Beyoncé may think that girls can run the world - her message of empowerment, that with work hard you can achieve your goals, is most relevant today as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 (8 March); a day that applauds the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - also marking a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter, which asks; how can you help to forge a more gender-balanced world?
We live in an era of skills shortages, but also widespread technological disruption and opportunity to gain global competitive advantage through Industry 4.0 adoption. At a time where innovation means survival, it is more important than ever to ensure that all members of the workforce are given a fair opportunity to excel and achieve their potential.
Equal opportunity = business sense
Collectively, we can all play our part - this is not a women’s issue, it is a business issue and it makes business sense to enable innovation. With this in mind, Getting to Equal 2019, research published by Accenture, reports that the mindset for innovation is nearly five times higher for employees working in a business with a robust culture of equality - where everyone can advance and thrive.
In a culture of equality, the strongest factors underpinning innovation relate to empowering employees; this can be done through means of providing relevant skills training, flexible working arrangements, and respecting work-life balance, according to Accenture.
Alongside having the right culture to flourish, businesses should also consider returnships. The Government launched career break return programmes in March 2019, pledging £5million to support businesses.
Returnships help experienced professionals who have taken a long career break to get back up to speed and find roles at mid to senior level. The ONS report that of the adults that are economically inactive because they are looking after children, elderly or sick relatives, 88.7% are women – that’s 1.9million women.
Returner programmes create access to an extra pool of people who either have the right skills or could easily be re-trained. Returnships have been available in the US for over a decade and have been found to be particularly valuable within the fast-moving tech sector. Popularity is slowly increasing in the UK with 37 returnship programmes being available in the UK according to data from Women Returners.
future skills campaign
We have a team at Jonathan Lee Recruitment advocating women in engineering and indeed the workplace; attending events and working in conjunction with our #FutureSkills programme to support women throughout our recruitment process.
The team consists of (see photo, left to right): Kate Barnard, Lisa Osborne, Jessica Williams, Katharine Bignell, Ruth Lampitt, Georgia Silk, Sarah Davies, Lois Weston, Katherine Garratt and Mary O’Brien, alongside Jenny Morrison, Teresa Anderson, Jayne Wogan and Claire Male.
We pledge to support and inspire women to achieve their potential; both within our own business, and also in supporting our candidates. At Jonathan Lee Recruitment we are committed to supporting equality and diversity throughout the recruitment process; from start to finish.
So today, let’s celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
For more information about International Women’s Day 2019 visit internationalwomensday.com.