We proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2020. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Whilst we all know that gender parity within the workplace has improved over the past decades, we all also know that there is still a long way to go.
We interviewed our very own Georgina Masefield, Manager, Head of Carter Murray Hong Kong.
The theme for IWD2020 is #EachforEqual. Have you experienced gender stereotypes/gender bias in a professional context? If so, how have you been able to challenge this?
Not that I have been aware of, which could be because I have always worked in offices with a very strong female workforce. However unconscious (or perhaps sometimes conscious) gender stereotyping is unfortunately still prevalent in our society and I would expect that we all - men and women - are impacted by these views, which often have an effect on how others treat us, in and out of the workplace.
What does equality in the workplace look like for you?
One in which there is an equal number of women to men in senior positions, not just an equal amount of, or a higher proportion of female to male employees. Achieving this goes far beyond the running of an individual organisation and the responsibility of which cannot be put solely on businesses. Until there is full equality in society, there cannot be full equality in any organisation. The different expectations placed on males and females from early childhood and the (often unintended) differences in the ways they are treated by parents, teachers and others all play a part in the reasons why it is still easier for men to find themselves in top positions than women. If a little girl truly believes that it is expected of her to grow up to run a business or be a senior leader it will make it that little bit more likely she will grow up to do so.
How do you think parental leave should be approached in 2020?
I do not have children so I cannot speak from experience but I believe that when it comes to parental leave organisations and governments need to appreciate every new parent’s situation is different and there cannot be a one size fits all approach. It must also be appreciated that for a lot of co-parents the childcare responsibilities do not fall more to one parent than another or if it does it may well not be the traditional way round we expect. Therefore, the age-old assumption that a new female parent will be less devoted to work responsibilities than a new male parent must be taken out of the equation when businesses are considering their framework of support for new parents.
Is there a business that you admire for their positive approach to an equal workforce? If so, who and why?
Google and Facebook, as I think the work Sheryl Sandberg has done in promoting a positive approach to gender equality within the businesses she has had the voice to make a difference in, has notably contributed to gender workplace issues, getting the airtime they need for progress to be made.
Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organisation/company they are employed by.