On International Women’s Day 2019
It’s come around again and we know it’s not just about the day itself but how it provides a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we need to go in the coming year. The theme this year is focused on #BalanceForBetter and we’re taking this day as a chance to track our progress of positive action towards gender balance.
Last year, we launched a joint manifesto in partnership with our positive impact partners Mac&Moore with the aim to support our clients, partners and network to develop structures and cultures, which inculcate genuine equality and diversity. It focuses on ‘thinking is good, talking is great, doing is best’, centred on the three pillars of:
Doing things properly
Doing things differently
Providing a platform for those on their way up
We wanted something that would ensure we hold ourselves to account and that we were actually doing some of the right things. The time for talking has been long overdue, women have (and continue to be) silenced over so many incredibly important topics, but as three people with a lot of in-built privilege, we are in a powerful position to act on those words, and begin to create small but mighty changes which will hopefully start to create some tangible difference across the equality landscape.
We’ve reviewed the three pillar and tracked what we’ve managed to achieve or what areas we still need to work on and then look forward into 2019 to map out how we’ll connect our actions to this year’s theme of ‘Balance’. Perhaps some of these initiatives will give you inspiration of what you could implement to #BalanceForBetter.
GET OUTSIDE OUR ECHO CHAMBER:
We joined Mac&Moore’s event series in London where a group of likeminded women from the world of marketing and PR gathered around a breakfast table to discuss ‘Levelling Up’ over tea and toast. We discussed how to tackle Learning and Development when you work for yourself, the differences between in-house and remote services, but a large part of the conversation revolved around the importance of getting together face-to-face to provide a sounding board and friendly ear. We’re venturing out of the London Bubble and off to the next one in Leeds next week and more to come!
The breakfast really highlighted how powerful and supportive women can be with one another when they’re put in a room together and all barriers are dropped. It was a stimulating session of honest conversation of the highs and the lows of work. And what also came through is the power of the human connection - face to face meet-ups make for better relationships that you can value not just in a business sense but personally.
SUPPORTING FEMALE FOUNDERS & LEADERS:
We’re still seeing female founded or co-founded businesses raise less investment than their male counterparts and the percentage of minorities and women on the boards of the largest public companies is only rising slowly. The system is flawed. We’re working next to a host of female founders and leaders in positions of power in sectors such as Health, Tech and the Creative Industries to support them in setting the right tone as a woman for creating change for themselves and others.
It goes without saying that we go over and above to support our fellow supporters and partners like Jess and Nat at Mac&Moore, Jess Sims and Laura West at The Doers and a host of incredible freelancers we work with on behalf of our clients and initiatives, to share notes on how to do better at work and support eachother on the way up.
REPRESENTING & PROMOTING FEMALE TALENT:
Changing the landscape for women means promoting female talent. We build bespoke teams with best-in-class freelance PRs and marketers to plug into businesses and organisations. Together with a strong network of freelancers and our skills we deliver stellar results for our clients. We have begun a new journey with Athena Stevens, national spokesperson at the Women’s Equality Party to provide advice and guidance on greater gender equality in the media.
Our joint content series, The Female Focus, is our beloved platform to promote women at all stages of their careers to show us their worth and talent and prove that there’s more than one way to get there. Success looks like so many different things!
We’re really passionate about mentoring and supporting those on their way up. Last year from September to December we took part in mentoring for You Make It, a programme to support underprivileged BAME women to succeed in the world of work. The work that the YMI team do is incredible, and as is often the way with this kind of set-up they are always in need of additional funding or mentors, so if you’ve considered sharing some of your time to help others in the past, check them out!
We also uphold reverse mentoring relationships with two incredible women. Clo mentors and receives advice from Lynne Parker, founder of Funny Women, the UK's leading female comedy community helping women to perform, write and do business with humour, as well as with Judy Claughton, freelance PR star and founder of BalanceTime, the creators of mindfulness meditation workshops, retreat days, one-to-one coaching and tips. We gain so much from mapping out challenges and routes to success and vice versa! It’s such a useful level of support that cannot be underestimated.
We’re looking towards 2019 as the year to embed even more ‘Balance’ in everything we do and support our male clients and partners to take meaningful steps forward too. With the support and energy of friends and colleagues and our excellent Mac&Moore partnership, we will try and balance the scales to deliver greater representation of women into the mix. We look forward to sharing our progress with you this year and if you have any comments or suggestions on how we can do better, shout! We want to hear from you!