Every year on the 8th March, the globe turns its attention to celebrating the achievements of women for International Women’s Day and how we, with collective and individual actions, can forge true gender equality.
And for 2023’s focus, the campaign is shining its spotlight on equity – both its importance in creating a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination and its power in progressing inclusivity and belonging for women everywhere.
UNDERSTANDING AND EMPOWERING EQUITY
But what is equity and how is it distinguished from equality? The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign defines equality as “each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.” However, equity “recognises that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.”
Understanding equity and putting it at the heart of gender parity efforts is the best way to ensure that women have the support to succeed on their chosen path.
This is because equity recognises that people start from different places and face circumstances that make achieving the same goals difficult. Shifting to equity-led mindsets and actions can help progress equality and inclusion for traditionally marginalised people.
THE POWER OF EQUITABLE EMPLOYERS
As an inclusive employer and IWD supporter, Node4 is committed to enabling and supporting gender equity so that our workforce has the resources and opportunities to succeed as women in technology.
This equitable success is a vital issue that we are acutely aware of as a technology organisation – while good strides are being made, the technology sector remains gender biased toward men and can be a challenging place for women to access and contribute their immense value to.
Samantha Thorne, Head of People at Node4, stresses the importance of empowering gender equity at a young age. “Looking at STEM GCSE uptake, it’s clear that girls need better, more equitable resources to embark upon a technology career pathway. In 2022, as a percentage of the total, the number of girls taking Computing GCSE flatlined at 21%. The figures for Design and Technology and Engineering stood at 29% and 17% respectively.”
“This is especially important for technology, which is only considered a first-choice career for 3% of women,” adds Samantha. “At Node4, we’ll keep taking action to #EmbraceEquity and drive gender parity amongst future talent by visiting schools and providing meaningful work experience for those who may not have considered themselves a future technology talent.”
Hannah Birch, Node4’s Managing Director Digital agrees, stating: “While we’ve made significant strides forward as an industry, there’s no denying that women are still under-represented at a leadership level. So clearly, there’s still work to be done. That said, I think that women need to take it upon themselves to consciously skill up for the boardroom, act decisively and with self-confidence – and never be fearful of speaking truth to power. Armed with the right know-how and competencies, no woman should ever underrate her credibility when it comes to undertaking an executive leadership role.
“Whilst statistics show that 9% of Britons are currently working in technology, only 26% of them are women and a low percentage of those are in C-Suite roles,” commented Dave Birchall, Node4 Chief People Officer. “As an organisation, we’re committed to working towards a future where equity is embraced, and these statistics are more representative of society. IWD is a great opportunity for organisations to check and challenge the status quo, to create an equitable future for talent.”
4women – OUR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT
As an organisation, we understand the importance of both highlighting the issues faced by women looking for a career in tech, whilst also attempting to address them. As part of this and as a step on the road to embracing equity, we hosted our first 4Women event on International Women’s Day 2023. We invited women from across the Node4 group, with the event designed to educate and inspire women and girls from all walks of life with talks on four key topics:
- Imposter Syndrome with Hannah Birch, Node4 Managing Director Digital
- A Career Pathway to Tech with Chloe Ratcliffe, Node4 Service Delivery Manager
- Motherhood vs Career with Emma Johnson, TNP Head of People
- Women in Senior Management with Carly Allan, Tisski Professional Services Director
It was inspiring to hear the experiences and stories of women across the group. We’d like to thank our speakers for sharing their insight and experience, and our attendees for joining us.
Learn more about International Women’s Day and how you and others can #EmbraceEquity here.
You can also learn more about IWD from these sources: