Inspiring Gender Equality Starts at Home
It isn’t enough to make an effort to hire more women into senior management positions, we instead must look to educate the younger generation
Efforts to increase the proportion of female board members on FTSE 100 boards have stalled at 25 per cent and the number of female board hires has fallen compared to last year. Despite a concerted effort to increase the number of women in senior leadership we are still failing to reach significant advances towards gender equality in the workplace. If we’re to address the gender imbalances that exist in leadership today, it isn’t enough to make an effort to hire more women into senior management positions, we instead must look to educate the younger generation.
Young children are extremely malleable and are constantly learning, filtering millions of bits of information every day they start to develop opinions and values that will shape their futures. For this reason, it’s crucial that children are fed messages of genuine equality as they learn how to contribute to society.
In their early years, children begin to learn about the societal roles of men and women through the actions of adults carrying out household tasks such as mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. In order to achieve equality we must remove ‘girl’ jobs and ‘boy’ jobs from the household, all jobs must be seen in the same light.
The same should go for childhood toys and the games they play. The decision to encourage Dan to dress up as an astronaut while Lottie gets to play the princess waiting for her Prince Charming will affect their dreams and values for years to come.
As children look for role models beyond their immediate friends and family it’s crucial that equality is reinforced. Female and male executives, entrepreneurs and equality champions must be visible, their stories inspiring and genderless. Schools, parents and influencers all play a role in telling this story. We will only reach true gender equality if we make a concerted effort to remove gender bias from our behaviour, changing the learnings of the next generation.
E2E’s goal is to achieve a balanced community of male and female entrepreneurs. Just 20 per cent of our community are women, a number we’re working hard to increase. We look to educate and inspire equality in both younger and older entrepreneurs through our excellent networking community and insightful interviews.