Home / The Rix & Kay Blog / International Women’s Day 2024 – Why should I care?
Scott Garner

Practice Manager

7th March 2024

International Women’s Day 2024 – Why should I care?

My employer, Rix & Kay, always makes a bit of a splash for International Women’s Day and rightly so. No question, it’s an important day and, from my perspective, one that does more to shine the spotlight of gender inequality in my direction than any other event during the year. Is that as far as it goes for me though? Nothing more than an annual reminder.

In case you haven’t figured it yet, I am a man and, up until now, probably a man who had a fair degree of ignorance with regards to gender inequality. I’m not completely in the dark of course. I’ve read the headlines (many of them shocking), seen the stats and witnessed first-hand some of the challenges my wife has experienced with raising two children whilst trying to fulfil a successful career.

So, as International Women’s Day wheels its way back round again for 2024, I’m thinking this needs to be a bit more than just a reminder for me. Why should I care and what can I do? First thing – write a blog, acknowledge gender inequality, contribute to the debate. The IWD website makes clear that everyone, everywhere can play a part in helping forge gender equality – so here I am, at least doing a bit more than just observing all the good that comes out of IWD.

At this point it’s probably worth acknowledging my workplace. As I mentioned earlier, Rix & Kay has celebrated IWD for a number of years now. Cynics might say that it has jumped on the band-wagon and, to some extent, that’s true but ultimately, it is doing the right thing and only good can come from its involvement in and celebration of IWD. The evidence is already clear – Right now I’m doing more than just observing. I’m thinking about gender inequality and how I might be able to help. I’ve been compelled to do my own research so my opinion is well informed and I’ve just emailed my whole organisation to see if others want to contribute towards celebrating IWD. Without Rix & Kay’s involvement in IWD, perhaps I wouldn’t have done these things on my own accord.

Rix & Kay’s role in forging gender equality is not without substance either. The firm takes pro-active measures to ensure diversity across its workforce and monitors its diversity profile carefully. Right now, almost 75% of Rix & Kay employees are women and, of the firm’s department leadership team, half are represented by women. It also has a flexible and hybrid working policy that sits at the heart of its longer-term strategy. This strategy has been adopted, in part, to allow great female talent to join the firm who can’t always accommodate the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-to-5. A great example of this is Kathryn Paisley, who is a Partner and a member of Rix & Kay’s Strategic Board. Kathryn originally joined the firm as a Solicitor in 2015 working flexible hours. Previously she had worked in the City before taking a career break.

Whilst all of this is great, it still leaves me thinking about what I can do and why should I care? OK – quite hard for me to change the world but small steps better than no steps so here’s my two-pence worth…. A few simple ways men can play their part..

A few ways men can help forge gender equality?

  1. Raise awareness in your workplace – An easy one to start, encourage your employer to support IWD, contribute yourself and encourage everyone to do the same.
  2. Wear your colours – Purple, green and white are the colours of International Women’s Day. Show your support on the 8 March by recognising the importance of IWD and acknowledging gender inequality.
  3. Speak to the women you know – talk to your female friends and family members about how they might be experiencing gender inequality. You can’t help find a solution until you understand the problem and just showing your support can be a valuable contribution.
  4. Don’t tolerate discrimination in any form – It’s easy to turn a blind eye to discrimination (of any type) but doing nothing should not be an option. Men must be allies against all forms of discrimination and abuse and you should call it out if you see it happening. Try to be a positive role model for other men you know.
  5. Do your fair-share at home – It sounds very cliché doesn’t it but women’s potential to fulfil rewarding and successful careers are consistently hindered by the responsibilities they take on at home especially when it comes to child care. Talk to your partner about how you can help and acknowledge that such responsibilities do present a challenge and can limit opportunity.
  6. Don’t remain ignorant – And finally and perhaps above everything else, do not remain a passive observer. Needless to say, there are some seriously thought-provoking opinions out there that you need to read. It’s not difficult to educate oneself on the challenges we all face so ignorance is simply no excuse.