KPMG in the Isle of Man Director, Jenny Trimble and Partner, Simon Nicholas share their views on what each for equal means to them.
In simple terms, to me, it is where two different things are considered the same.
It is what I learned training as an accountant, where assets = liabilities. It is reinforced by popular catchphrases, where six of one = half a dozen of the other. Two different things, considered the same.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate this tagline to promote gender equality, yet it can apply to many other situations where there are different elements that are considered the same.
In the workplace, I still see a significant gender divide at senior levels. Board rooms are often still predominantly male, but it is slowly changing. Each for Equal for me is being the only female in a leadership team, but never being conscious of that fact. It is knowing that the rest of the team aren’t conscious of it either. It is being promoted based on merit, irrespective of gender. It is being given the same opportunities as my colleagues. Female or male. Two different genders, considered the same.
For me as a working mother, it is still being able to achieve in my career what I could without having a child. It is being as good a mother as one who stays at home. In each case – two different situations, the outcomes are the same.
An Equal approach to life is one with freedom and without prejudice. Whether that is applied to gender, race, sexuality or religion, it is about having the freedom to be who you are. It means celebrating our differences yet treating each other the same.
In a modern world where the stereotypes of gender are increasingly being challenged, Each for Equal has never been a more poignant talking point. I’m female. You’re whatever you choose to identify as. It shouldn’t matter, because although we are different, we should be treated the same.
Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious – so what’s not great about that?
KPMG enjoys a rich history of pioneering women who have played key roles in building a gender equal world. Ethel Watts, an employee in 1924 and a life-long campaigner for equality, became the first woman to qualify as an accountant by examinations to the ICAEW. Ruth Anderson joined the KPMG board in 1998, becoming the first woman board member in any of the big professional services firms, then called the ‘Big Five’. Dame Sheila Masters, a Partner at KPMG in the UK, was the first woman to be elected president of the ICAEW in 1999, resulting in a refreshing headline from The Times “Colourful lady jumps ahead of grey men”. These inspiring women should encourage us all to actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions and improve situations.
At KPMG, we’re striving for a future where everyone feels included, and diversity is encouraged. We empower our people to be themselves and respect others – it’s core to our values and what we’ve always believed in.
The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth ... so let's make it happen. Let's be #EachforEqual.
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