International Women’s Day is this week, and as the Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, it’s incredible to see so many KPMG people across the world celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is ‘Each for Equal’, a call for a gender balanced world. It’s a moment in time where borders don’t exist, and we come together on the international stage to call for action in accelerating women’s equality.
In the spirit of celebrating the women in my life, I would like to recognize my friend and colleague Kristine Remedios who made Partner in the Canadian firm last year in her role as Chief Inclusion & Social Impact Officer, and who continues to inspire me day in and day out. Kristine has moved the dial, literally on inclusion and diversity, we see it in our representation numbers, we see it in our sponsorships and we see it in our people survey results. She leads a small but brilliant team that works together to help our leaders be their best selves and to be inclusive leaders. Kristine talks the talk, walks to talk and helps others do the same. Kristine you rock!
Kristine, like many of us, knows that the world is not equal. Not just for women but for people from ethnic groups, religions, social classes, sexual orientations and countries. It was announced at one of the sessions at the World Economic Forum held earlier this year, which I was lucky enough to attend, that it will now take 257 years to close the gender pay gap – a gap so large it could paralyze some people into doing nothing. But there are some simple things that I think we can all do to make a difference and I wanted to share some of those with you:
- Show up no matter what. Some men (and women for that matter) shy away from being a part of the conversation because they feel uncomfortable, especially if their current teams aren’t as diverse as they’d want them to be. But by simply stepping up and getting involved in the conversation we can all become a catalyst for change.
- Be conscious of who’s doing the ‘office housework’, a term that describes the fact that in meetings, women tend to be the ones to unwrap the lunch or tidy up the board table.
- Read the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2020. It gives a really well rounded view of what gender equality means in practice and what it’ll take to get there in all areas of society including politics, education, and in the workplace.
International Women’s Day is an annual reminder that we have not secured equality for all, and closing the gender gap is a daunting challenge. But if we each play our part in being #eachforequal I believe we can collectively make a difference. #futureisinclusive