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Gender parity in the workplace Might Not Be a new Thought, but that doesn’t Imply it’s not a Groundbreaking one, write Sofia Bodger along with Clémence Lépinard, Strategists at BBH London.

In the end of this past calendar year, the BBH Strategy division has been put to the test and asked to enter the IPPR Economics Prize (much more detail about our other entrances to come on Labs shortly ). The struggle was to draw a radical strategy to force a step change in the UK’s market and reverse the downward trend of economic growth.

Our proposal was straightforward: increase female participation in the workplace and reach gender parity. We coated childcare, parental leave, unpaid work redistribution, accessibility to greater productivity and higher paying jobs, careers in STEM, education, training, mentoring, equal pay… The list goes on and in fact, we merely scratched the surface.

Spoiler alert: we did not win. It appears our idea was deemed too conventional, too trodden as a motif. Sure, this debate isn’t new. Neither is it original. In reality you could argue that we plagiarised the entire paper.

However, does that mean feminine empowerment is not considered radical?

Considering it required the UK 96 decades to grant women the right to vote, so it’s apparent what made history wasn’t unforeseeable and sudden. It wasn’t unpredictable.

Radical change does not happen overnight. It’s a lengthy process often with as many steps backwards as forward. It may be at the top of most business’s agendas but that doesn’t mean we should stop fighting it.  

And that’s what writing this paper taught us: radical doesn’t have to be new, instead it has to be more sporty. Radical change requires time, effort, commitment, persistence and endurance. This is the key to making change occur and overthrowing the patriarchal system. As long as the framework remains unchanged, our proposal remains radical.

Happy International Women’s Day. Keep denting that glass ceiling.

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