In the lead up to International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, we asked each other what IWD’s theme #EachforEqual really means today. We spent time gathering perspectives from our teams across the world, with a view to explore the modern definition of equality and the ways people can achieve it. We believe in the #EachforEqual mission in that an equal world not only makes the world a better place to live in, but also makes it operate better.
But once the blog was ready, we chucked it in the bin.
Our intentions were good. IWD is something we’ve celebrated in the past on our website and social media. It’s something we genuinely care about. But this time, what we were doing didn’t feel right. We realised that a blog from us wouldn’t make a difference to the bigger social cause being addressed.
As marketers, we have the tendency to sit behind our keyboards, craft a neat story on a relevant topic and position ourselves in a light we wish to be seen in. Phrases such as “equality will be the catalyst to societal innovation and evolution”, that equality is “a concrete and achievable goal” and that “we can all do our part in accelerating gender equality” made us feel proactive and inspirational at the time. But upon reflection, we felt that those buzzword-heavy phrases were empty and had no actual meaning. They simply echoed overused phrases many of us are guilty of repeating when jumping on the equality bandwagon. And that’s not what we’re about.
It made us realise that we rarely do anything that makes a tangible difference. Words are powerful, but they only go so far. The best thing we can do is dedicate time to making practical changes. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
So, throwing the blog to one side (sorry team!) we’ve decided to start from scratch and spend time on projects that drive equality in the workplace of the future. We’re going to actively work with more organisations that are impacting long-term change – ones like I Can Be, which we’ve supported this year by running a series of free workshops to help broaden the horizons of 7- to 8-year-old girls from inner-city London schools. Through partnerships like these, we’re able to make a difference to people and communities beyond our four walls. Our teams want to give more than just a quote once a year on the topic of equality. We’re going to dedicate time in our working week to practical activities that could make a small change in a much bigger picture.
And to us, that’s really what #EachforEqual is all about. Asking people for their views without spending any time practically embedding the right behaviours in the workplace and outside of it will make no difference to the future. Change will only come if we all get away from our desks and our privileged lives, and actively do something.
So, let’s not waste any more time. Here’s to less speaking and more doing. And on that note, we’ll get straight to work.
If you want to learn more about the first organisation we have chosen to partner with, read our press release here. We also have a podcast coming up with I Can Be’s founder, Anastasia de Waal, where we learn more about the organisation and how people can get involved to support it on its mission, so stay tuned.
And stay up-to-date with our plans and partnerships on our website and social channels. We’ll be revealing more very soon.
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