Women’s history month is a chance for TEAM Group to bring its DEI initiatives to the forefront by celebrating the contributions that women bring to countless industries.
Raising awareness every March is just a small piece of the puzzle. It’s this awareness that can spearhead DEI principles and power the intent for action. Find out how TEAM Group plans to do this now and year-round.
TEAM Group is dedicated to uplifting women in a more inclusive world. At TEAM, we believe in the necessity of visibility of women as a critical step towards innovation. The competitive market wants women, who in turn breathe innovation.
There is a great opportunity in March, during Women’s History Month and for International Women’s Day, to use these celebrations as a platform to honour and move forward in women’s rights in and outside the workplace.
Why Is Women’s History Month Important?
Women’s History Month is a global celebration that also marks International Women’s Day every March 8th. This important time of year signifies an opportunity to pause, reflect and recognize the contributions women have made and continue to make in all sectors of society.
Accomplishments aside (and there are many), this is also a moment to acknowledge the persisting inequalities that women face at work and within society. In today’s modern world, issues such as gender equity, gender-based violence and access to education and medical attention are still prominent. According to STEM research, in today’s world girls and women are still generally tracked away from subjects such as science and math throughout their education since they are usually viewed as largely more ‘masculine’. This in turn limited their access, preparation and opportunities to go into these fields. It’s actually called the STEM Gap, and it’s real.
Organizations around the globe should utilize Women’s History Month as a means to re-group and take a step towards more equitable spaces, programs and workplaces for women of all ages and all individuals of society.
Celebration and Recognition: A Time to Act
It’s easy enough to say that women make definitive contributions to the world in countless ways. Women’s History Month is so much more than that. It’s a moment to reflect, in order to push forward.
Women first started fighting for rights such as poor pay and working conditions. We can see that the world has changed and keeps changing, but women today are still challenging discussions about gender equality. The current issues are still most often focused on or related to fair compensation and representation.
The call for women to be involved in leadership means facing new challenges alongside them. It’s about opportunity and support along the way. Getting feedback is necessary to advance transparency about the progress of supporting gender equality. A good place to start is with reflecting on the patterns of inaction and injustice.
Time for Reflection
March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, is a day rooted in action for gender equality as well as social and economic justice for all. We should all recognize the superior things society can accomplish if we work together and push for change.
Today’s global population just recently experienced a landmark historical event together: the covid-19 pandemic. The world is forever changed, and people are still recovering in countless ways. The covid-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on women and highlighted many inequalities that are very much present in our economy and society at large.
Reflecting on the pandemic is an opportunity to recognize the need to push for changes that draw us together (equity) and not apart. Yes, we got out of the global pandemic, but at what cost to certain groups of people in our societies? There is much frustration when despite much effort to unite and support, disparities still persist.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the Workplace
As the world changes, technology advances and human rights improve – why do gender equality issues seem to advance at a snail’s pace? What is the spark needed to see real change? An answer can be found in diversity, equity and inclusion and how it is interwoven with Women’s History Month, and gender equality rights at large.
Diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of a workplace creates an environment where all people recognize their value within a larger, working system. This means no matter your position (technician or higher up manager), you are inspired to inspire others with your leadership.
When an entire team feels secure, uplifted and inspired, ideas will flow more easily, and individuality is celebrated. We know we are all different and unique. This is why an inclusive environment is so important: a workplace where ideas are free to flow is one that listens, interprets and evolves for the better.
DEI and the Relationship to Women in the Workplace
Diversity, equity and inclusion continue to be of great focus for many workplaces. Diversity is perhaps the easiest to quantify and measure, whereas inclusion is more ambiguous. Why?
Diversity refers to the make-up or representation of a system. This ‘system’ can refer to a group of people, such as employees. Demographics can measure diversity by looking at values such as gender, race, ethnicity, age and other parameters. These can be regularly measured and monitored.
Inclusion may be defined as the degree of which presence, contributions, and perspectives of different groups of people within a system are valued and integrated within an environment such as a workplace. More than something that can be measured or counted on a scale, inclusion is more so a feeling of value within a greater collective. It’s harder to quantify this through measuring parameters and in turn is difficult to monitor progress as well. Programs and initiatives are needed to promote inclusion and to make it part of everyday work life.
TEAM Group and International Women’s Month: Present and Future
TEAM Group agrees that greater success is related to greater diversity, which is why an inclusive workplace is so important. Research goes on to show that diverse teams indeed perform better – but only if they are managed in an inclusive manner. It makes sense that inclusion influences diversity: ideas flow, thoughts, and feedback (both negative and positive) are expressed, and it becomes easier to retain a strong TEAM.
In order to push gender equality issues forward, gender equality must be championed and celebrated as a key for success and not merely a checkmark that has been ‘completed’ on paper.
Women’s History Month and IWD are good catalysts for a call to action in any industry. In order to sustain itself into the future, biases need to be broken and inclusion of women must be supported. Diversity and Inclusion must work in unison, not apart.
Women in the Industry: Statistics & Insights
Today’s statistics about women in the workforce show a growing presence, contribution and a more level gender equity playing field in the service, innovation and technology industries.
Women in tech represented 33% of the tech field in 2022, a rise of 2% from 2019. Although this seems small, it represents notable progress. In terms of the industrial workforce in Canada, women make up only 29%. This is still a small percentage and is a reflection of the STEM Gap – which is present not just in Canada.
In the United States, only about 16.5% of women make up the engineering and architect field. Only about a quarter – 25.2% – of women make up computer and mathematical occupations. These are not the only working areas that need improvement.
There is a great need to continue removing barriers for women to enter workplaces such as the manufacturing and industrial sector. This is especially critical since this type of industry has been reporting labour and skill shortages for the last two years, ever since the fallout from the covid-19 pandemic. Up to 80% of manufacturers in Canada faced labour and skills shortages – a statistic that has risen sharply from 60% in 2020 and from 39% in 2016.
In the United States, even pre-pandemic hit, experts were already predicting a global labour shortage of over 8 million workers. This shortage was focused just in the manufacturing industry alone. At present, the labor shortage is even more problematic due to our post-covid world and expectations. Given our current reality, experts are predicting that in the United States, there could be more than 2 million unfilled jobs in manufacturing by 2030.
How is TEAM Group Supporting Women’s History Month – and Beyond?
TEAM Group celebrates women this March (and beyond) by:
- Continuing to develop policies and procedures that empower women in many typically men-driven industries including (but not limited to) technical service, innovation, technology, automotive and more.
- Pushing for the promotion of women to higher levels of management
- Currently developing and updating website material (blogs, web pages etc.) to showcase women and their successes in a wide range of industries.
- Committing to updating protocols and providing mandatory sexual harassment training to all employees.
- Creating postings for industry-related jobs that better attract women to apply and utilize their skills in technical and/or labour-focused work and beyond.
- Curious? Check out TEAM Groups Careers and Recruiting Website here.
- Improving the visibility (leadership position and gender representation) of women by hiring more females and at higher levels (as well as black professionals, more youth hires, veterans, LGTBQ+) to build a diverse TEAM.
- Committed to offering fair pay, healthcare, childcare, additional events, support tools and resources for women.
- Continuously investing in a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion by strengthening DEI initiatives.
Read TEAM Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement here.
TEAM Group stands by the above commitments to celebrating Women’s History Month today and every day. We remain open to feedback, since this continues the momentum towards evolution of workplace rights across all boundaries (gender, race, sexual preferences etc.) and empowers industries to be proud to be resilient.