#PressforProgress


Encouraging women to find their voice


One year ago, I posted a blog for International Women’s Day pledging to be bold for change! I was in the process of publishing a book at that time, written to enlighten men (about how women experience the workplace as well as the benefits of gender inclusion) and to engage them as advocates. My co-author and I published the book in September of 2017, and it has been a great catalyst for discussions amongst men and women about how to transform workplaces toward gender inclusion.

Since publishing the book, there has been a lot in the media about inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment and even sexual assault in the workplace really highlighted by the #metoo campaign and recently spurred by the ‘Silence Breakers.’ Women are finding their voices. This is great! Inappropriate behavior MUST be stopped and prevented in the future.

Perhaps even more pervasive than the sexual harassment or assault that clearly still exists in some workplaces, is the everyday gender bias that continues to be pervasive in most workplaces.

We need to continue to encourage women to find their voices in the everyday gender-biased situations that affect women in the workplace. It is NOT enough to just eliminate the most egregious actions…we need to level the playing field for women. We need well-intentioned men to engage as advocates in this effort, which will ultimately benefit everyone.

So, on this International Women’s Day, it is my sincere hope that women will invite men to engage, and that men will engage in the much-needed conversation about how to improve the workplace by working together toward gender inclusion. These conversations must include open and honest dialogue about conscious (but mostly unconscious) bias that exists in the workplace and how men and women can work together to heighten awareness of this bias and guard against it affecting actions and decisions.

I hope to make progress toward gender inclusion such that there will not be a need to celebrate women one day out of the year because having women in the workplace and in senior leadership roles will be just as ‘normal’ as having men in them.

Bonnie Fetch
Director of Aftermarket Parts Distribution

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