International Women's Day - it's not just a day.
When it comes to businesses, studies have shown that inclusive and diverse companies lead to higher staff retention, better employee engagement and business outcomes. For a long time, the goal for women in the workplace has been equality. However, this year’s IWD23 theme has moved past equality, to embracing equity.
At rhi we believe that equity for our diverse workplace is critical to our development as an organisation and so we set out to ask our female employees around the world, what IWD means to them and how rhi has provided an inclusive and diverse culture that welcomes women of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicity, and experience.
Rosenelle Francisco, Senior Quantity Surveyor:
IWD for me then is a day above all other days to remember and acknowledge my worth as a woman and reflect on how I can share that worth to others in my little corner of the world. Time to recognize that I feel tired because I can work, happy because I had fun while doing that service, drained because I persevered during challenging moments, and energized because I’m ready to do them all over again.
In my years with rhi, I feel blessed that the leadership team has been constantly recognising my potentials and entrusting site/project roles that I thought would have been awarded to male colleagues. I give my sincere thanks to rhi for the push that brought me to where I was able to explore, slip up, start again and grow - regardless of my gender, ethnicity or race.
Kylie Clarke, Brand Manager - Australia:
IWD reminds me how important it is to be working for an organisation that enables an equitable workplace - to have my voice and my opinions heard, considered, and valued and my personal situation considered. rhi doesn’t just talk about inclusiveness, they actually provide a working environment that not only supports my professional growth but also provides an environment that allows flexibility and supports my role as a working parent.
Winnie Chan, Senior Financial Accountant:
For myself, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women of different cultures and an acknowledgment of how we have come from a multicultural perspective. Not all women across the world have the same opportunities I have been afforded in a country like Australia. I also appreciate the women in my life – the women who helped support and shape me.
Nicola Forsyth, Operations Manager – rhi Talent EMEA:
I believe that International Women’s Day provides us all with time to reflect on how far things have come over the years and to give recognition to all the women of the world, celebrating and honouring their achievements.
I am honoured to work for an organisation that has provided me to with opportunity and support needed to progress my career, through a neutering and inclusive environment. I feel truly blessed to work with such a fantastic and diverse team, a team that have become my second family, and my office a home away from home. I will personally be celebrating two very special young ladies in my life, my daughters, Paige and Maci. This is what the future looks like, let’s all commit to a more equal and fairer world for us all!
Sylwia Zavacka, Operations Support Administrator:
International Women’s Day is not only a great way to celebrate the achievements of women, but also to show support and bring attention to many issues that we as women still encounter. Women are in many cases, still not equally paid, recognised or regarded in society. As a mum of two young boys the subject of ‘motherhood penalty’ is close to my heart. If there is no adequate and affordable childcare provision available, it is usually the mother who sacrifices her career and future earning potential.
I feel very privileged working for rhi who allows for great flexibility at work which in turn allows me to fit my job around my parental responsibilities, giving me the feeling of control over schedules and workload – at work and at home likewise.
Ha Marks, Global Resourcing Director:
The first thought that came to my mind was, isn’t women's day every day? Coming from a low-income family where my mom worked 8am-midnight every day to support our household of 10 (8 children, mom, & dad), I created a strong work ethic at a young age. Those work ethics followed me throughout my career and life. I feel incredibly blessed to be in my current role and working alongside unique strong women daily. The company values flexible work schedule, allowing me to be the parent that I did not know I could become, and help me realize that it is possible to balance a family and a career. I am excited for what the future has to offer our future generation.
I included a picture of my family because it is a daily reminder of how far we have come and how grateful we are for this journey that will continue to evolve.
So why equity over equality?
Forbes magazine puts it simply – ‘equity is more of a state than a step, and it’s hard to strictly define what it looks like since it’ll be different for every organization. But in general, equity is what happens when all members of a diverse population of employees have equal opportunities and support to succeed and grow.’
At rhi we continue to work hard to ensure we have an equitable and diverse workplace that encourages open and honest conversations around how we can continue to improve and grow. International Women’s Day is not just a day, it is a reminder that whilst we have come a long way, we have room for improvement. Over the past three years we have implemented a hybrid model of working – ensuring flexibility of our employees hours and days in offices. We are committed to having more women in leadership roles and becoming more involved in community activities that support disadvantaged women, especially in our Indigenous communities in Australia.