Gender equity features on our agenda throughout the year, but on March 8 we want to highlight our actions and successes and reflect on the work we still have to do to achieve our own goals.
RGF Staffing celebrates IWD together with all of our operating companies. For good reason, because together with them, as one big family, we are initiating several global and local projects that drive inclusion and equity. Which are two major priorities at RGF Staffing.
Rob Zandbergen, CEO RGF Staffing states: “I strongly believe that gender – like age, race or religion - should not have any impact on how people are treated, and that men and women should have equal opportunities. When we work together to pursue our passions, our differences can complement each other and create greater value.”
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A fair representation across all levels
On International Women's Day, RGF Staffing wants to emphasize that everyone is responsible for creating an inclusive workplace, says Rob. “That is why, for several years now, gender equity and ensuring our female colleagues have access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts, has been at the heart of many of our initiatives.”
Increasing number of women in executive roles
And those efforts have had results. Over the past three years we have seen significant increases in female representation in our global senior succession plans. Currently, we have already achieved more than 50% representation of women at staff level and managerial levels. And over the last twelve months the number of women in executive roles at RGF Staffing has increased from 14% to 36%. Rob highlights: “That’s progress to be proud of. But it’s not enough. So we continue to develop initiatives that drive gender parity and support women in employment.”
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Over the last 3 years we have created a number of development programs, and we have made sure inclusion is at the core of each of them. One example is our CEO Challenge program, which invites teams consisting of senior leaders from RGF operating companies to create and present game-changing business initiatives. “By ensuring equal representation for men and women in these teams, the program not only generated great ideas: it also provided female leaders with a unique platform to make their voice heard”, explains Emma Northway, Global Head HR.
Angela Ashwell, Head of Talent, Performance and Inclusion, shares: “The results of the CEO Challenge were transformative, with one of our participants even being promoted to CEO during the program!”
Next up: Mentor Me
Recently we’ve launched our latest global initiative, called Mentor Me. Angela: “In my global role I get to see every day that we have exceptional talent at RGF Staffing. Mentor Me was created to share our talents and expertise across our operating companies, enabling our people, through technology, to partner with their colleagues to support their career development.”
Mentor Me consists of multiple components. One of them is the ‘Developing Female Leaders’ program, which aims to support our up and coming female leaders in their careers and ensure we reach our 2025 and 2030 goals for increasing our female leadership population, Emma says. Over 80 people signed up to take part.
The second program will focus on the role technology and innovation can play in effective mentoring. Emma: “By connecting people globally, we can boost inclusion, enhance our internal leadership capability and - most importantly – help people to see the opportunities out there, and what they can achieve.” To be clear, these programs are not women-only. Men also participate, because - fully in line with International Women's Day - we believe that enhancing gender equity isn't only a matter for women themselves. Having strong allies – of whatever gender - is incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women.
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Later this year: what obstacles keep women from reaching the top?
And there is more to come. Later this year we’re going to conduct a full-scale gender equity research project covering our entire organization, because we want to find out what obstacles keep women from reaching the executive level. Emma points out all kinds of factors may play a role: “Think environmental factors such as cultural differences, or structural obstacles, such as processes and policies. And we want to identify any examples of bias that hinder women’s progress.”
All these efforts will help RGF Staffing make the changes needed to truly support women in their efforts to achieve their ambitions. But challenges remain. Emma explains: “Despite being in an industry where women make up the larger part of the workforce, we still see an under-representation of female candidates for senior executive roles throughout our organization. That’s why we’re also working on improved succession planning and mentorship, giving our female talents the opportunities to be our future leaders.”
We want to make sure that by 2030 we are a truly inclusive and diverse organization, in every way. A place where everyone has access to all the tools and opportunities they need to grow professionally.
We’re happy to share our success with you on international Women’s Day. We invite you to become an ally just as we are and contribute to a world where everyone has the opportunity to pursue their career of choice.
Mentor Me: RGF Staffing's Mentor Me brings new perspective on talent's career opportunities
CEO Challenge: Game-changing ideas from our own key talents