“Yackety Yack – are we going to talk about women’s rights again?  Yes! We’re going to talk about it until there’s balance”

Meryle Streep on equality

This time last year I was busy preparing for the launch of Wonder Women – Inspiring Stories & Insightful Interviews with Women in Marketing.  This was my first foray into being an author (and I’m planning on it not being my last!).

The successful book sales were an amazing affirmation that the stories and interviews were relevant and engaging not just to people in marketing, but to a much wider audience (including many of my female friends and neighbours who bought it for themselves, their daughters and daughter-in-laws!).  Most importantly, the book gave me (and Giles) a platform to challenge preconceptions and champion equal opportunity, recognition and rewards for all women. 

Going into 2022 we were thinking about what we could talk about that hadn’t already been said. We’ve done features on the gender pay gap, the impact of the pandemic, unconscious bias, how to engage men in the conversation – to name but a few of the important topics.  We’ve shared the stories of amazing role models and trailblazers, and had feedback from many women telling us that we have made a real difference to their confidence and career aspirations. 

There are many reasons to be optimistic and we still wholeheartedly believe that the blend of both male and female characteristics, gender balanced teams, working together, embracing cognitive diversity, will bring business success. 

But it’s far from ‘job done’.

Although it’s now three years after a new law compelled companies to reveal the difference between male and female wages, data shows that eight out of 10 organisations with more than 250 staff still pay men more than women.

Women continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and there is a real risk that progress will stagnate or go backwards.  Clearly the government needs to address the cost of unpaid care work, make childcare more accessible and affordable, overhaul shared parental leave and look at who is getting access to the most powerful and influential positions to tackle power and wealth inequality between men and women, but it’s doubtful this will be a top priority given the current situation. 

It’s therefore even more vital for businesses to take the lead. 

So, we’re going to use Meryl Streep’s quote as our New Year’s mantra.  We going to keep talking about the issues, keep searching for the data that will provide the insights to effect change, keep highlighting the success stories and the innovators who are leading the way. 

We will continue to CHAMPION the successes of women, CHALLENGE and confront the issue that are holding them back, then REPEAT until there’s balance.

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