Like everyone, I have my own personal views and opinions about why I believe that having a diverse workforce positively impacts people and organisations on a number of levels, including productivity, creativity and profit.
They are my views through my own lived experience, stories I have listened to from other women in addition to independent research over the past 8 years. I have, and always have had, a desire to understand the ‘why?’ behind a specific situation. When I don’t understand why, I look into a topic and do my research, until I’m happy I have increased knowledge and a better understanding, which I can then use to support others in the same quest for answers.
Within the current economic climate, we all need to be thinking outside the box. Some things are out of our hands, but there are a whole host of things that we can have an impact on, one person at a team, one team at a time, one business at a time. Two of these things are wellbeing and communication.
It can sometimes be overwhelming when we think for a moment about the number of issues that need resolving in the world, but if we bury our heads in the sand and hope that someone else will help instead, we won’t just be heading for the cliff edge.. we’ll be falling off the cliff.
That said, those who know me well, know that I’m a ‘glass half full' type of person, always looking on the bright side and I don’t give up on something I passionately believe in. Especially when I know that the specific thing, the challenge, can be improved with the right steps in place.
The specific issue I’m focused on is one strand in a whole web of challenging strands, but one that has far reaching repercussions if it’s not addressed appropriately. I am set on making improvements to this particular strand, which ultimately has a knock-on effect on so many others.
A focus on wellbeing can’t wait until you reach a certain point in your business, or in your career, if you’re an individual. Our wellbeing and mental health impacts our day-to-day productivity, relationships, drive, creativity, motivation and focus… to name a few.
bump & glide covers a specific life and career stage: the perinatal period (from pregnancy to about a year after birth). I can't stress enough how incredibly important this period is if businesses are to strengthen their overall talent pipeline and if parents are going to be able to remain in the workforce thus, in turn, enhancing the diverse workforce which is so key to a growing economy.
The system we’re currently operating in hasn’t caught up with the changes that have happened around it over recent decades. It really must adapt to these changes in society, mindset and lifestyle.. before the impact on women and those they care for is too damaging.
I appreciate this all takes time. However, the time is now.
I’ll leave you with some stark data, from different sources, to provide you with opinions from other thought leaders and experts in this field. Everything points to the same elements and changes that are desperately needed…
“Women have done 29% more childcare per week than men during the pandemic, based on data from 16 countries.”
“It will take over 130 years to close the gender pay gap at the current rate.”
“4.3 million more women became unemployed between 2019 and 2020.”
www.pwc.co.uk - Women in Work Index 2022
“Not only is diversity crucial for creativity and social justice, but also research shows that a diverse workplace is good for the bottom line. (…) Here are 3 benefits to embracing diversity in the workplace: ‘Diverse Teams Boost Creativity and Innovation’, 'Workplace Diversity Creates Greater Opportunities for Professional Growth’ and ‘Better Decision-Making’. (…) Internal company advocacy attracts talented, ambitious, and diverse professionals. Roughly 64% of candidates research a company online before applying for an opening. An integral part of this research is what makes the company an attractive place to work.. And 1 in 3 will not apply for a position at a company that lacks diversity. (…) It creates a safe place for employees and it positively highlights a company’s reputation.”
www.forbes.com - Article ‘3 Benefits Of Diversity In The Workplace’ by Ashley Stahl
“Using Understanding Society, Professor Harkness, along with Understanding Society researchers Dr Magda Borkowska and Dr Alina Pelikh, mapped women's employment pathways for one year before the birth of their child until three years afterwards. They found that women and men experience a large divergence in their career paths following the birth of a baby, with only 27.8 per cent of women being in full-time work or self-employed three years after childbirth, compared to 90 per cent of new fathers. Mothers were much more likely to move to part-time employment once they had a child and those who did return to work experienced career stagnation with a lower chance of getting a promotion.”
www.understandingsociety.ac.uk - Article ‘How women’s employment changes after having a child.’