Celebrating International Women’s Day: the public sector chooses to challenge gender bias
Alexa Bradbury

3 minutes

Celebrating International Women’s Day: the public sector chooses to challenge gender bias

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 and acknowledge this year’s #ChooseToChallenge theme, we at Guidant Global are celebrating our public sector team. We’re also recognising some of the clients and suppliers they work with in leading the way for gender equality in the industry.

Women make up almost two thirds of the public sector workforce, yet they occupy only a third of leadership roles across the sector. This shows there’s a significant gap in terms of progression opportunities available to men and women in the sector.

Women occupy 90% of Guidant Global’s public sector senior and middle leadership roles, and they are working with our client and supplier partners to redress this leadership imbalance and create meaningful opportunities for women in the industry.

Here’s how some of our team members, clients and suppliers are choosing to challenge gender bias in their working lives:

"I'm very proud to work for a company and in a sector that has a high percentage of women in the workforce. However, I #ChooseToChallenge more women to take their place as confident leaders within the public and third sector arena, as we really do have some exceptionally talented ladies out there with a great capacity to change the world!"

Selena Ayling, Client Services Director, Guidant Global

"It is hugely important that women have a strong voice in the public sector and across senior management roles. Even though women are still under-represented in senior roles, the balance is starting to shift as it is becoming more widely recognised that an organisation’s success depends on the diversity of its workforce. As a result, recruitment processes are becoming more transparent and competency based, creating a level playing field for women, and work/life balance policies are improving too. Having women in senior roles creates a more balanced culture and diversity of thought. It is also really important for younger women starting their careers to see women in senior roles who they can aspire to emulate."

Elouise Wilson, Resourcing Manager, Bristol City Council

"I #ChooseToChallenge women to champion themselves as strong leaders in the workplace, recognise how much value their voices can bring to the table and to always strive for equality in their teams and departments."

Daniella Pye, Sellick Partnership Limited, a Guidant Global supplier

"I #ChooseToChallenge all women who have a managerial role within the public sector to empower their teams by providing meaningful coaching and support, enabling them to be the best version of themselves and giving them the autonomy to develop and progress in their careers."

Michele Jackson, Talent Delivery Manager, Guidant Global

"#ChooseToChallenge is definitely my personal driver. I always strive to challenge the status quo and I am driven to help break the glass ceiling for aspiring women. From a personal perspective, I have always felt the need to work harder than my male counterparts to be heard. Women in leadership roles can often bring a different and fresh perspective that uses a fine balance of emotional intelligence and business focus, championing the architects in the business that help deliver, engage and support staff through business growth and change. A gender balanced approach can be hugely influential on the organisation’s culture, employee attitudes, loyalty and reputation that lasts well beyond the immediate challenge."

Stella Jinks, HR Shared Service Manager, Corby Borough Council

"I #ChooseToChallenge women to continue to be positive role models, contribute to the innovation of our industry and to keep standing for excellence in the public sector."

Katy Oliver, Director, Caritas Recruitment, a Guidant Global supplier

"When I took over the very large male trade workforce as Head of Responsive Repairs, decision making was not resident centric. My aim was to see the service through the eyes of the resident, book an appointment to suit lifestyle, expect a repair to the standard you would want in your home and to fully communicate throughout the repair from order to completion. I have also championed women, as well as black and ethnic minority candidates, joining the service to ensure we better represent the diverse city that we serve."

Zara Naylor, Head of Service, Responsive Repairs, Bristol City Council

"I’ve always been fortunate enough not to feel the effects of the glass ceiling where I have worked but I cannot get away from the fact that in some organisations this remains prevalent. I’m really proud of the work Nacro does to ensure we are transparent with our recruitment and hiring policy regardless of gender. A male manager once told me in my early career that I wasn’t invited to meetings to sit and be silent - I was there because I had a voice and my voice was valued. I #ChooseToChallenge other women in the Public sector to know that we have a valuable voice and we should never feel like imposters."

Leigh Victoria Jones, HR Operations Manager, Nacro

We all have an important role to play in challenging gender inequality. How can your business seek out and celebrate the achievements of your talented women?

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