International Women’s Day: agency leaders on tackling bias, inclusivity and diversity
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day – a day intended as a celebration, but increasingly mired in arguments about tokenism, co-option, corporatism and ‘pinkwashing.’ What’s clear in those criticisms is the continuing need for genuine initiatives toward gender equality. We asked experts from The Drum Network what initiatives truly make a difference, pushing past tokenism toward meaningful year-round change.
Sophie Brooks, managing director, Tug Toronto
At Tug we have women leading from the front, holding regional managing director and head of department roles across our global offices. We’re proud of our female trailblazers, but acknowledge the fact that more is required to achieve true equality.
Companies must build female talent from the ground up, including women of color and women of varying sexual orientation; to invest in them early and support them as they rise through the ranks.
More than this, recruitment should take place beyond businesses’ comfort zones. This might mean hiring women from underprivileged areas and providing internships to candidates outside of the city. I’m currently working on an initiative that will offer internships to Indigenous Canadians and immigrants. I hope to provide female candidates from a more diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to work with Tug, and for us to have the opportunity to learn from their skills and talent. We’ll aim to translate as many of these internships as we can into full-time hires.