There always seems to me to be a tension between the fact that we have equality legislation, and the fact that we single out a particular group for focus on a particular day or period. The Equality Act of 2010 defines nine protected characteristics, codifying all previous legislation to do with equality. It is designed to ensure that we have a level playing field and equal treatment in relation to those with any of the nine protected characteristics. This produces an intellectual tension between the idea of equality and the focus on a group; in this case women. However, if we are aiming to bring about change, there has to be more focus to a particular group in order to do that. There is never an attempt to discriminate in a positive way in relation to a particular group, but the fact we have a Women’s Day does indicate some recognition that something needs to change.
International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century and it is, in 2021, today.
As we contemplate Women’s Day we can’t help but notice that our team happens to be made up entirely of women, which is by accident rather than design. Is this because more women have a career in Human Resources than do men, or is there some other reason? We will be exploring these questions in a webinar on Wednesday, 10th March, 2021, in conjunction with the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. We will be looking at actions that we may take to deal with bias, and why there is a need to take action.