We believe that action starts with achieving gender equality in schools. In signing The Gender Equality Charter, and working towards being awarded a badge of gender equality, the schools are making a visible and public commitment to working towards gender equality in their institution. Parents know that their child will be treated equally to the other gender in everything from the language teachers use, the activities and sports the students are allowed (and encouraged) to participate in, the clothing and hairstyles they are allowed to wear to the education on gender equality that will be provided. All the resources, examples, best practices, data and learning can be centralised and used to celebrate a more gender equal and inclusive education system in the UK.
Parents can commit to being a gender equal home and sign the charter. In return they will be drawn into the circle of change and receive access to learning, resources and even events to help them succeed in meeting their commitment. These parents and schools working together at home and at school to learn and change, accumulate knowledge, share what’s worked to benchmark and drive change would make an enormous difference by themselves.
Extending the charter out to businesses completes the circle. Businesses committing to become gender equal from the removal of gendering in language and behaviours in the office to bias removal in recruitment, education programs for staff and an equal approach to the responsibilities of parental leave and flexibility are just a few of the small changes that could, when added together across businesses change the world we live and work in.
Signed up businesses focus their volunteering power towards the signed up schools. That’s millions of professional volunteering hours, and coupled with a shared mindset and a common goal, it could do wonders to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.
One of our signatory businesses used some of their volunteering hours to trial a 6 week gender equality project in a school. The purpose of which was to raise awareness of all the roles in Technology and that it really is “a place for everyone” no matter your strengths or demographic. On week 1 they asked a class of 25 10 year olds, “Who wants to work in Tech?” and the response was 5 hands, all boys. By week 6 every single hand was up in the air – but not just that. The students had had their eyes opened to something – there were hugs, tears and promises like “I can’t wait to be 18 so I can be a Business Analyst!”. That was the result of around 100 person hours of work. Imagine that at scale.
Gender Equal businesses taking in the children who emerge from gender equal homes and schools will bring a new wave of employees to the workforce who are native “gender equals” – and because it will be alien to them to live and behave any other way, the change will take on a less forced and more natural nature and the world as we know it, will have changed.
There are so many disparate groups doing amazing work on different pieces of this vast problem. If we collected all of our brain power, networks and resources, we know we would solve it.
Together we can change the world like this.
If you believe in this – and want to be part of the solution then sign the charter and lets make it happen.