International Womens Day
An article in the Sunday Times last weekend reminded us that the roots of International Women’s Day (IWD) lie in 1917 in Russia, when striking women demanded ‘bread and peace’ of Tsar Nicholas II. Those same women would no doubt be horrified at the state of play today.
And while our thoughts are dominated with the tragic events in Ukraine, in honour of the day's origins, we can take this opportunity to both acknowledge our incredible women and scrutinise our approach to diversity and inclusion – in our business and more generally. IWD this year is particularly calling for us to #BreakTheBias. To celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
This week we asked our partners to share with us the women that inspire us. From mothers to inventors, entrepreneurs to cultural trailblazers, we are delighted to share a collection of individuals – and their stories – that demonstrate the might of women and their accomplishments.
Alongside celebration, however, we must also scrutinize ourselves and our approach to gender, and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) more widely, to ensure we build a workplace where women thrive. As a business that is 57% female, we continue to ask questions of ourselves. We have increased female representation on the Emperor board from two to five members. We welcome Miriam McKay, Director of Group Communications and Investor Relations at HomeServe, Kathryn Cearns OBE, an experienced NED in the public, private and charity sectors and Jenni Fulton, Chief Growth Officer, Emperor. Our Executive Committee is 46% female and our Partner Board is 63% female.
We are on the journey to creating an EDI-rich culture and an environment where we can all feel safe, happy and, ultimately, ourselves. Over the past year we have made substantial progress against a clear framework, with short, medium and long-term priorities. From the creation of an EDI committee and training workshops to the accessibility review for new offices and new family friendly parental policy, we are focused on the journey to be better. We host conversations and workshops internally for Emperor partners on a variety of topics and today we facilitated a discussion on the IWD theme to debate and challenge what we can do individually and collectively to #BreakTheBias.
This year, we also honoured the commitment we made to our Emperor Partners and wider stakeholders in our first annual report to voluntarily publish our gender pay gap data. We are now interrogating the underlying data to ensure that it informs our broader people strategy and EDI work, and we will continue to disclose our progress over the coming years.
We pledge to keep challenging ourselves, empowering our teams and holding ourselves to account. For more information on our EDI activity and GPG Report, please view this year’s annual report.