2018 is a bitter-sweet year when it comes to gender equality in the UK. On the one hand, it marks the centenary since women (over the age 30) were granted the right to vote for the first time. On the other, it is a reminder that, despite 100 years of progress, there is still a long way to go achieve gender parity.
In 2017, the gender pay gap in the UK was its lowest in 20 years, but was still 9.1%. The Gender Equality Index found that the UK was among one of the worst performing EU states on improvements to gender equality. The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 found that the international gender gap was widening again for the first time in a decade.
Quite simply, unacceptable.
There may be no silver bullet when it comes to gender inequality, but every business can and should do their part. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said in November last year that “no one company or industry - or country, for that matter - can do it alone”. While we agree that a collaborative approach is necessary to achieve a gender-equal world, we also believe that it is companies, industries and countries that can lay the foundations.
At FYXER, we are proud of our gender record. The vast majority of FYXER staff are women, including 70 % of the management team. We are driven by women’s success as much as we aim to help drive women’s success.
Our business model was designed to serve both our clients and our staff. To dispel the false notions that ‘stay-at-home mums’ cannot have a rewarding career and high-flying executives cannot have a family.
Taking advantage of the latest software and technology, our Fyxers are able to work remotely four days out five. This not only saves time and money from commuting, but gives them more control over their work/life balance.
Their roles are autonomous, with each Fyxer tasked with devising bespoke solutions for their clients, but also team-focused, with each Fyxer working in a pod of like-minded Executive Assistants. As a result, Fyxers have flexibility in how they work, while also benefiting from their colleagues’ knowledge and ability to provide cover (be it for an hour to attend a school meeting or a year off for maternity leave).
Meanwhile, FYXER’s working model is also an incubator for modern technical skills. Working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, new services, software and techniques are constantly being learned, honed and deployed, providing Fyxers with the skills to succeed in the digital age.
However, our employees are just one side of the coin. FYXER’s raison d’être is making executives’ lives more efficient. Our Fyxers free up their client’s time by taking ownership of non-critical tasks and transforming their working practices. Executives can then use this extra time to drive their business forward and spend more time with their loved ones.
Running a business and running a family should not be an either/or choice. Many of our clients are female executives who excel at both and we are delighted that our work gives them the time to do so, especially as, according to Where Women Work, helping women in leadership roles is a “critical factor in closing the economic opportunity gap”.
Although recent statistics may be heading in the wrong direction, there is great cause for hope. With the wide reach of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, gender equality issues are high on the public agenda and the time is right to capitalise on this momentum. Therefore, this International Women’s Day, FYXER encourages individuals and companies to support the #PressforProgress campaign.
Every business can make a difference. Every business should make a difference.