Embracing equity: International Women’s Day and beyond

On March 8th every year, the world recognises International Women’s Day, a day devoted to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women as well as challenging the injustices women face.

First marked in 1911, the event’s call for accelerated gender parity remains urgent today. With the rollback of reproductive rights and an increasing lack of equal educational and employment opportunities in many countries, the secretary general of the UN, António Guterres, warned this week that decades of global progress on women’s rights are ‘vanishing before our eyes’, with the goal of gender equality now 300 years away, according to UN Women.

While the issue of gender parity demands more attention than just one day, International Women’s Day is still an important focal point for raising awareness of the challenges that women still face and amplifying women’s voices across the globe to inspire open and honest conversations.

For 2023, the global theme for the day is #EmbraceEquity, which aims to encourage important conversations around equitable action in order to achieve true inclusion and belonging.

Championing women’s voices

To mark International Women’s Day this year, and give life to this theme, Archetype is hosting A Day with the Women of Archetype, consisting of 24 hours of discussions hosted by women from our offices worldwide starting in Sydney and wrapping up in San Francisco. Allies of all genders are invited to be part of the conversation on how we actively break barriers, embrace inclusion and forge positive change.

At Archetype, we strive to be purpose- and passion-led. Every employee is encouraged to have a voice and — as a recent addition to the Archetype team —  from day one, I was made to feel that I belonged and encouraged to share my ideas.

For someone at the start of their career, Archetype has really empowered me to own my voice at work. Co-hosting the UK International Women’s Day session alongside Oredola Agunbiade, an Assistant Producer at Archetype, has allowed us both to consider the challenges we face as women in the workplace, particularly around the so-called ‘ambition penalty’ and the impact of hustle culture on women’s wellbeing, and open a dialogue with our global colleagues so everyone can share their experiences and advice.

As a communications agency working with clients across a variety of different specialties within technology, it’s important for us to make a conscious effort to champion diversity and inclusion in tech. Women are still frequently underrepresented, underpaid and often discriminated against in the tech sector. McKinsey and LeanIn’s 2022 Women in the Workplace report found that women working in tech face higher rates of bias, are more likely to have their judgment questioned and miss out on advancement opportunities due to their gender. With the tech sector often being very male-dominated, it is refreshing to be part of an agency that is female-led, has a large number of women in leadership roles and to be surrounded by inspiring women at all levels who are at the top of their game.

Inclusivity is the key to success

Archetype is truly committed to setting a standard in fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. When it comes to progression and compensation, Archetype is transparent about the process and ensures gender parity. We also hold regular Sharing is Caring sessions, where colleagues can host events on a range of DE&I topics that matter to them, including neurodiversity in the workplace, being a working caregiver and masculinity in an age of change. These are great opportunities to educate others on different challenges people face in the workplace and how best to support one another.

Being part of a global agency that really embraces and celebrates diversity and individuality has allowed me to find my confidence both professionally and personally. Everyone should feel confident to bring their authentic self to work and feel valued and recognised as well as have a safe space to share their thoughts. Different ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are all essential to doing our best work. International Women’s Day shines a spotlight on the importance of embracing equity, but a continued commitment to change and collaborative action is essential to building inclusive workplaces for the future.