Women in the Boardroom- is it really 2018?
It felt a little like we’d woken up in a different century yesterday when we read some of the comments made by men on boards of some of the UK’s biggest companies about why there weren’t more women on their boards. The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released their findings from a review that is underway to increase the number of women on FTSE boards.
As two of MIDAS Aviation’s three partners are women and sit on boards, we thought it timely to add our two pennies to the debate. We must say at this point, our board experiences have been nothing but positive, but maybe this is because we already have a seat at the table in those roles, and therefore have ‘proved ourselves’?
Beyond our board roles however we’re no stranger to these sorts of comments unfortunately and have a list of anecdotes about being asked to make the tea; if we are our male business partner’s PA; or indeed more recently what kind of ‘partner’ we are. It seems the aviation industry still has some way to go to reach the 21st century where women are perceived as equals.
Are these comments appropriate in 2018? No. Would questions like these ever be asked of men? We think not.
So what can we do to change the experience for women? We believe women need to call men out on these views, and challenge inappropriate comments or behaviour as and when they express them. It can be difficult to do this, we know, but ultimately things won’t change if we don’t set the ground rules appropriately. The more we have this debate openly, and women talk about their experiences – and more importantly have a platform to do so, the more attitudes will begin to change.
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