Diversity & inclusion6 min read

International Women’s Day 2020: 8 inspiring organizations making progress on gender equality

The United Nations started celebrating International Women’s Day, a focal point in the movement for women’s rights, in 1975 – sixty-five years since it was first organized in New York City in 1909. 

Today, International Women’s Day is a monumental date in the calendar – it ranges from being a public holiday in some countries, to a protest in others, and, to being largely ignored elsewhere.

There’s a hot debate around whether awareness days simply pay lip service to under-represented groups or whether they actually help us make progress. 

Regardless of your view, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the organizations that are making progress towards gender parity and who are striving to create an equal world 

Check out, in alphabetical order, the inspiring allies that are making progress towards becoming #EachForEqual.

 

30% Club

The 30% Club recently hit their milestone of 30% representation of women on the boards of FTSE350 – UK’s most valuable 350 public companies. As a sign of the remarkable change in the boardroom culture, the campaign group reported a 9.5% increase in proportion since they first set the target in 2010. The club also has a US chapter since 2014 with a total of 28.6% women S&P100 directors. Hive Learning is proud to be the 30% Club’s digital learning partner.

Key leaders:

Helena Morrissey (Founder), Brenda Trenowden (Global Chair), Ann Cairns (Global Chair), Peter Grauer (Founding US Chair)

Dropbox’s “Stay” meetings and Piloted Career Conversations

In 2019, Dropbox focused on increasing representation of underrepresented minorities (URMs) and women in senior leadership across all their functions. As part of the initiatives, they piloted Career Conversations and “Stay” meetings to better facilitate having long-term career development conversations with managers and skip-level meetings with senior leadership. The result? URM Senior Leaders have gone up from 5% to 9% and the percentage of Women Senior Leaders has increased from 32% to 34%.

Key leaders:

Danny Guillory (Head of DEI)

DWP Digital Voices

DWP Digital’s IT systems manage 7.35 million benefit claims each year, paying £165 billion in benefits and pensions. Now in its third year, Digital Voices is a program for women in DWP Digital to learn new digital skills and build confidence. It won a Civil Service gender inclusion award in 2019 and a Women in IT award in January 2020.

Key leaders:

Joanne Rewcastle (Head of Internal Digital and Cross-Government Engagement), Simon McKinnon (Chief Digital and Information Officer)

iRelaunch

iRelaunch’s vision is to have every company running an entry-level college internship program also run a mid-career return to work program side-by-side. iRelaunch co-founded and co-leads the STEM Re-entry Task Force with the Society of Women Engineers, which has 31 corporate members, representing leading companies in industry sectors including technology, defense, aerospace, pharma, automobiles, industrial equipment, oil and gas, and more. To date, it has engaged with over 80,000 relaunchers.

Key leaders:

Carol Fishman Cohen (Chair and Co-Founder), Jill Kravetz (CEO)

Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group has for three consecutive years been named one of Forbes Best Employers for Diversity, received perfect scores on the Corporate Equality Index for five years running, and for two years now named one of Forbes Best Employers for Women. This last award is the result of an impressive array of programs and initiatives designed to not only attract top female talent to Lincoln Financial Group but to give them ample opportunity to thrive and advance there. 

Key leaders:

Jen Warne (Chief Talent Officer), Lisa Bettinger-Buckingham (Chief People, Place & Brand Officer)

Pantheon International

Pantheon International, a private equity investment company, eschewed the “old boy network” in favor of formal advertising and interviewing. In 2019, they appointed Dame Sue Owen DCB and Mary Ann Sieghart as non-executive directors, neither of whom has worked in the financial sector.

Key leaders:

Paul Ward (Managing Partner), Mary Ann Sieghart (Non-Executive Director), Dame Sue Owen DCB (Non-Executive Director)

PepTalkHer

PepTalkHer coaches corporate employees so that they can close the pay gap. They work with Fortune 500 companies and funded start-ups to help them retain diverse leadership talent and to empower female leaders and engage millennials to know their value via their free app and community. So far, they have reported helping people in their 30s negotiate $60,000 in pay raises.

Key leader:

Journalist-turned-entrepreneur, founder and CEO Meggie Palmer

The Glass Wall

Although not an organization, The Glass Wall makes it onto the list because of its potential for impact on its readers. Drawing on authors Unerman and Jacob’s experiences in male-dominated businesses, The Glass Wall provides clear, easy-to-apply strategies for success for women in the workplace. Access an exclusive podcast with the authors here.

Authors:

Kathryn Jacob OBE has a broad range of experience in the media industry and is the current CEO of Pearl&Dean. She also sits on numerous boards including those of the Development Board of RADA, the Board of AOC Sport, The Council and Board of the Advertising Association and the Executive Board of SAWA.

Sue Unerman is the Chief Transformation Officer at Media.com. She is the author of multiple books, was named 2017 “Media Strategist of the Year” and she co-hosts the MediaCom Connected Podcast.

 

Related Article: 

The 3% Movement and Refinery29 featured male allies who have actively championed women in various aspects of their life. Take a look!

 

Join the Inclusion Works Leader’s Network for exclusive access to expert insights, and weigh in on the hottest topics in inclusion.

P.S. Have you checked our interviews with the leading movers, shakers, and changemakers who are shaping the inclusion debate? Check them out now.

 

💬 Speak your mind

Which organizations do you think have set a great example in building a more equal world? Let us know! We’re are always keen to hear from you. Drop your comments, feedback, or whatever else you’d like to share with us here.

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