International Women’s Day (IWD) is first and foremost an opportunity for celebration. It is a time to applaud the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and the progress we are making together towards an equal future.
As Global Chairman of RLB, I know that we have much to celebrate in every region of our business. In Asia, we now have a female/male split of 60/40% across all roles and the US exceeds their national average by 29% with women making up 40% of their workforce. In the UAE, we have introduced family friendly policies to support women returning to work. In the UK, we have grown our female representation in the senior leadership group to 25%. In Oceania, we are partnering with industry groups to build a stronger base of female STEM skills and in Africa, we are providing bursaries to provide opportunities to women who may face discrimination or other obstacles in pursuing their education.
IWD is also a time to acknowledge that there is still more to be done. The IWD 2023 theme – #EmbraceEquity – recognises that the focus on “equal opportunity” has not moved us fast enough towards our goal. By embracing equity, we recognise that each person has different circumstances, and so needs different resources and opportunities to reach an equal outcome.
At RLB, embracing equity means stepping into leadership roles as champions of change. It means building flexible, diverse and inclusive working environments where all employees can thrive. It means investing in education, training and skills development to grow a new generation of female talent.
Everyone in RLB has a role to play in showing that the built environment is among the most rewarding industries on the planet – one that shapes communities, cities and our collective future.
We are proud to share some stories from team members from around the world, as they reflect on what equity means to them and why it is so important at RLB.