We asked our female employees about gender in the workplace.

By Lowri Hill

Here’s what happened when we asked our female employees about gender in the workplace.

For International Women’s Day 2021, the women in the company got together to share their views on gender equality and the workplace. Within our small crew (4 women and growing) the outlook was reassuringly positive. All four shared feelings of content, value and support when it came to being female staff within the company. So what next? Opening the dialogue is one thing, making ambitious goals for meaningful progression of diversity and inclusion is another thing entirely.

The Working Woman in 2021

It’s 2021 and in the wake of 2020’s global anti-racist movement, we see companies scrambling to project images of support towards minority groups in life and business. In theory, this wave of public outrage should have signalled wider infrastructural and cultural change. However, take a closer look at the power play and you find a different reality. Women and particularly women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, continue to be underrepresented in senior leadership roles. A recent Catalyst research poll showed that despite there being more women in work than ever before, in 2018-2019, women represented just 18.6% of executive committee members in the FTSE 250.

We have chosen to look at IWD 2021 through the lens of intersectional feminism (a movement that recognises that barriers to gender equality vary according to other aspects of identity), because we understand that discrimination comes in all forms and it felt important to acknowledge that for some people, those forms of inequality can overlap. For us, the theme “choose to challenge” extends past gender inequality and applies to all forms of bias.

Yellow Sub’s Big Problem

With such glowing reviews from female employees, it would be easy to simply pat ourselves on the back and leave it there. That kind of inertia however, is one of the attitudes that has led us to the current state of play where women are missing out on investment opportunities as well as positions of power. For example, the British Business Bank says for every £1 of UK investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, all-male teams get 89p, and mixed gender teams get 10p.

On paper, the structure of Yellow Sub Geo appears to reflect these statistics – the Directors are exclusively white, male and in their 40s.  Here is where the challenge lies; as spearheaded by 2020’s BLM movement, it’s not enough to simply not be racist, you should be actively anti-racist. The same goes for gender inclusion in business - this is no time for empty gestures. Currently, Yellow Sub Geo is a small company with a big appetite for growth. With this is mind, it’s crucial that existing positive attitudes towards diversity and inclusion are hard baked into our culture now to avoid any dilution as the workforce expands. Our female talent reaching positions of power won’t happen by accident, it’s a path that needs to be actively carved out, nurtured and pursued.

5 Gender Inclusion Oaths.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “choose to challenge”

1. We will help forge a gender equal world
In line with UN Global Goal 5, we will promote the empowerment of all women and girls in the belief that political, economic and social equality benefits all the world’s citizens.

2. We will challenge gender stereotypes and bias
Gender bias undermines our social fabric and devalues all of us. By challenging gender stereotypes, we uplift the women around us and capitalise on all human potential.

3. We will forge positive visibility for women
Our company vision includes increased female leadership with the belief that diversity of thought leads to better problem solving and greater business benefits.

4. We will uphold dialogue around diversity and inclusion into our culture
D&I will never be a box ticking exercise. We promise to advocate for continuous discussions around gender and race with the very people it concerns and give consideration to external consultants.

5. We will hold ourselves accountable
Along with meeting B-corp requirements, we will measure employee feedback as well as more typical KPI’s around recruiting, retention and promotion.

By publishing this blog into the universe, we allow YOU, the reader to hold us accountable. The Yellow Sub journey has only just begun and there’s so much to learn and achieve, consider this your official invitation to follow along!


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