'If not me, who? If not now, when?'

By Laura McAneney

I attended a HeForShe event hosted by PwC and Broadminded.  Ian Powell, our former Chairman, as well as various other industry leads made up the discussion panel, and over 200 men and women turned up for the event which aimed to showcase the importance of gender equality in the workplace.

Eager and keen to get involved, I turned up to the event 30 minutes early and needless to say I was the first! As I was standing, a man came over and asked if he could join me. I could see on his name badge he worked at PwC, so I asked him what he did. Turns out he was the CFO! He was interested in hearing more about gender equality in the workplace and, as it is something PwC are very supportive of, he was keen to know how he could get involved.

The event reminded me of why I joined our internal network ‘Women in Technology’. I want a future where I can reach for that promotion, have flexible working options and not have to choose between my personal and professional fulfilment.

The event started with each panel member discussing a topic of their choice. Ian Powell began with his topic on getting more men involved in gender equality, talking about the work PwC have been doing recently in leadership programmes, mentoring and sponsorships to “level the playing field”.

This was followed up by some great discussions around networking for women (Jane Marsh, Head of People at Innocent), flexible work options (Kieran Foad, Santander’s Chief Risk Officer), and equal pay (Sarah Drinkwater, Google’s Head of Campus). My overall thoughts as I listened to these speakers, there is a lot being done, but so much more to do.  Organisations can put mentorship programmes, sponsorships and development opportunities in place. But, without tackling the issues such as equal pay and flexible working for men and woman, will we really achieve our goals for gender equality?

When the event finished, I decided to work on building my networks and met with the founders of Broadminded - I am now a member and I am eagerly awaiting their next event! The event reminded me of why I joined our internal network ‘Women in Technology’. I want a future where I can reach for that promotion, have flexible working options and not have to choose between my personal and professional fulfilment.  I hope everyone is as inspired as I am – men and women - and join us as we aspire to change the ratio.

www.broadminded.org

www.heforshe.org

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