I’m so blessed to have three amazing, loud, crazy, thoughtful, caring, smart and funny children. As a parent we all have big dreams for our children. We want them to be healthy, get an education, live life to the full, have adventures and fall in love. As we raise our babies it’s our job to keep them safe, we hold their hands as they tentatively take their first steps, we wipe away their tears and clean up their bloody knees and we teach them right from wrong.
I see a lot of myself and my husband in our three children but I also see unique individual characters. Do I love one more than the others – of course not. Do I think one deserves more than the others – of course not. And yet they are entering a world where the answer is yes! A world that thinks my sons deserve more than my daughter.
At 7 years old my daughter hit her first glass ceiling when she was dropped from the first team of football / soccer because she was the only girl. By the time she enters the work force, even if she’s doing the same job as her brothers with the same skills, qualifications and experience, she will earn less than them. If one of my sons identifies as gender fluid, or agender or bigender chances are they will encounter prejudice and bias in the workplace. If one of my children is gay they are likely to feel that sport is not a safe place for them.
In our home we celebrate difference and champion equity but outside of these walls the world is a different place. None of us are born racist, sexist or homophobic. We learn these behaviours based on our experiences. The systems and structures in our societies have been built by one type of person for one type of person and we need to change this because these systems and structures shape our experiences. We keep expecting the next generation to fix the problem in the system but they are raised by the system. It’s not their problem to fix it’s ours.
I will turn organisations inside out and upside down and rebuild them from the ground up if that’s what it takes to creates businesses where everyone feels safe and valued. Thankfully I don’t always have to go to this extreme!
There are so many simple, actionable steps we can all take to make the spaces we work in equitable. Research shows that when done well, diversity and inclusion in the workplace can lead to…..
– increased revenue
– reduced costs
– greater innovation
– increased employee engagement
– increased productivity
– reduce loss of talent
In short a Diverse, Inclusive, Value packed and Equitable business is a business that will THRIVE. I do what I do for my children and the next generation but you can chose to do it because it makes great business sense 😉