Women in Business — an Inclusive and Equal Future?

November 22, 2021

In another instalment of gunnercooke‘s Women in Business series, a panel of inspiring female entrepreneurs and businesspeople discuss how we can frame the conversation for a diverse, inclusive and equal future for women at work. 

In the last 18 months, the challenges and disruption to the way we work have been greater than we have ever known. According to IFS research, the pandemic has reinforced both the causes and impact of the gender pay gap. Many of the industries worst affected by the pandemic were those with a high proportion of female workers and many women were left responsible for balancing home working, home schooling and family duties. Whilst we know that there will be long-term benefits from flexible working, in some respects we have lost momentum and progress in the campaign for equality, as opposed to bridging gaps.

Yet as we all know that this is not simply a gender issue. Whilst calls for diversity and equality are louder than ever before – are our previous ‘women in business’ conversations inclusive of the challenges faced by ALL women, or just some women?

Catch up on the full event below.

Women in Business Panellists:

The panellists shared their first-hand experiences of being ethnic minority women in the world of business, with the conversation covering questions such as:

  1. We talk about belonging and finding our ‘tribe’, but what does it mean to you?
  2. What were the influences that led to you going into business on your own?
  3. Were there any support networks out there to help you on your journey?
  4. What were the challenges that you faced when starting out as an entrepreneur?
  5. What does ‘an inclusive future for Women in Business’ mean to you?

“It’s taken me getting to 40 to figure out where I fit. I used to be a very small cog in a very big wheel, driven by performance bonuses and doing the same things every day. Being an entrepreneur allows me to engage with people that I want to engage with every day and to make a difference.” – Nita Patel Woods

“I was the only visibly Muslim woman in my office, the only one who dressed differently, and was often told to tone it down. I was being pushed into a box. Finding my tribe came with the flexibility of being allowed to nurture my four children alongside my career. This is how my business was born.” – Jennifer Ogunyemi

“For many years I stayed away from women’s groups as I didn’t feel supported. Then it became clear that there were many women like me working in silos who felt the same. I’m at a stage now where I want to give back to other women through coaching.” – Henna Riaz

You can watch a recording of the full webinar below.