International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8th March each year, throws the spotlight on women and their rights. Beginning in the early 1900s, the globally-recognised celebration commemorates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and highlights the need to accelerate gender equality.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it will take another 100 years to achieve gender equality based on the current rate of progress. Cratus is committed to its mission to bolster equal opportunities for its employees and strive for absolute equality. To celebrate the day, our (currently!) all-female Communities team share what we have learnt at Cratus and what Cratus is doing to promote an inclusive work culture for all.
To bridge the gap, Cratus creates a culture where employees feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. Cratus has worked to install mechanisms that support employees to “have a voice” and to contribute to the company conversation. One example of this is the recently created Junior Board which directly challenges the long standing societal struggle to diversify board rooms. Membership to the Junior Board is automatic for all junior team members, exposing them to the process of business and supporting the whole team to feel empowered to explore opportunities, resolve concerns and celebrate successes. This is one step on our journey towards an improved, inclusive, and engaged workplace.
Cratus is committed to a fair representation of genders at senior levels. We currently have two women on our board of directors, and 50% of our leadership team is female. We recognise the need for female leaders not only to offer different leadership styles and perspectives, but also as examples of successful women for junior members of staff to learn from. Women are often credited in the workplace as having a collaborative and inclusive leadership style which results in successful performance and increased innovation.
Flexible working is also an essential step towards promoting gender balance in the workplace. It provides greater possibilities for retaining full-time jobs and striking a better work-life balance, offering more sustainable employment patterns for parents and non-parents. The nature of our Communities service has meant we have always been able to support flexible working, finding that almost immediately this offered improved job satisfaction, commitment and effort. One of the positive takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic is that the flexible working adopted across the company will now be taken forward as part of our standard working practice.
Further research suggests women tend to have a higher emotional intelligence score when forming relationships with colleagues and clients which allows for a higher quality of work. At Cratus, we promote emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management and social awareness) to help improve business development, maintain close relationships with clients and colleagues as well as encouraging personal growth.
One of our key female clients and an inspirational leader in the planning and development world Sammie Steele, Managing Director for Places for People, has continued to shatter the glass ceiling and strive for gender equality within the sector.
“The construction industry provides homes and infrastructure for everybody, and needs to be led by a representative workforce. I am proud of the women I work with across my sites, and as a Managing Director, I consider it to be my responsibility to ensure women’s voices are heard and they are afforded equal opportunities throughout their professional lives. I strive to achieve this through both my in-house team and my consultant team, and hope to continue to play my part in building upon the growing momentum with more and more women joining our industry.”
Gemma Gallant, Executive Director of Communities at Cratus said:
“The 2021 International Women’s Day theme is #choosetochallenge, so at Cratus we are choosing to challenge ourselves and others by continuing to speak up about inequality and championing all of our staff and their collective successes. This inclusive culture is at the heart of Cratus and we hope that by leading the way, we can help to create a more diverse and equal sector.”