We’re in the year 2021 but for some reason, we still find it necessary to treat men and women differently, despite several studies showcasing the need for both to collaborate together.
Over at Epic, we ensure that we treat everyone equally, and we want to tell you all about how we do it. We’re not doing this because we want the virtual clap or because we consider ourselves to be better, but because we truly believe that society is not doing enough to ensure that men and women are truly put on equal bearings. It is truly time to stop talking the talk, and start walking the walk.
Annually, on 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day, but the fact that we still speak of gender inequality, stands to show the little progress done year on year.
A disclaimer, that as a woman, I feel the need to make: this day celebrates all the nuances of womanhood and each woman’s life journey. The 8th March does not just celebrate those who decide to be mothers while continuing to focus on their professional growth, but also those who do not feel the need to be mothers and do not intend to measure their success by motherhood, those who have a long term relationship, those who are in a same-sex one and those who do not have a partner, those who take care of their elderly, those who volunteer, those who like to stay fit and those who prefer a curvier shape. The 8th March is about recognising that women, like men, are entitled to the freedom to choose.
With that being said, my take on this day is to acknowledge and yes, celebrate, the voices of those women who marched, paraded, fought and faced discrimination in the past. It is after all, thanks to these women that today, I can enjoy the same right of freedom of speech.
But today, in 2021 I feel that we need to raise further awareness on the need to enable both men and women to work and to support all genders to thrive and be the best version of themselves. We should not be spending our time discussing this further, there are bigger problems to solve, but it would be naïve of me to think that this is not still one of them.
Being Chief People Officer at Epic is a big responsability to carry, but to my heart’s content I do not need to walk the statistical minefield of how many women do we employ versus men, because at Epic we simply, do not care about any of this.
We Hire Based on Merit!
We give gifts on any other day but not today! And we give them to both men and women, because at Epic we engage people based on merit and not just to hit a statistical quota. We can boast about how many women we have in management and across the workforce (we really do have a lot), but we will not go there because they have not been recruited because they are women, but because they have earned their role just like their male counter parts did.
We Measure Happiness Not Genders!
This is done through the various ways we enable our employees, both men and women, to blend their working life and personal life as best as they deem fit. We recognise that we employ parents, and children of vulnerable people, employees that are aiming to planning to become homeowners. We employ people and not just contact centre agents, retail staff and developers. We look at the humans first, then the employees and we guarantee flexibility so the team members can juggle the demands of work and life. We listen to their plea of mental wellbeing and ensure that while 100% remote working might be trendy, those who would like to come to work from the office every few days, can do so safely. It is perfectly ok for Epic team members to pick up their kids, tend to a demanding online class, check-in on the construction works at home, take their pet to the vet and do whatever they need to do during hours that are normally considered as working hours. We recognise that we employ humans and value the need for serene employees and not rushed robotic deliverables.
It is not all talk, no action!
We recognise that parenthood is a shared joy and have been going beyond the government’s paternity allowance of one day, for years. We truly bring value where and when it matters for both women and men to enjoy their bundles of joy and share the special moments together. Ensuring not only that men are hands on and involved, but also supporting the mother returning to work, where we give the possibility to work reduced hours without loss of pay for a further six months after maternity leave, which is paid in full.
Every day is everyone’s day at Epic!
As a woman, I have witnessed working spaces where I was looked at and approached differently purely because I am a woman. I have seen the raised eyebrow when going through interviews in my late 20s and heard the stammered question as to whether I plan on having kids or not. I felt the mental gymnastics employers tend to do while they calculate what the return of investment for employing me would be. This is why I feel it is my moral obligation to ensure this is not done, not on my watch.
This is the plea I make to my peers in any position they occupy. Men and women should look past what they see at face value. There is no shame or speciality in being a woman, no more or less than being a man. It might come across as the ostrich syndrome to tackle this issue in this way, however, the more we look for differences and justifications the more we will find. On the otherhand, if we just choose to look past this, work together and action what we can because we really can, then there will be no need to continue raising awareness.
Get in touch with us on [email protected] if you wish to know more about how we do it at Epic.What matters to us is that you’re fun and can bring some Epic spice, the rest is just biology!
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