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March 6, 2020

Recognising the value of a diverse workplace for #IWD2020

'An equal world is an enabled world'

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachforEqual, focusing on the idea that individually we can choose to challenge stereotypes, biases, and perceptions to collectively work towards a gender equal world. We are all parts of a wholeOur actions, behaviours, and mindsets can have an impact on our societies, economies, and communities. 

International’s Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 and supported by over one million people. Today, this initiative belongs to all groups, organisations, people, and countries raising awareness for inclusivity and gender parity. From activism in the late 1800s, to changes in organisational structures and focusing on diversity and inclusion, to now where the world “expects” gender balance, it’s an exciting time to be part of this wave of collective individualism and work towards achieving an equal world for all. 

'Equality is not a women-only issue, it's a business issue'

As we see wider acknowledgment of advocacy, inclusivity, and diversity being a necessity in the workplace, we called on three Unispace leaders to discuss what #EachforEqual means to them. 

tlneffTracy Lea Neff, Regional Director of Delivery – Americas, explains that to her, “#EachforEqual is creating a diverse workplace where companies create paths of growth for candidates of varied backgrounds. With women making up only 10 percent of the workforce in the construction industry in the US, companies need to provide women with the resources and education to excel in their careers. Companies who are evolving and realise the value and richness of a diverse workplace will be the key to future success and achieving a gender equal world.”
 
Read Tracy’s full interview here. 

“I would tell young women interested in becoming a leader in their field to ‘just go for it’. From joining Unispace,  I was able to achieve my career goal of leading a national construction team. Through my role, I hope to be able to make an impact by further diversifying our staff and hiring top quality talent.” 

khortonKate Horton, APAC-based Principal of Strategy, reflects on the hashtag #EachforEqualrecalling the empowering style of leadership that has shaped her career. Her mentors have come from places that she didn’t initially expect, from new recruits and clients, to consultants and the industry-peers she’s travelled with on her commute. It’s the coaching aspect that has really stuck out for her, “I’ve been inspired by leaders that pass the baton, leaders that will take a step back, be quiet, and let their team have a go. In the commercial world, competition and control can easily overshadow the very goal the team are working together to achieve. Having leaders and mentors that assume the role of coach for the good of the teamandthe improvement of the individual is a characteristic that engenders equality in a very pure way.” 

“At Unispace, we have this collaborative spirit and it’s inspiring to see diversity in key roles, across all areas of expertise - all contributing together to create a better client experience and more successful outcomes for the client.” 

achristieAmelia Christie, Regional Principal of Technical Delivery – EMEAis a New Zealander, living and working in Europe. Like many people that form roots in different countries, she has grown an appreciation for what we can learn and adopt from other cultures. She reflects on her home nation and how its culture brought her up innately knowing that women could do anything. When her career brought her to the UK, she brought this mentality with her. Establishing that diversity and inclusion was a status quo for her in all her leadership roles, she continues to consciously effect change where she can. She commented, “a speaker at a conference I recently attended calculated that it will take 140 years for women to reach equality in the workplace at its current trajectory. I come from a nation where ‘you decide something needs doing, you do it’. If we want to see a marked change in diversity and inclusion in our lifetime, or our children’s, we need a conscious, concerted and collective effort. It’s not just about gender.” 

“Growing up in New Zealand, women had a bit of a head start. They were the first women in the world to gain the full vote; a whole 13 years ahead of the second country to follow, Finland.” 

As we work collectively towards a more diverse workplace worldwide, at Unispace, we continue to play a role in promoting gender parity, progressive mindsets, and inclusive behaviours. 

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