Monday 8th March is International Women’s Day (IWD) and, as we have done for many years, we will be marking it with a series of events and activities across The Brightstar Group. However, this year, things are set to be a little different and we will be embracing this year’s campaign theme of #choosetochallenge by making International Women’s Day a day for men to be a huge part of too. Our men will participate in events and in discussions, with the aim of addressing issues together and formulating strategies to overcome these.
IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, but the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. And so in order to accelerate gender parity, men very much need to be involved in the conversation. Indeed, we will never achieve true parity unless everyone is involved in the discussion.
So, across the Brightstar Group in our Brightstar and Sirius offices, we will be holding events for both men and women to participate in with the aim of raising awareness and understanding and to encourage more progressive behaviour amongst everyone within our business. These will include a companywide survey, the results of which will feed into workshops attended by our men and women and which will drive discussion and improvement.
It’s important that we use opportunities like IWD, not just to talk about gender parity but also to encourage behaviour towards that objective. At the Brightstar Group, we have a very progressive culture that promotes the benefits of diversity and wellbeing, but in spite of this there may still moments when somebody says something in a meeting that doesn’t align with that culture.
It’s often difficult to point this out at the time, but by ignoring it we are not addressing the issue. It is usually the case that someone hasn’t intended offence – they just haven’t thought about what they are saying and how it could be interpreted through someone else’s ears.
So, as part of our activities to mark IWD, we are launching an anonymous honesty box that people can use to highlight any language or behaviour that they deem to be inappropriate. The purpose of this is not to name and shame, but to make our Senior Leadership Team aware so that they can monitor how we are performing as a business on this front, put steps in place to improve performance and address any consistent issues. It’s small, manageable steps like these that will take use towards greater parity and inclusivity in the workplace.
IWD is also an opportunity to raise funds for a good cause and, this year we have chosen Women’s Aid – a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services in England and build a future where domestic abuse is not tolerated. It has been widely reported that multiple lockdowns have driven an increase in domestic abuse and the pandemic has been a particularly tough time for people in abusive relationships. So, as part of IWD, The Brightstar Group will be making a financial donation to Women’s Aid team, carrying out fundraising amongst our team.