Former US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was once famously asked how she would know when there would be enough women on the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court. Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, answered: ‘When there are nine’. It’s a response that speaks volumes, because for generations the highest court in the United States had nine male judges. Ginsburg’s words are a reminder that women are just as capable as men and that they should never be afraid to challenge built-in assumptions that only men can lead from the front.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, and it calls on all women to both celebrate the achievement of women while also calling out gender bias and inequity.
And it is a theme that perhaps has more relevance this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 Women in the Workplace Report notes that more than one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce as a result of increasing pressures at home and work. Challenges include the additional workload of homeschooling and trying to deal with what’s known as a ‘missing rung’ on their way up the corporate ladder.
Companies around the world are now rethinking their approach to gender diversity
Maintaining a healthy gender diversity in the workplace during these unexpected times calls for proactive and realistic thinking around goals, deadlines, performance reviews, and setting norms around the new normal: WFH.
These are certainly scenarios that Startek is aware of, and focuses on. Our six-dimensional framework of diversity and inclusivity covers Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), gender inclusivity, socially and economically disadvantaged people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, mature age people and inclusion of indigenous people. We place great emphasis on gender diversity, making a conscious effort to not just hire women, but training them to both grow within the organization and lead from the front.
This firm belief in the capabilities of their female workforce were on full view during the early days of the pandemic, with leaders like Girlie Dingcong Abatayo, of Startek, Malaysia—whose initiatives helped the company improve client relationships, performances, boost employee morale, and increase revenue.
An early respondent to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, her team shared their preparedness plan with their client, which included a balanced proposal for work from home (WFH). When approved, Startek became one of the first outsourcing sites that allowed their employees to work from home. It’s an example of forward thinking that helped manage our business with a stable Business Continuity Plan (BCP), keeping in mind employee safety amidst the pandemic.
This Women’s Day, Startek celebrates the power of its female workforce and commits to partnering with every one of them in creating a supportive environment that actively encourages growth within the organization.