Every year on 8 March, we celebrate the abilities and achievements of women across the globe for International Women’s Day.
It’s also a day where we collectively acknowledge that there is still work to be done to establish true equality between the genders in the workplace, in healthcare settings, in education and at home.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. Equity differs from equality by recognising that it is not enough to provide people with equal access to opportunities and resources. We must also recognise that each person’s individual circumstances are different; they may therefore require different opportunities and resources to reach an equal standing.
Equality vs equity
Take this example from the International Women’s Day website. In the top picture, a policy of pure equality would be exclusionary to the majority of the bike riders – their bikes are either too big, too small or simply ill-adapted for their individual needs. Despite being given exactly the same resource, each person’s circumstances mean that they are held back from achieving equal results. In the bottom picture, all riders are equipped with a bike that meets their unique needs, meaning they are able to fully and equally participate in the activity.
How TOMD #EmbracesEquity
At TOMD, we know we’re not perfect – there will always be work to do! But when we asked our (majority female) office about their experience of equity at work, the answers we received back were gratifying indeed.
“For me, the genuine understanding that my family will always come first is refreshing and liberating. I’ve never had to worry about staying at home when my children are ill, it’s a given that my family are my priority. That support and understanding has allowed me to be myself and feel secure in the knowledge that having a family will never hold me back in my career or lead to feelings that I’m not pulling my weight. In that supportive and transparent environment, I can thrive.”
Jo, Director & Head of Technical & Content at TOMD
“Sadly, many women lack confidence in the workplace and can be less likely to ask for career development benefits such as payrises and promotions. Despite my own lack of confidence when I first started at TOMD, I found that I was recognised and given opportunities based on my ability – not simply because I shouted the loudest. It’s allowed me to develop in my role on my own terms and my confidence has continued to grow as a result!”
Chloe, Senior Marketing & Content Specialist at TOMD
“I remember one of my first jobs, where I was regularly called things like ‘love’ and ‘my girl’ instead of my actual name. I also remember male colleagues taking credit for my ideas and work right in front of my face! Of course, times have moved on since then but I’ve been at TOMD for eight years and I’ve never had to fight to be respected or simply do my job.”
Nicola, Head of Design at TOMD
“One of my colleagues and I are Muslim and observe Ramadan. I remember my manager asking how she could accommodate me to ensure that I could work more comfortably during that month. I ended up doing more flexible hours so that I didn’t have to work so late into the afternoon, when I was most tired and hungry.”
Zaynah, Corporate Marketing Co-ordinator at TOMD
“At previous jobs, I’ve felt disrespected because of my gender, and like I needed to do more work just to get some level of recognition. At TOMD, I feel like I have the right to an opinion just like any other member of the team, male or female!”
Tracy, Senior Corporate Marketing Administration Executive at TOMD
“I remember working at a male-dominated company where there were a lot of jokes, banter and pressure to be ‘one of the boys’. You had to develop a bit of a hard skin and join in with the banter to get by – they were lovely guys but it just wasn’t who I was. At TOMD, I can do my work and be myself – without my colleagues thinking I’m ‘no fun’ or that I can’t ‘take a joke’.”
Amanda, Corporate Marketing Executive at TOMD
Learn more about International Women’s Day’s mission
To find out more about what International Women’s Day is all about and to understand more about this year’s theme, please visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/.