Before putting pen to paper to write this article about International Women’s Day, I debated whether I should be writing it at all. Shouldn’t I ask one of the many talented women who work for Teckro to write it instead, I wondered.
But as CEO of Teckro, I felt it my duty to highlight some of the company’s achievements when it comes to employing and promoting women. After all, human nature being what it is, we tend to look to others to see what we should be doing. And companies are made up of humans who make important decisions every day. So, if I could inspire other leaders to commit to taking bold steps towards leveling the playing field in terms of gender diversity in their companies, I should write the article, I thought.
When you’re running a company, you want the best people on your team. Gender or any other discriminatory factors shouldn’t come into it. But we don’t live in an ideal world and it can be hard to overcome internal biases.
I’d like to emphasize that Teckro doesn’t promote women just because they’re women. We promote people fairly regardless of their gender – and this is the point. When companies do leave their biases at the door and assess individuals on merit, more women will naturally rise to the top.
Let’s have a look at some figures that show how Teckro is leading the way in terms of male to female ratios both cross-company and on our leadership teams:
While women at Teckro can rely on being paid equally to men and receiving equal opportunities for employment and promotion, the reality is that for millions of women across the world this is not the case. According to the United Nations:
A couple of years ago, there were more men called David and Steve leading FTSE companies than women or ethnic minorities. But in February this year, a UK government review found that the number of women on the boards of top UK-listed companies has risen by 50% in five years - making all-men FTSE boards “extinct.”
But despite these promising figures, the report showed that women are still underrepresented in the highest leadership positions. To me, this demonstrates that we need to have more conversations about how to address gender gaps.
It’s also important to remember that women don’t suffer discrimination just in the workplace. As we’ve written about in our blog a year ago on this very day, women’s participation in clinical trials is too low, with the male to female ratio for many disease types still not matching the real-world gender split. And women are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack because they can experience symptoms differently – and most people don’t know this.
Just as we at Teckro contribute to the conversations about advancing diversity in clinical trials, we also have a part to play in the broader business world.
To that point, I’m pleased to introduce a new Teckro podcast series called Women in Leadership. Our team has taken the opportunity to interview a group of accomplished professional women to give them a platform to share their thoughts about how we can address diversity at the top levels, as well as positive stories about progress made to date.
For example, we hear from Elisabeth Baugh, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada about the importance of mentors and on-the-job training for women throughout their careers.
Then there’s Sabrina Martucci Johnson, CEO of Daré Bioscience who shares her vision for a more equitable balance when it comes to leadership and other influential roles.
And pharmaceutical executive Dairine Dempsey, explains how women often start off well at entry and mid-levels, but too frequently encounter obstacles at the higher echelons of leadership.
You can hear the full podcast here.
Diversity isn’t just a good thing because it’s “fair” to women and other underrepresented groups. Diversity is something that’s desirable because it creates a stronger organization for all stakeholders. It leads to more creativity and better outcomes for businesses.
Different groups think and perceive the world differently. Bringing these perspectives to the business world is crucial to grow and develop into better organizations – with improved decision-making, risk-taking, and work environments.
So this International Women’s Day, I encourage businesses everywhere to make gender diversity one of their priorities. Teckro has gone from strength to strength since our inception five years ago, and I believe that this is strongly linked to our commitment to hiring the most talented people for the job. After all, people are one of the most precious resources for any company.