As I’m sure you already know, today — March 8th — is International Women’s Day. The theme for this year is ‘Balance for Better’. Here at FlexMR we know the value of and actively work to achieve gender diversity within the workplace, and as such, today we are celebrating everyone within our workforce. I’ll admit, that when I first suggested doing something for International Women’s Day, I wasn’t sure that many people would want to contribute anything to something that was going public; so, I was so happy when I started receiving quotes from many of my colleagues and friends on why International Women’s Day is so incredibly important.
Here are some of FlexMR’s great employees explaining why International Women’s Day is important to them, and what they think of gender diversity within the market research industry:
Pam Taylor, Managing Director: “Creating an environment of gender equality both in and out of the workplace can be tough, however when there is a balance of genders contributing and supporting one another, there is nothing that we can’t achieve.
A staggering two thirds of women suffer from imposter syndrome when it comes to their careers, so it is important to break through this feeling and be confident in what we can and want to do. Providing equal opportunities for all is a right that we should all be working towards for the betterment of the insights industry and the world.”
Creating an environment of gender equality both in and out of the workplace can be tough, however when there is a balance of genders contributing and supporting one another, there is nothing that we can’t achieve.
Paul Hudson, FlexMR CEO: “We benefit greatly at FlexMR because of the high proportion of women in our team. The balance of skills that Pam and I bring within higher level management is rare and creates better success over the long term. In market research we have a rare industry in that women seem to be over-indexed in general (there are far more female researchers I think) but they are still under-represented in leadership teams.
I’m also disappointed that since we built a development team in FlexMR we seem to have mirrored a general stereotype of having a female team in the research areas but male team in the development area, which shows just how far we still have to go, both as a society and as a company.”
Dorota Crockford, CIO: “I look at Women’s day as an opportunity to remember all the women who over the course of history have changed the way women are perceived today. What makes this day special is the fact that their perseverance and courage is celebrated by both men and women all over the World!”
Chris Martin, FlexMR CMO: “Creative minds can come from anywhere, and creativity is a trait that is sorely needed in all areas of business, marketing, and market research. The ‘Balance for Better’ theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is very appropriate for the market research industry, since the ratio of men to women within the research and managerial departments are skewed.
Creating equal opportunities for all genders will boost our industry up as a model for others, and allow the consequent increased innovation to push us into the future.”
Josie Sanderson, Project Manager: “For me, International Women’s Day is important as an opportunity to notice and celebrate the achievements of women, but even more than that to recognise that everyone benefits from gender equality — it’s not a women’s issue.
I really value working for a company where gender equality is modelled from the leadership, through our Managing Director and CEO. Nobody understands the value of a representative sample like a market researcher, but until all organisations are drawing their talent from the whole population in a truly representative way, then we have to keep working at this.”
Nobody understands the value of a representative sample like a market researcher, but until all organisations are drawing talent from the whole population in a truly representative way, then we have to keep working at this.
Charlotte Pearson-Duff, Insight Manager: “One of the themes you’ll see across the media today for International Women’s Day is “balance for better”. Market Research is an industry where gender diversity shows both sides of the coin. Whilst on the whole, females make up a bigger proportion of researchers, when it comes to management roles and conference speakers it’s very male dominated.
Here at FlexMR we’re lucky in the fact that the majority of our conference speakers in the last 18 months are female — but I’d still say we are in the minority as a whole. Look at your female colleagues, empower them, give them confidence to stand up and be heard. They might not take to the stage and become a conference speaker, but they will grow in the industry and become better researchers.”
Laura Calvert, Onboarding and Client Success Manager: “It shocks me that I’ve seen “Dear sirs” addressed to us before, assuming that we are all male, when actually there are a lot of females in our office! Our industry isn’t as diverse as it could be, but it is slowly getting there; since our Sandside office is primarily female, we make sure to support each other a lot which makes us stronger and more successful.”
Charles Pearson, Strategic Business Development: “While great strides have been taken to increase the gender equality within the world, there remains an inequality issue within the workplace. Men continue to earn more than women for the same roles and work responsibilities.
So, until that time when the concept of gender plays no part in decision-making or when all genders are on equal footing around the world, there should and will be an International Women’s Day; to mark the importance of women and celebrate their successes in equal measure to that of men, and continue to champion for equality.”
Jess Bate, Information Security Assistant: “This year’s theme of ‘Balance for Better’ really hits home that while we have come a long way, there are still changes that need to be made in order to reach the situation where different genders in the workplace are held as equals. I am lucky to work for an amazing company where you are assessed on who you are and what you bring to the team: not what gender you are but many others in this (and other industries) are not so lucky and this needs to change!
Until we have a time where ‘suitability’ truly means you are the best one for the job in terms of skills and passion then more is needed to bring about true diversity in the workplace.”
Sally Nicholls, Insight Manager: “Whilst strides have been made in the way women are represented and treated, there’s plenty more work to be done — to think there is still discrimination against women in 2019 is absurd and we need to keep talking about it! It’s not about promoting one gender over another — it’s about promoting equality, love and respect; supporting one another regardless of gender to make sure that we can achieve anything.”
The original version of this article appeared on the FlexMR Insight Blog and can be accessed here.