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Corporate Gender Sustainability – An affirmation for the Future of the Economy

Corporate Gender Sustainability – An affirmation for the Future of the Economy

We often hear about Corporate Social Responsibility, these are initiatives that hold organisations’ socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. But what we don’t really hear about is Corporate Gender Sustainability – an affirmation to uphold the professional development and visibility of women in the workplace.

To sustain the inclusion of women in the workplace, the women who are already in the system need to work together to pave the way for new arrivals by leading by example. As professionals, women bring something different to the corporate culture; We interpret business objectives using a process comparable to pregnancy or watching something or someone evolve.

From inception, we walk through the corporate objective, identifying the impact of each action taken at each milestone, the soft skills needed to manage any variables and the precision to see it through to successful completion. Creating a habitual culture or implementing a collaborative management style comes naturally to women because we naturally possess the nurturing soft skills to further the agenda.

While I’m passionate about all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, two of the goals I particularly advocate for is Goal 5 & 8 which is Gender Equality and Decent Work & Economic Growth as my personal and professional mandate to society.

Working within the capacity building sphere, I believe these goals highlight the major objectives that foster positive employer branding, strategic market domination, inclusive employee engagement, unbiased talent acquisition and recruitment activities, and most importantly organisational transformation initiatives using globally recognised frameworks.

Looking at the current state of the market, one thing I have observed is the increased representation of women in the workplace and the creation of gender-led communities derived from industries that were once only led by our male counterparts such as Tech, Financial Services, and construction to name a few . There is a brewing unwavering spirit of women stepping up and stepping out to be seen and most importantly acknowledged for the positive disruption they are causing in their various sectors.

In terms of equity as opposed to the equality; there is still a very long way to go. When I dissect equality, I see it as more of a tangible representation of women in the workplace; but when you look at equity, women are still struggling to access the resources to empower more women in leadership because we are still being confined to stereotypical ideologies from ageism to socio-economical class.

Women in Leadership is not a trend; There is a grey area between businesses who want to be seen promoting female leaders and those who actually believe in their capabilities to drive monumental, short and long-term business objectives.

There is still a gender gap in leadership succession planning roadmaps; you are either in executive leadership or you are a “cog in a larger wheel” which is a metaphor that simply means women are playing a small, often unappreciated part, but crucial role in a larger operation. In an actual wheel, the cog is a small part among the mass of other working parts. But for the whole wheel to work, it needs that one tiny cog.

This is a global pandemic, one that is hidden in plain sight and the earlier we learn to differentiate equality from equity, there will be a real breakthrough in creating a people-centric economic balance.

But who do we hold accountable to drive this change? While we can look to Private sector executive/board leadership teams to review corporate policies, and curate an inclusive culture; Or look to Public Sector agencies to implement federal regulatory governance; There is a call for women to adopt and adapt a new strategy to acquiring leadership positions using psychology and strategy rather than relying solely on their technical expertise.

In my 2nd published book “The Career Woman’s Mantra”  I discuss the “Multi-faceted Woman” and “Defining your Professional alter-ego” from a psychological perspective by ‘unpacking’ how women can carve out a place for themselves in a demanding environment, overcome challenges, and have faith in their importance in the workplace.

It’s about championing women to improve and rise to challenges in evolving industries and unifying to create and sustain change for future generations. Impactful Representation is not just the visibility of diversity in a workforce, but the curation of a culture that imbibes sustainability for the foreseeable future.

So how can you influence and sustain Corporate Gender Sustainability in the workplace? One way is to initiate CSR Projects that support the inclusion or the empowerment of women. This can be done by reaching out to charities, non-government organisations, and organisations who objective is to support women and discuss partnerships.

Most organisation have a quota for CSR Projects as a way of giving back to the community but from a business strategy they also work with brands or initiatives that also give them the exposure they need for brand awareness and can also double-up as a market entry strategy for an untapped market or clientele depending on the business strategy.

The global market recognises the value proposition that women bring, and with the United Nations promoting gender equality and empowerment of women as part of their Sustainable Development Goals; it works in any organisations favour to support initiatives that acknowledges the importance of women in the workplace which further solidifies the brand as an “equal opportunities” employer.

Another way to main the presence of Corporate Gender Sustainability is to carve sector-specific business groups that support the development of the organisation but promotes women or/and their inclusion. Organisations who sponsor/carve business groups such as “Women in Construction” “Women in IT” etc. are strategically opening doors for cross-selling across sectors, keeping women at the centre of economic development.

In an economy where businesses are striving to dominate the market share, organisations have had to maximise innovation using various consumer categories to push their agenda forward. For example, businesses can decide to focus on products and services that are child-friendly, because the children would use their bargaining power to entice parents to buy into their brand.

The same thought pattern can be used when women come together to bring their various expertise to the table. Female consumers are always inspired when they see their fellow woman in large numbers, working together to combat a stigma of inequality, and creating a platform that demonstrates the women’s pivotal role in business.

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