NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2020, a worldwide global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. As part of Women’s History Month—which stems from a group of New York women factory workers protesting for better working conditions on this day in 1857—March 8th was first recognized and observed as International Women’s Day in 1909.
The campaign theme for the year 2020 is #EachforEqual: “An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.”
Inclusion Isn’t Enough, Press for Parity
In honor of International Women’s Day 2020 theme, NDILC adds the following principle for #EachforEqual: Inclusion isn’t enough. Press for parity in everything, from opportunity to attainment, from recruitment to reward and from pay to promotion. It is not enough to add token women in top executive positions or in the boardroom to ensure long-lasting gender diversity at all levels of employment in the workforce.
Although talk of gender diversity in the workplace, especially in top executive positions and boards, has been a more prominent public concern, the advancement of women in these levels has been slow-moving. Gender discrimination and unconscious biases are still obstacles women professionals have to face when attempting to climb the corporate ladder. This is especially true for women of color, who represent only one in 25 senior leaders in the workforce.
Employers who do understand the importance of having a more diverse top level workforce are still not making it a business priority or part of their strategic plan. Rather, they rely on good intentions in the hiring and promotion process, which more often than not fails to cover the unconscious biases that affect people despite their best intentions. Companies who have improved in advancing more women to top executive positions make gender diversity a formal business priority.
In addition to providing opportunities for sponsorship and mentorship for women and minorities, other valuable tools include providing career development planning specific to women’s needs; applying the same metrics of job performance evaluation to both men and women; providing equal career opportunities to both men and women; and creating a culture that embraces women’s leadership styles.
The Ten Women Leadership Principles were collectively created by the senior executive women of the NDILC to help women in the workforce become more effective leaders at any stage of their careers, and empower other women to reach their full potential. This is a universal guide for all levels of leadership, and any woman can benefit from applying them.
NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles
- Acknowledge Trailblazers: Know and learn from the women who came before you. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.
- Keep Achieving: Effective leaders always keep learning. There is always something to learn and improve upon.
- Believe: Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
- Pass the Torch: Give opportunities to future generations of women. Your legacy will be the people you help along the journey.
- Know Yourself: Be authentic and lead in a way that is true to you. Own your unique talents and strengths, and empower those around you.
- Speak Out: Unconscious bias is present, but ignoring it only perpetuates it. Take a stand and speak out.
- Listen: Never assume anything about anyone. Everyone has their own story that makes them who they are.
- Be Present: Sharing your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Do it with intention by truly being present.
- Prepare for the Future: Women with advanced skills today will be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.
- Lead by Example: Inclusion isn’t enough. Press for parity and strive for excellence in everything.
Stay tuned for future articles that will expound on each of these principles to assist women professionals in applying them to their individual goals.
The NDILC is dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. The Council comprised of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.