It is not about the rare spotlight moments and it’s not about knowing, it’s about acting pro diversity in our daily lives and in any situation. This is how change happens.
UN Women has outlined twelve easy actions that can help you play your role in changing things. Out of the twelve actions, we would like to highlight the ones that are most important to our movement, to increase diversity in tech:
Share the care
Women take on three times more unpaid care and domestic work than men do, which tends to take away time and energy from advancing in their careers. So share the load and enable the women in your life to put more time in whatever career she wants to work on.
Call out Sexism and Harassment
No, wage gaps are not a myth and no, it is not ok to belittle somebody based on gender or background (or anyone for that matter). “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”, as quoted many times in different contexts, is also befitting here. Calling out anyone on their improper, sexist, disrespectful or patronizing behaviour is a way to bring upon change, be it at the workplace or in private settings. If you do not feel safe to do so by yourself, ask for help.
Demand an Equal Work Culture
Oh the many discriminatory practices women face when it comes to the workplace! A progressive work environment equally representing women is not a widespread thing and the higher you look up the ladder, the worse it looks. And why is affordable childcare service in or near workplace premises still not a thing, at least in Switzerland? This would go a long way to empower women to work on their careers and fathers to share the load.
If you work in HR or are in a position to implement new principles in your company, be sure to check out the Women’s Empowerment Principles, established by UN Women and UN Global Compact. This set of Principles offers guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Exercise Your Political Rights
Women hold less than 7 % of the world’s leader positions and only around 25 % of seats in national parliaments. It all starts with exercising your right to vote. If you do not want to get into politics yourself, you could still make an impact by donating your time or money to a diversity-relevant campaign or a strong female candidate.
Amplify Feminist Books, Movies and More
If you come across a book written by or about a female leader, role model, someone with a powerful story that could help others, do not keep it to yourself. Drop us a line to share it with our wonderful We Shape Tech community and the power of our combined voices will spread the word.
Interested in some recommendations? Check out this recommendation of twelve feminist books the UN Women thinks everyone should read.
Teach Girls Their Worth
Strong, capable and deserving of the same respect as boys – this is what we should teach girls from the earliest age. Avoid gender stereotypes, enable them to follow their dreams no matter if it fits ideas of gender and let their voices be heard.
Half a dozen global studies have found that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. We need to be aware that encouraging today’s girls means enabling them to further pave the road to more advances in diversity and to better deal with any adversity that might still remain.
Respect the Choices of Others
Every person has the right to make their own decisions. If you find yourself in a situation, where another person’s choice makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself if there might be a bias at play. Remember that you’re not walking in their shoes and hence have no idea what lead to that particular choice. If you want to understand where the person comes from, ask respectful questions. Do not judge, they have the right to choose what feels right for them.