#IWD2020 #EachforEqual, The Importance of an equal world

6th March 2020, 2:07 pm

Two small worlds “equal world”, but what do they mean to me?

They mean creating an environment where everyone can achieve their potential.  This applies in a business context, in my role as one of two (female) Executive Partners at Beever and Struthers (a leading firm of Chartered Accountants with headquarters based in Manchester, UK) or at home, as a mother of three teenagers, one girl and two boys.

#EachforEqual is fundamentally important to me.  I want to see a society where inclusivity is just accepted, not “noise” masquerading as action and progress.

As Executive Partner of Beever and Struthers, I am firmly of the view that creating an inclusive environment, where everyone wants to work with us (our partners, our employees, our clients and the companies with whom we work) is the only way to protect our legacy and create a firm fit for the next 100+ years.

We have achieved a great deal.  Our firm is run by two female Executive Partners.  Of our eighteen partners, six are women.  Our Operations Board is made up of five senior managers, four of whom are women.  None of those positions are filled by women to achieve some form of quota system, but because those individuals were the right people for the jobs.

Our latest published gender pay report shows we achieved an almost perfect 50-50 split in pay balance for our male and female colleagues within each quartile of the report.  We are not required to report on our gender pay gap, but we chose to do so.  This reflects the strong focus we as a firm place on equality.

But creating an inclusive environment needs more than putting formal policies in place or reviewing our recruitment process.

It means providing real choice to everyone, so that everyone can contribute to our firm in a way that works for them, and their lives.  Flexibility is key.  This will be difficult to achieve.  We are still essentially a service organisation, providing services to our clients when and how they want them to be delivered.  But just because it is difficult does not mean we should shy away from trying to achieve better.  And that is the legacy I am looking to leave Beever and Struthers.

And from a personal perspective?  I simply want my children to be able to make their own choices, to achieve what they set out to achieve, without excessive compromise to their dreams.  I want them to believe anything is possible.

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