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:
- Men and women need to do this together. Take personal responsibility and have the confidence to speak up if something is not right.
- Equal pay is one of the the most effective measures. Encourage this through pay transparency and preventing secret salary negotiations.
- Beware of unconscious biases. Job descriptions and team socials are good examples of where they can sneak in.
- 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.
- Lead with examples. A senior man working effectively part time disproves the critics and paves the way for others.
- Internal networks are as important as external networks. Both should be cultivated.
- 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.
- 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.
- Smaller companies with more limited resources can take advice on gender equality from bigger companies.
- The UK is doing better than most! And companies like PwC are leading the way. But we’re all responsible for making it better.