With much excitement we have been following a growing resistance movement throughout the world in recent months – led by women. We feel moved, inspired and honoured to witness this.
Mission Talent—a team of eight, seven of whom are women from different countries—was debating how best to show solidarity on Wednesday, 8th March 2017 during A Day without a Woman. We felt strongly about not being silent on this day, showing solidarity and somehow using the opportunity to make an impact. We chose not to go on strike, as others are planning, because we believe that it would not have the desired impact in our particular context. On International Women’s Day we shall continue working for our clients and candidates, supporting them in their mission towards the very same goals.
Some of our team members would like to share with you what International Women’s Day means to them.
IWD is important because it allows us all to stop and appreciate women in our lives and acknowledge the role and contribution that women make even in the ‘smallest’ things. Mission Talent is primarily made up of women, which is great. It gives women an opportunity to make a difference in the world through the searches we do for International NGOs, by putting forward the best-skilled people for leading the job of ‘saving and healing’ the world and working to make it a better place for us and our children, who are our future. Mission Talent’s work places women in leadership roles in organisations; women who are definitely qualified and skilled to lead in these global organisations.
I started my career in a male-dominated industry and environments where all one hundred co-workers in my immediate vicinity were men. I now find myself in a minority—though it is rare that I notice that fact.
Nevertheless, the idea that any community of people should only make use of half of its brainpower, half of its imagination or half of its creativity is clearly ridiculous.
The practice of having only half of the adult population choosing its rulers and politicians was overturned in most countries during the 20th century and yet, according to the World Economic Forum, gender parity (defined as 30-40% women) is 117 years away!
We at Mission Talent know that doesn't have to be the case; we are proud that our gender statistics are way beyond that level, something we have achieved simply by finding, evaluating and selecting candidates on their individual merits.
“I could not have a better job environment for a baby.”
A sentence I have used a lot in the past weeks, slowly but steadily preparing for parenthood.
But what does that really mean?
Yes, we work from home and so I assume the ability to put up your washing during lunch break is convenient and the fact that you do not have to be physically distant from your child while your partner takes a more active part in the caring is great too.
But that is not all that makes Mission Talent a good place to have a baby.
When I announced the news to the team I was greeted with great happiness and encouragement from a group of people - who for the most part are parents themselves with kids ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old. That was wonderful, but even though I am more tired now, even if I will be away from work for a few weeks later this year, I know that this will not make me a second-class team member at MT.
Yes, sometimes a child crosses the webcam during a team call, a sick preschooler needs some attention or a team member is proudly supporting their child at a school event. And we have each others backs, we support each other and understand. When I found out I was having a baby, Katja was among the first five people to know and my team knew way before some of my friends did!
This is an experience that every parent-to-be should be able to have. It should not be a privilege. It should be how it is. And while sexism, sexual violence, equal pay and all those incremental issues are of importance today, this is one area where we at Mission Talent are already making a difference.