We proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2020. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Whilst we all know that gender parity within the workplace has improved over the past decades, we all also know that there is still a long way to go.
We interviewed Alia Bei, Regional HR Manager at GOGOVAN.
The theme for IWD2020 is #EachforEqual. Have you experienced gender stereotypes/gender bias in a professional context? If so, how have you been able to challenge this?
This is a vast and sensitive topic, and I can type pages, but I will keep it short. I think most women (not to over-generalise) have experienced being stereotyped or gender biases in life, let alone in the workplace. It is always a mixture of what local society dictates, and what the norm is in our professional field. It is especially more apparent for women in male-dominated spaces such as technology. Even though they are usually more sought out due to an increase in understanding the need for workplace diversity, they are a lot of the time perceived and measured at a different standard from and by their male counterparts within the same team.
Hence it is always essential to make sure:
- Business leaders are informed about these topics and naturally see talent instead of male or female employees
- The recruitment process is designed to hire for skills and culture fit
- Ensure equal opportunity workplace policy and relevant workshops are in place
- Make sure employees in the same functions are being measured equally through the same set of metrics and qualities
What does equality in the workplace look like for you?
For me, at the top of my mind, ideally:
- A workplace where employees can access essential up to date information on the company at all times regardless of what grade they are
- Perks and privileges that everyone can enjoy and not just for specific grades - we're all human!
- A clear and transparent path to success and development for all functions so that everyone knows what needs to be achieved to order to progress to the next level
How do you think parental leave should be approached in 2020?
During these tough times of uncertainty, I think it is vital to adopt new ways of working. Invest in having a flexible workplace, not just flexible working hours. If responsible employees are able to balance their personal and professional duties, you will get not only happy employees, but also a higher quality of work, dedication, and output. Of course, I'm sure some companies would disagree, but it has worked for us so far.
Do you feel social media has influenced a positive shift change for female leadership?
I do think so, with popular books like Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit, as well as the recent #metoo movement being always referenced on social platforms, women, in general, are more empowered and confident to speak up and be vocal to what they want to achieve in a workplace and their careers.
What have you or your business implemented to achieve positive changes for an equal workforce?
Various things actually: our recruitment process and compensation is blind to gender, race, and disabilities - we welcome all who can add value, hungry for continuous learning, and eager to help move the business forward. We also foster a culture where we can call each other out to discuss and correct a situation regardless of what your title and position is.
Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organisation/company they are employed by.