Five things we can all do to make change happen at work

Earlier this month I spent a couple of days at an amazing event in London – Stylist Live. The first day I was there was Equal Pay day, so loads of the sessions I went to were about careers, combining work and life more successfully, confidence, knowing your worth, gender pay issues and the future of work.

It was inspiring, reassuring, empowering and most of all, brilliant fun to be in a space with so many great women all pulling in the same direction.

The Stylist Live show at London Olympia

One session left a huge impact on me (other than the one with Alice, Jamie and James from My Dad Wrote a Porno, which was EPIC), and it centred around equality at work and how every single one of us can make change happen within the companies we work with and for.

It can often feel as though, unless we’re in a position of influence within a company that we’re powerless to make change happen and every time I share anything about what businesses can do to get better at supporting parents I get a lot of messages and comments all with the same common thread: “If only.”

Caressing a 3D printed walrus, as you do with my brilliant mate Emma (Hashtag BadParent)

I thought I’d share what I heard from the phenomenal panelists (Emma Codd, Head of Talent at Deloitte, Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society and Helene Reardon-Bond from the government’s action team on gender pay – pictured as the post image above)  at that session here so that more of us can do these things that will help organisations move towards a more equal way of working when it comes to behaviour and treatment of each other, pay, opportunity and culture.

Here’s what we can all do…

  1. Share your ideas with people of influence. If you think things should be different where you work, do some research about some viable alternatives and approach the person or team who could make it happen. If your company isn’t great at supporting parents, a great resource to check out is the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Working Forward initiative which has tonnes of free resources for businesses.
  2. Call out bad behaviour, if you can be brave enough. Find a senior sponsor who will support you if that helps.
  3. Know your worth and value your experience. Don’t allow yourself to be mugged off or placed into a position which doesn’t suit your skills and level of experience.
  4. Talk about pay openly. Transparency and openness is how change will happen.
  5. Look at who you can influence. Be a role model for junior employees and future generations.

It’s all too easy to moan when things aren’t right. But these are several things we can do no matter who we are, where we work or what we do.

Our kids will thank us for it.


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