Civica helps break the bias this International Women’s Day

  • Civica, one of the UK’s largest software companies is welcoming the #breakthebias campaign for this year’s International Women’s Day (8 March). 

    International Women's Day (IWD) provides a key moment to celebrate women's achievements in the workplace and showcase employer initiatives and support.

    As the biggest employee engagement day of the year, IWD sees organisations amplify and reinforce their commitment to helping forge an inclusive world.

    While International Women's Day activity escalates for March 8, prime employers for women maintain a deep and continuous focus on equity, diversity and inclusion all year round.

    Increasingly, organisations worldwide are providing progressive policies, practices, benefits, and support mechanisms so women's careers can thrive - and these workplaces offer appealing job opportunities. Plus, celebrating the work and achievements of women inspires further women to achieve their full potential.

    RELATED: Building to belong: diversity and inclusion in the workplace empowers us to deliver better for customers and the communities they serve

    Prime employers for women meet 10 criteria:

    • demonstrate executive leadership commitment to gender equality

    • embrace a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion

    • forge a female hiring pipeline from early career to executive level

    • value and support flexible working arrangements

    • provide formal avenues to address any concerns of bias

    • ensure women's inclusion from supply chain through to decision making

    • ensure marketing and communications are consistently free of stereotyping

    • provide external support for women's advancement

    • monitor progress and outcomes from diversity initiatives

    • participate in external validation of progressive employer practice

    Civica has worked hard to promote gender equality. Rachel Steenson, Business Development Manager at Civica, said: “This International Women’s Day, I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to tackle bias in the workplace. I know it can feel uncomfortable, but to really break bias down it’s going to take some tricky conversations. To do this, we can make sure everyone is included, whether that be a team meeting or in informal settings. We should also avoid going to the same team member when an opportunity arises, so someone new can step up and take on a new project.”

    Rachel also added: “It’s so important to have role models. I am lucky enough to know a number of amazing women in Northern Ireland in the tech sector who have been a great source of inspiration and guidance throughout my career. To me, the future workplace will be a place where all feel welcome, where different points of view and ideas are actively encouraged and are the norm. We need a workplace where younger women can look up and see not one, but many role models and various career paths open to them and they feel empowered to succeed on their terms. Ultimately where we no longer need to have the conversation about bias or quotas because our workplace reflects the population in all its diversity.”

    RELATED: Civica appoints Rachel Steenson as Business Development Manager for NI

    Civica currently has a number of initiatives in place to encourage gender equality throughout the company. One of these initiatives is a number of Civicia affinity groups,which are voluntary employee-led groups based on shared characteristics, such as gender. They offer a safe space for everyone to hold discussions across a wide range of areas. The company has also become more mindful when creating recruitment advertisements and actively avoid wording that might discourage women from applying.

    Commenting ahead of International Women’s Day, Executive Director at Civica, Sian Roberts said: “To make a real difference, we all need to see it as our responsibility to support breaking the bias in the workplace. Leaders can set the direction, but it’s about each of us as individuals and within our teams seeking to challenge bias, stereotypes, and discrimination where we find them. We need to be proactive about creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. That might be as specific as mentoring a team member, but it could also be about working more collaboratively to get a wider range of input on a project.”

    Concluding, Sian added: “I hope a more gender balanced workplace would be a vibrant, lively and stimulating environment, where the focus would be on what people can contribute rather than their gender. It’s vital that younger women coming into the workplace can see more opportunities than obstacles and colleagues who are allies, not opponents.”

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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