Clare Stephens: How do you use International Women’s Day to increase recognition of female employees? 

Clare Stephens

International Women’s Day presents an opportunity for organisations to reemphasise their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Many take the day as an opportunity to introduce new initiatives and programmes, and to amplify women’s voices, especially in industries such as technology, where women’s voices have traditionally been quieter.

At NTT Data UK&I we are celebrating this year with a series of insightful and fun events, which include a breakfast hosted by myself and our CEO, Fernando Apezteguia, on what embracing equality means to us, alongside a conversation with our inclusion network leads on equity and intersectionality.

Our Women’s Business Network will be hosting a session, and we will also be launching our Champions in Conversation live series, which will see a panel of NTT Data guests joined by professional golfer Georgia Hall, to discuss the challenges and successes of being a champion in sports and in business.

Initiatives, programmes and other DEI efforts have moved more to the forefront of employers’ minds over the past five to 10 years, but it is still taking a back seat compared to other priorities.

More and more organisations understand the importance of DEI today to business success. Covid-19 created a setback to the progress made, but things are once again moving in the right direction. It’s important that organisations such as NTT Data continue to set an example of how to approach this critical subject, and how the right strategy can not only create a better working environment for all, but also increase revenue. International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to highlight, discuss, and educate on this important matter.

It’s important to stress that International Women’s Day isn’t only for women; it’s a time for all to get involved in how equity and intersectionality should be approached in the workplace. It isn’t the sole responsibility of women to take action in supporting and propelling female counterparts forward; it is on those around them to play their part, too.

Implementing programmes that will encourage progress and support women on their professional journeys can be an effective way for organisations to show their commitment to women in the workplace. For those yet to engage programmes such as this, I urge them to look to International Women’s Day as an opportunity to kick-start initiatives.

Successful organisations commit to increasing DEI efforts on an ongoing basis. However, International Women’s Day provides an important platform for raising awareness, discussing challenges, encouraging women, implementing programmes and launching initiatives.

Clare Stephens is VP of diversity, equity and inclusion at NTT Data UK&I