International Women’s Day occurs on the 8th of March every year.
We’re fortunate enough to live in an age where much progress has been made on the issue of gender equality. But if we are to achieve true equality between the sexes there is still plenty of work left to do in both the developed and developing worlds.
So it’s vital that we continue to celebrate this worldwide day, where citizens, media, government and business can come together to evaluate inequality’s underlying causes and review strategies for improvement in education, politics, business and beyond.
I have the privilege of chairing #EnterprisingWomen, the gender equality group at Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s European head office. I am constantly asked why the group is important and on International Women’s Day I wanted to share those reasons publically.
At Enterprise, we have a pretty simple mission; we want to be the best at what we do. In less than 75 years we have gone from being a company with seven cars inside a garage in St Louis, Missouri, to a mobility company whose network spans the entire globe. We must be getting something right!
Our Chairman Andy Taylor has always known that, if Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going to grow at the rate we all want it to, we have to be a truly diverse company that attracts the best talent from every background. I am honoured to work for a company that has taken diversity so seriously for so long – but it begs the question, why is #EnterprisingWomen still important? We have a female CEO and COO, aren’t we there already?
Well, put simply, no.
Building inclusive equality
While there is a lot to celebrate at Enterprise we know there is also still a long way to go, both internally and in the wider business community. We need to foster an equality-building network that includes all employees, so bringing more men into the #EnterprsingWomen nexus is going to be an important part of our next step to reaching true gender parity.
By including everyone in this process, we’re creating issue-focussed dialogue between female and male employees. Crucially, that helps everyone to understand the concerns and barriers that are holding women back and lets everyone play a role in developing the solutions needed to consign them to the past.
So you see, not only is #EnterprisingWomen making us a stronger company by helping us retain and develop the best talent – it’s keeping us true to our founding values and the progressive values of wider society too.