Every International Women’s Day, we pause to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, which can go overlooked. Therefore, it is also important to contribute to the call to action to raise awareness against bias and take action to advance an equitable future. This year, people around the world are uniting, raising their voices to #Break the Bias—and Poly proudly stands in solidarity with this campaign.
As explained in a previous blog, Poly understands that women have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic, leading to worsening gender parity across the workforce. Women, more so than any other demographic, have had to take on even more as they juggle the ever-shifting housekeeping, caretaking, hybrid schoolwork and remote-to-hybrid work. According to the 2021 McKinsey & Company study, the largest study of women in corporate America, “One in three women says that they have considered downshifting their career or leaving…, compared with one in four who said this a few months into the pandemic.” Too many professionals are leaving the workforce completely to compensate for the changing needs of their families—not to mention the burn out.
This means women, who might need hybrid or remote work options more than any other demographic, could be those most worried about how a return to work would impact their careers. As many businesses are currently discussing a return to work, it makes these concerns especially timely. Carolina Milanesi, a Consumer Tech analyst and Forbes contributor, states, “It is time we decouple work from office presence. Some work can be done anywhere and going to the office should be a purpose-driven choice that does not translate to better opportunity or a faster career path.” If it does, it’s clear which demographic a business is most willing to disadvantage.
At Poly, our goal is to do the right thing in the right way, every time, and we are committed to creating equitable opportunities and an inclusive workplace for all. We embrace our flexible working policy and hybrid working reality—it’s ingrained within our culture—not a limited-time benefit. In addition, according to the Gender Social Norms index, over 40 percent of the world’s population feel that men make better business executives and that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce. This attitude does not prevail at Poly. We challenge ourselves to break the bias every day and pursue improvement to gender balance in leadership roles and female representation at all levels. Click here to read more about our gender balance goals and our partnership with Advancing Women Executives, which helps accelerate women’s careers.
We are also very lucky to have passionate people at Poly who are committed to addressing gender inequity. Many of these internal leaders are part of our Women’s Leadership Group (WLG), an active Employee Resource Group (ERG) since 2017. This ERG takes action year-round to support women and ensure that gender diversity is priority at Poly. Just this January, our WLG brought cognitive neuroscientists Dr. Sahar Yousef and Professor Lucas Miller, from the University of California, Berkeley back to Poly to deliver a second webinar on Becoming Superhuman: The Science of Managing your Time, Focus and Energy. As businesses across all industries trend toward remote and hybrid work, productivity barriers are more relevant than ever, and it makes providing employees with the support and tools to effectively combat them especially important. Dr. Yousef and Professor Miller taught us how to do just that. Our WLG also hosts numerous educational sessions, and this International Women’s Day, Estelle Jackson, our Inclusion, Diversity, Education and Awareness leader, will be sharing her ‘Day in the Life’ journey to teach us how various situations, avenues and milestones have led her to where she is today. We will later hear from women in our Middle East and North Africa region.
To break the bias against women, we all have to do better and hold ourselves accountable. Together, we will create an equal, equitable workplace, advancing diversity, inclusion and gender balance at Poly. Reaching this equitable future will take time, effort and investment, and Poly is committed to making it happen. Follow our progress in our external facing Corporate Social Responsibility report, publishing in May, under Inclusion, Diversity, Education and Awareness.