Today and every day #ChooseToChallenge

Shona Crooks
March 8, 2021

On International Women’s Day, MF’s Shona Crooks highlights some tangible actions we can take to move the dial on gender inequality.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, calling on all of us to think critically about our own thoughts and actions and how we can better highlight gender inequality and celebrate women’s achievements.

As we know, allyship from our male counterparts is also key to moving the dial on gender inequality, so this year MF is spotlighting tangible actions so everyone can play their part, not only for today but for every day.

You can see 5 tangible actions below.

Creating a fairer and more inclusive environment where women are equally paid for their contributions - and can thrive - is essential.

Especially with the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on women and girls. We need to build a future that doesn’t ignore half of the population.

I have been very lucky to have both men and women who have shown me continued support through sponsorship and mentoring throughout my career - offering advice, a listening ear and providing challenge when I needed it most.

We should all be lucky and provide support to each other - particularly to our female colleagues and friends.

This year #ChooseToChallenge everyone to pick a female to mentor or sponsor.

I know I will be, because small changes make a big difference to achieving gender parity.

5 Tangible Actions of an Ally:

1. Actively Listen
Listen to what marginalised people are saying, pay attention to the words they are using: words matter.

2. Get Educated
Read books, listen to podcasts and stay up to date with inclusive language.

3. Welcome Discomfort
When you’re uncomfortable, you’re in a position to learn. Stay in neutral and ask open questions.

4. Get Involved
Mentor, support and attend women’s network groups and events.

5. Speak up, show up
Notice gender bias moments and intervene. Learn from mistakes and stay engaged.

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