I’m embracing the 2023 International Women’s Day theme #embraceequity. Not just because of the snazzy alliteration, nor because of the image for the social media campaign (which I love but does slightly remind me of weird comedy sketches/cheap laughs in the school drama room). I #embraceequity because it acknowledges individual difference and that there is not a one size fits all approach.
The official IWD website provides a succinct, clear definition of equity vs equality, but you’ve (hopefully) come to this blog for the personal touch. So, what does equity mean to me? I believe it’s about equal access to opportunity, enabling all of us to thrive and providing the freedom to decide for ourselves who we want to be and what we want to achieve. Furthermore, by acknowledging inequity and realising that we do not all start off life on an even playing field, it highlights the support and tools required to help attain those goals. Equity is about recognising diverse life experiences and addressing the imbalances, helping achieve that fairness of opportunity. We may all have different routes to get to the same destination!
Image source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Trying to decide and orientate my own path early on in my career, I attended different diversity events, often focussing on women (we can see how times have evolved from diversity to the more comprehensive DE&I.) At that time, many events had useful elements, but none really resonated deeply with me. They all seemed to be on similar themes and aimed at an stereotypical woman. I’m not saying the issues raised weren’t important, they just didn’t apply strongly to me at the time, I needed something more personal and with more variety (and maybe a bit less morning person superwoman vibe… I like a lie in). This is why WiAS appealed to me, and I decided to get involved.
The difference between WiAS and other networks I’d attended, is it seeks to increase female visibility across all levels of the industry and to empower women to strive to the level that feels right for them at the right time. I liked the idea of a network that encourages me to find my brave and decide what I wanted to achieve without pushing me to take over the world AND that, once I’d decided, had the desire to equip me with tools relevant to me to help me achieve my goals.
Being part of WiAS has not only helped me steer my career journey, but also challenged me to look at my privilege, to acknowledge where I have had a comparative head start compared to others.
Th. We aim to achieve this by continuing to partner with other organisations and networks in the industry and look to other industry sectors who experience similar issues.
So, if you’d like some help with something or have an idea for an event, please get in touch we are always looking for new ideas. And remember, equity is not just for Christmas IWD, it’s for life. It’s something that needs constant consideration and evolution. Who have we missed out? How can we equip you? How can we help? Please get in touch.