LinkedIn page, please join and let us know how you #EmbraceEquity.  

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