Women have come a long way in business; however, the work must continue to achieve equity. Women worldwide celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) and Women's History Month in March. These observances are an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of women and celebrate their achievements while highlighting the challenges and obstacles that women continue to face. By recognizing and acknowledging the gender pay gap, lack of representation in leadership roles, and gender-based bias, Women's History Month and IWD help raise awareness and promote action toward creating a more equitable society for all.
Recently two MBMentors Women's Collective members attended a Twin Cities International Women's Day (IWD) event with the theme of Embracing Equity. The event sponsors were RSP (Ready Set Pivot), Mosaic Venue, and WIRED (Women Impacting Revenue who are Empowered & Driven). The panel consisted of Trish Farrow, Arctic Wolf; Sarah Ferden, CBIZ; Chaz Sandifer, theNEWmpls; and Kelli Williams, The BrandLab, all of whom shared their thoughts on what equity means to them and how their organizations are working toward achieving it. This event is a great example of partnership between these different companies and leaders and lifting each other up and collaborating and raising awareness on important topics.
According to the panelists, equity is having the education of the history of marginalized people to understand individuals, see them, demonstrate empathy, build authentic relationships to solve problems and create fairness so that people can show up as their authentic selves and use their unique gifts to thrive. In short, equity is when everyone is respected, seen, and valued. To achieve equity, companies must commit to the journey by taking daily action to create a safe environment and bridging to make changes. The panelists emphasized the importance of using their privilege and positions of power to ask hard questions and push the equitable agenda forward. The equity journey is a continuous process that requires the linking of arms. To be an accomplice or an ally, one must act, using their privilege to ask hard questions and push the equitable agenda forward. Partnerships and relationships are essential to success; the worst thing one can do is act on fear and not say anything. Embracing an abundance mindset and sharing opportunities to help other women is the key to progress.
What steps can we take to embrace equity here and now? Consider the following:
Raise your awareness and understanding of marginalized people. Understanding the experience of others is essential to building empathy and creating a more equitable world.
Support your community by listening, providing a safe space for all, being mindful of what is or is not said, and helping each other create a more inclusive workplace.
Use your privilege to challenge people's beliefs and speak up for those absent.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable; the price of changing the status quo is our comfort.
The equity journey is one of learning through trial and error; this means making mistakes. The vital step is to acknowledge the mistake and learn from it.
Show up for marginalized communities in words and deeds using your voice and influence to identify equitabilities.
Provide or leverage existing platforms for women to connect (like MBM Women's collective), learn from one another, and support each other's growth and success.
Collaborate with other small businesses or solo entrepreneurs to support women-owned businesses. Use a partnership with other companies to promote each other's products or services or collaborate on joint efforts to reach a wider audience.
These actions may seem trivial, but they can significantly impact women's lives in your community and industry. You can contribute to creating a more equitable and inclusive world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
In conclusion, take a moment to focus on women's progress as a reminder that the journey of women's equity is ongoing. We must commit to the equity journey and take regular action toward creating a more inclusive world. Let us celebrate women's achievements while acknowledging the challenges ahead, and work together to create a more equitable world for all.
What step will you take? Please share your thoughts and add your ideas to the list. We would love to hear from you.
To find our more about our Women’s Collective visit our site here