HE FOR SHE: What can we all do to ensure men and women are equals at work?

PWC HQ, London. May 12th, 2015

PwC kindly hosted us, and male friends and colleagues, for a inclusive evening focused on what we can all do to ensure equality in the work place. Our four brilliant panelists – Ian Powell (PWC’s Chairman), Sarah Drinkwater (Google’s Head of Campus), Jane Marsh (Innocent’s Head of People) and Kieran Foad (Santander’s Chief Risk Officer) – openly discussed what they’ve managed to achieve, what policies and lessons they’re focused on, and what they hope to achieve in the future.

There was a lot to take away from the evening, so we’ve wrapped our 10 key takeaways on what we can we all do to ensure men and women are equals at work:

  1. Men and women need to do this together. Take personal responsibility and have the confidence to speak up if something is not right.
  2. Equal pay is one of the the most effective measures. Encourage this through pay transparency and preventing secret salary negotiations.
  3. Beware of unconscious biases. Job descriptions and team socials are good examples of where they can sneak in.
  4. Flexible working should be endorsed, supported and demonstrated from the top. It needs to be enabled right through the organisation, not just for certain groups.
  5. Lead with examples. A senior man working effectively part time disproves the critics and paves the way for others.
  6. Internal networks are as important as external networks. Both should be cultivated.
  7. Look around, not just up, for mentors. They don’t need to be at the most senior level. Initiatives such as upwards mentoring can have benefits for all involved.
  8. Targets and metrics help speed things up and encourage the right behaviour. But no one wants to feel that they are being promoted by positive discrimination.
  9. Smaller companies with more limited resources can take advice on gender equality from bigger companies.
  10. The UK is doing better than most! And companies like PwC are leading the way. But we’re all responsible for making it better.

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