Rewind to 100 years ago, women weren’t considered a person in the eyes of the law. Unable to vote and without equal rights, the world was unbalanced. Fast forward to today, women are shaping the law and our world and we are witness to more of “women’s firsts” in male-dominated roles. In just the past two years, we have welcomed the first openly transgender person to be elected and to serve in a state legislature, the youngest to lead either house of a state legislature, and female representation from various ethnic minority groups has been added to the House of Representatives and Congress. In the US, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of women both running and being elected to government than at any point in history.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, #BalanceForBetter, sparks the question of how we can continue to make strides for all women, creating equity and parity in all areas of business and life.
In the last five years, iProspect has seen and felt many changes as we #BalanceForBetter, and diversity plays a key role in iProspect’s success as an organization. In 2019, 42% of our Senior Leadership Team are women (compared to 30% only two years ago). The Technology, Finance, Marketing and New Business, and Human Resources teams all have female leaders. As an agency, our community is 60% female – increased from 53% in 2017. As CEO, Jeremy Cornfeldt has said, “Our female leadership and majority population has led to a broader and better set of ideas, different solutions for managing an increasingly complex ecosystem, and a stronger operational foundation. All of this has been crucial to our growth and success over the last 2 years.”
As iProspect has grown, it has welcomed a significant amount of change in terms of culture and benefits offered to employees. In 2017, Dentsu Aegis Network and iProspect announced an expanded parental leave policy allowing all employees (mothers and fathers) parental leave for up to four months. In 2018, we also rolled out an enhanced flexible working program that empowers our employees to manage their time with agility, keeping the focus on delivery, not just activity, and helping sustain a proper work/life balance.
At iProspect, our Diversity & Inclusion team is focused on sustaining an inclusive culture and engaging current and prospective talent in new ways. In addition to industry partnerships to evolve how we recruit and retain talent, as well as foster the next generation of industry leaders, we will also be launching affinity groups, including a New Parents Group that will give new parents a support system as they re-enter into the workforce. Because these affinity groups are formed through the interests of employees, the possibilities of new affinity groups forming are endless.
We need to evolve as the world around us evolves. iProspect is focused on continuously improving our policies to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all. With the help and feedback from our employees, we maintain a culture that supports women and creates a work-life balance. International Women’s Day allows us to celebrate the significant amount of progress women have made over the years, while acknowledging there is still much to be done.
I am so proud to work for an organization that is committed to creating an equal space for all. Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we work toward what’s next and the work we will continue to do to #BalanceForBetter.