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March 10, 2018

My reflections on IWD 2018 and a call for consistent effort

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Wow, what a week! I’ve had the enormous privilege to follow my bliss this week by speaking and facilitating at four IWD2018 events. I’ve spoken to HR & Legal Practitioners, Aviation & Aerospace Professionals, Sports Students & Teachers & Executive’s & Senior Leaders in the manufacturing industry. Diversity plus!

Whilst the groups were diverse, their intent was not. They were all committed to inclusion, celebrating women, bringing women forward, showcasing new initiatives that benefit women and above all, making pledges to keep the momentum going beyond one day or week.

#PressForProgress My Pledge

I was honored to hear a lot of pledges from women and men yesterday. The pledges were genuine, thoughtful, meaningful and keep me perennially optimistic about the future for all women to achieve equal status in my lifetime.

I closed my IWD 2018 facilitation duties with my own pledge which is:

“I pledge to continue to #PressForProgress by being a courageous champion of women, every day. I will do this, irrespective of the risk to me personally or professionally, by speaking out, stepping up and being a visible role model for women and men.”

What did you pledge?

I Hope IWD Changes

I’m also perennially optimistic (most days!) that IWD will become, in my lifetime, an opportunity to celebrate Women’s achievements, advances and success and to STOP being a call to action and a “tick & flick” day.

A “tick & flick day” means its the one day of the year that leaders stop to deliberately and purposefully consider the role of women in the success of their organization. Every other day, women assume a “lesser than” status. This “lesser than” status is demonstrated by:

  1. A board of directors that is not gender balanced
  2. An Executive teams that is not gender balanced
  3. Women in the organization being paid less than men
  4. No flexible working policy
  5. No parental leave policy, process & training

And those are but a few evidence points.

Why Women Hate IWD

Georgie Dent hates IWD, or what it’s become. I agree in part. I love the freedom to shout out, celebrate and dominate the social media pages without (much) concern for pushback. But I’d like this to be done all year round, not just one day. And I’d like organizations to get seriously serious about advancing women, every day, every week, every month.

I want leaders to stop putting on a breakfast, lunch, cocktails etc once a year and considering that their duty is done to achieve gender equality.

A leaders duty to their people, customers and shareholders is to #GSD (Get Shit Done!) about making women equal. Read some McKinsey research if you need a reason to do the right thing.

Your Call to Action

Your organization needs to STOP ticking and flicking and START #GSD on gender equality. Today.

I’m looking forward to helping you do that.

About Michelle Redfern

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

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