International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people worldwide. Today, it belongs to all groups everywhere. As Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist, once said, ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.’

Balance for Better is the theme of International Women’s Day 2019 and continues throughout the year. But balance is not a women’s issue – it’s a business issue. And the race is on to strike a gender balance in boardrooms, the government, media coverage, talent pools, wealth, sports, and more. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive. The better the balance, the better the world.

HOW WE SUPPORT BALANCE FOR BETTER

We support International Women’s Day, not just once a year, but every day. We are committed to building a better-balanced world, both in our workplace and our communities. Gender parity and balance starts on the individual level and then grows from there. So we take our approach to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in our company seriously and expect our people to do the same.

At Wordbank, we welcome diversity of all kinds. For example, we respect all perspectives and encourage people to express themselves by bringing their whole selves to work. Our goal is for everyone to feel comfortable, respected and included. So what does that mean?

GENDER EQUITY PRACTICES

  • We’re committed to the Equal Pay for Equal Work Pledge, ensuring we pay equal wages for roles with comparable skills regardless of sex or gender identification. And a person’s opportunity for growth, development and promotion is based purely on merit.
  • There are no traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ responsibilities in our office. Everyone pitches in across our business, including emptying the dishwasher, making coffee, replacing water jugs, moving furniture, etc.
  • Because we know words matter, we use gender-neutral language on our website, job ads, job descriptions, etc.

DIVERSITY PRACTICES

  • All our people go through a standardized core training, regardless of role, which covers diversity and inclusion.
  • We monitor and measure diversity and inclusion metrics with specific KPIs for a continuous cycle of improvement.
  • We use a strengths-based performance model based on self-accountability that includes 360-degree feedback.
  • Our hiring process involves multiple people across the company to broaden perspectives on candidates and to keep our hiring objective.
  • We encourage diverse perspectives and ideas by providing a variety of ways for people to speak up and have their voices heard (weekly catch-ups, HR stay interviews, anonymous engagement surveys, etc.).
  • We plan to increase awareness of women’s issues throughout the year via lunch-and-learns and by sharing stories of women’s experiences across cultures.

INCLUSION PRACTICES

  • Our events are at a variety of times and places to be as inclusive as possible of all our people, including remote staff, working parents and our global offices.
  • Working parents have the option of modified schedules for transitioning back to work, flexible full-time work schedules, private space for expressing breast milk, etc.
  • We offer flexible working hours, schedules, remote working options and generous PTO to everyone regardless of position.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT BALANCE FOR BETTER

INDIVIDUALS

  • Speak up if you see someone being left out or treated unfairly. If you do nothing, you’re supporting that behaviour.
  • Pitch in without being asked on all office tasks.
  • Research, read and share stories about diversity and equality by people of different backgrounds.
  • Make an effort to understand multiple viewpoints and aim to work with those who think, act and believe differently from you.
  • Strike your own ‘balance for better’ pose and share across your social media channels, using #balanceforbetter.

ORGANIZATIONS

  • Monitor and measure your practices for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Then set targets for improvement.
  • Take the Equal Pay for Equal Work Pledge and make a plan to adjust compensation models to reflect that.
  • Embed inclusion and flexibility into your everyday culture through training, valuing diverse perspectives, creating company policies and connecting people together.
  • Take the B Impact Assessment to see how you stand with your current practices.

FINAL THOUGHT

International Women’s Day comes once a year, but we need to create a balance for better every day. Whether you’re supporting this movement as an individual or a business, you can start small. Find little ways to encourage diversity and inclusion. Talk about them and share them with friends, family and colleagues. Each action in support of International Women’s Day will create a world that’s better – and more human – because it’s balanced.

ABOUT Angela Fang

As a Digital Content Specialist, I'm always seeking to inspire and connect global audiences through strategic content marketing that tells stories. It's also my goal to optimize content for search in local markets for maximum quality and relevance. Collaborating closely with diverse clients across industries and with a multi-faceted digital team allows me to constantly learn new perspectives and insights that tailor my approach to each project.

Email: angela_fang@wordbank.com

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