On International Women’s Day (IWD), Dale was invited to speak to the team at Programmed Marine at one of their Toolbox Talks. This year’s IWD slogan “Be Bold For Change” inspired Dale to share moments in her career that required her to be bold.
One of these standout moments for us was when Dale made the bold decision to resign (just shy of 10-years) as HRM in a male-dominated automotive components company. The decision came after she was un-invited to a farewell function for one of the team because the CEO determined it would be a male-only event.
We asked Dale to share more with us about this bold career move –
Were situations such as this – female-exclusion from events – a current occurrence in the 80s and 90s?
I think they were more generally, but in a less direct way.
It wasn’t as common then as it is now for a female to be part of the executive team, especially in an industry such as automotive components. Therefore, being gender inclusive was an afterthought or not a thought at all.
What made this an unacceptable occurrence to me was that I had considered myself an integral team member – I’d been there for a long time – so being un-invited devalued my worth and was embarrassing.
That was then and this is now – how much would you say the workplace has changed in terms of gender equality?
A lot! We still have a long way to achieve full gender equity and inclusion – in fact 170 years according to the World Economic Forum – but at least there has been significant change since then. Now, companies wouldn’t even dream of such obvious exclusion in fear of a lawsuit; and hopefully, with the shift in workplace culture, they wouldn’t want to anyway. More and more women are being valued as important and successful contributors to their organisation.
Is there anything you would particularly like to see changed in terms of gender equality?
Everyday we work with our candidates to help them achieve their career ambitions and ongoing career success. I’d like to see women be confident that they don’t need to contemplate that unfairness through bias may occur. Women should have the expectation that when applying for positions, development opportunities or progressing their careers alongside other male colleagues and irrespective of career breaks for family, that they be assured that they will be considered without any gender bias, and that their remuneration will reflect this.