On the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March 2021), one of the most pertinent conversations is that of equal opportunity employers. But what does it constitute and has it become one of those catch phrases loosely thrown around?
An equal opportunity employer is one who “pledges to not discriminate against employees based on gender, race, colour, religion, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.” Though each one of these variables is equally important, for the sake of a constructive discussion, we shine the spotlight on gender equality today.
For a group that constitutes 49.6% of the world’s population, the number of women in the workforce remains woefully low at 38.8%*. Though this may be attributed to multiple reasons, some personal and others macro-economic, the purview of an equal opportunity employer is very simple – if a woman chooses to enter the workforce, she should be treated the same as her peers of the other gender. Not more favourably or less so. Equal. In terms of hiring, growth, retention or termination, the capability of the employee should be considered in isolation of his or her gender.
This may sound easier than it is in reality. Women across the world have started to break the glass ceiling and find representation in c-suite offices and company boardrooms. According to a McKinsey report, this number rose from 17% to 21% in 2020 in America*. Representation in other countries is lower on average. As encouraging as this news is, it still means that one woman finds a seat on a table of five. It may be a good start, but we have miles to go. At Elite Havens, we take this responsibility very seriously. Not only is 59.9% of our workforce female but so is half of our leadership team (Senior Executives), a glowing 50% in comparison to the 21% average above.
In times of crisis, the effects of policy change, economic slowdowns and global shifts of power invariably affect minority groups more than those in the majority. This has been the case with women too. The after-effects of the pandemic find women being forced to make choices and prioritise others before their own career growth.
As an employer, especially one who pledges to offer equal opportunities to all, it is imperative that we leave gender outside our office doors. At Elite Havens, our top management is a reflection of this. Gender is not a consideration at Elite Havens. Your capability is. In the HOD room (Heads of Departments), both genders are equally represented and thus become a non-issue. The same is the case in middle-management or entry-level roles. What is seen though, is your ability to change, innovate and consistently maintain the high standards that we are known in the industry for.
The opportunities open to you at Elite Havens are merely a reflection of how hard you strive for them. Discrimination or luck have no role to play here, only talent and hard work.