International Women’s Day 2023
This year’s theme for international women’s day 2023 is known as the ‘DigitALL’ movement. This is the idea of using technology to level the playing field at work and to achieve gender equality.
For so long, society has thought of women as caregivers with little relevance in business, science or the economy. Still to this day, stereotypes of women run deep. As a result, many women lack the confidence to grasp opportunities, feeling like an imposter in a man’s world. Despite huge strides towards gender equality across the world, many many jobs still feel ‘male dominated’, especially in certain industries.
Traditionally, jobs that involve physical labour, those that required a higher degree, and anything related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
At iungo, we’re bucking the trend. Our CEO is an engineer and an Astrophysicist, and she happens to be female! Our Operations Analyst, Zainab works on the frontline to protect our business from cyber threats.
As a nation, by celebrating all of our amazing and capable women and girls for International Women’s Day, we are all contributing to eliminating these stereotypes and ensuring there is no glass ceiling on talent.
Building a Positive Culture in the Workplace
Learning & Development
Upskilling can benefit all employees individually whilst also creating a strategy for enabling equity in the workplace. Some employees will need support to build their confidence in meetings, whilst others may have struggled with maths at school and subsequently avoid spreadsheets.
Tailoring a personalised learning plan to each employee will help them to unlock their potential and achieve a sense of belonging within the workplace. Promoting and encouraging your employees to upskill and develop will have a positive impact on their loyalty and improve employee retention.
Read our recent White Paper with the Open University to learn more about the role of Learning & Development in enabling social mobility in the workplace.
Digital Technology for All
At iungo, we are a hybrid working company. This means we work from flexibly remotely, but also have team office days twice a week. The benefits for this are clear in our business. From how we collaborate online to valuing our employees mental health. According to Business Wales “75% of companies worldwide have now introduced flexible working policies and noted a substantial growth in performance.” This shows that the role of digital technology not only increases employee’s productivity, but also the growth of the business.
So how can you incorporate digital technology into your business? At iungo we have a few key assets that contribute to how we work. The first is having a cloud platform to create, collaborate, and interact with team members. This platform should include video conferencing. It is hugely important that meetings happen within your team, so that they stay engaged and can come together effectively. Lastly, and possibly the most vital, is ensuring your team has devices! It is impossible to be able to work effectively from home without digital technology.
Digital technology not only brings us a future way of work, but also the future of digital learning and all that follows. Something that used to feel futuristic has now become a bridge to the Digital Skills Gap. Digital literacy is increasingly becoming a fundamental skill in our world. But what happens to the young people that can’t access this? Covid-19 was the beginning of the world recognising that if we don’t change, young people and future workers’ education will be left behind. Businesses need to focus on reskilling & upskilling their current employees. There has to be an increased focus on hiring diverse, minority groups and young people. In order to attract, and retain what employees you gain you have to be the ‘employee of choice’. Being able to show your employees that you can support them and encourage them to grow in our ever-changing world.
Inclusion & Respect
Equity in the workplace is not just about capability and potential, it also means being respectful and inclusive of all individuals regardless of their backgrounds, views and beliefs. Despite it being illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their gender, many women still miss out on opportunities because of an non-inclusive workplace culture.
Industries such as finance, engineering, and construction, are male-dominated, despite their customers representing all genders. Cultivating an inclusive workplace culture attracts people from more diverse backgrounds, increases opportunities to hire, retain, and engage a diverse workforce. A workforce representative of your customers, also enhances your ability to respond effectively and empathetically to your customers needs and expectations, improving customer satisfaction.
Within iungo, we have a balanced gender demographic across all levels. We’re proud to have strong, capable female Role Models with a passion for people, STEM, Net Zero and Cyber Security.
These individuals include Zainab Al-Muharrami, who says “I feel as though I am an important part of the team at iungo, helping to keep the business safe from cyber threats, and ensuring the operation runs smoothly. Going into Cyber Security, I wasn’t aware of just how large the gender imbalance was. Being the only girl on my university programme was definitely daunting and slightly intimidating but it also gave me the drive to want to push through even more. The male to female ratio in the Tech Industry is something that needs to change and I hope that’s something we can see in the future.”
Another great example would be Ploy Nilduang, who leads our Employee Experience Team, managing recruitment, HR, engagement and wellbeing. She says “Equity is embedded in everything we do at iungo. Our “AAA” (Attitude, Aptitude, Ambition) Recruitment Framework means that we select new team members based on their potential, not their education and previous experience. As a woman working at iungo, I always feel that I can speak up confidently regarding projects, policies and our operations if I feel as though we can improve. I know that my opinions and feedback will not only be listened to, but respected and possibly implemented. iungo has nurtured a culture of respect and forward thinking which everyone in the company adopts regardless of gender.”
Our Content Strategist and Learning Experience Designer, Charlie Fisher, is a true Eco Warrior. She’s developing a brand new suite of innovative Green Skills programmes to promote the Circular Economy. Charlie Fisher says: “Working at iungo has been hugely inspirational for me. Our business is constantly breaking stereotypes of what a womens role in work should look like. I’m really proud to be a part of a company that not only challenges boundaries, but pioneers against them for women.”
So, why do we celebrate international women’s day?
International women’s day is celebrated to signify the economic, cultural, political and social achievements of women. On this day, we celebrate, support and educate for women’s equality, bringing awareness and discussion to gender equality, supporting reproductive rights and choices, and standing with women against violence, abuse and poor treatment in the workplace.
When did it all start?
It was started on March 8th, in 1917. International women’s day was made a national holiday and adopted by the global feminist movement sometime within the 1960’s. It’s celebrated in several countries worldwide, and though it is not an official public holiday, we feel it should be celebrated nonetheless! Giving appreciation and supporting their colleagues, mothers, carers, loved ones and all women alike. This is a great chance to give an extra bit of appreciation and respect to the women in your life!
How can we support international women’s day?
We can support international women’s day and their 2023 theme, by reporting a personal achievement in the digital community, and historically harder to get to reach areas and fields of work that were once only granted and acknowledged for men, sharing videos and posts of others who are celebrating achievements, get your employees involved to honour and acknowledge the hard working women of your organisations.
Another example is acknowledging the gender pay gap reporting, to ensure equality, consistency and fair treatment of all sexes in the different sectors of the workplace. More women appearing in senior roles to promote diversity and inclusion of equality across the C-Suite. And even in more broad work fields, supporting more flexibility for parents especially single mothers.
Most importantly, just celebrating with and amongst women on this day is the biggest step towards a change to the future. So, what can you do to celebrate the women in your life today?