Working together

8 February 2018

The Department for Communities hosted a business lunch to hear the voices of both men and women who work for better diversity, inclusion and equality in society through innovative approaches in their organisations.

While the Representation of the People Act is most famous for giving women the vote for the first time, it was a pivotal moment in the journey to universal emancipation and a step forward towards a more equal society. However, there is still inequality in society and the data shows that women lag in many areas including representation on Boards and in elected positions, equal pay, and participation in science and technology fields.

Louise Warde Hunter, in her role as Gender Champion, started proceedings with an overview of the work that had been done within the civil service to challenge stereotypes and to implement far-reaching change at every level.

Attendees at senior levels of the civil service and in business came together to hear the experience of John Healy, Managing Director at AllState Northern Ireland who spoke if his company’s efforts in encouraging females into the IT industry and being part of the Gender Diversity Charter Mark scheme overseen by Women in Business.

Nicola Thompson, Business in the Community, presented on the topic ‘Working together, working smarter’ which looked at the best practice on more balanced and inclusive workplaces and the work of the Gender Project.

Lynn Carvill, CEO of Women’s Tech, focused on the training and support of women in non-traditional disciplines and then successes that have been gained there.

This event created a space to consider a progressive approach, share good practice, demonstrate the data of how it works and celebrate the successes of those leading the way to equality.