International Women's Day 2024 at RGF Staffing: “Inspire Inclusion”

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Let's forge a more inclusive world for women. This is the overall goal of the International Women’s Day (IWD) movement. The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2024 is: “Inspire Inclusion”. 

At RGF Staffing we truly believe in inspiring ourselves and others to understand and value women's inclusion. On top of that, we develop social DEI and HR programs to inspire the inclusion of women and to help them find support. As a people business, bringing together candidates, program participants, clients and employees, we need to cooperate to make a success of women’s inclusion. And that’s exactly what we’re doing! 


Success means inspiring others

Emma Northway - RGF StaffingEmma Northway, global HR Director RGF Staffing, believes that placing a great emphasis on diversity and women’s inclusion is a key initiative towards creating an inclusive community. “‘Inspiring Inclusion’ is part of who I am. If I really can inspire other people, I count that as a personal success . When I can inspire other women to elevate themselves, I hope that will be my small contribution towards a change in society. The same applies to my personal life. As a mother of four boys, I want them to be able to look up to a strong woman and inspire them to be an ally to all women.”


Gender parity in senior executive positions

RGF Staffing is making progress in its challenge of achieving gender parity amongst senior executives. To achieve the goal, various leadership programs have been implemented with a strong focus on the participation of female colleagues in executive management positions. One program is the yearly CEO challenge: the international leadership development program for senior key talent, including women, in the celebration of DEI. Ann Martens, Managing Director Start People Belgium, who participated in the CEO Challenge, reports a positive personal experience: “This program has stimulated my out of the box thinking and my creativity. To the next cohort of participants I would say: take the challenge!” Another CEO Challenge participant was Mariana Lemercier, HR Director RGF Staffing France. “We worked on the topic 'From CEO Challenge to CO2 Challenge,' challenging ourselves to find an effective solution to reduce the carbon impact of our operations. The program helped me to feel more comfortable managing a project in a foreign language and in unfamiliar territory. And on a personal level, it had a positive impact on my daily habits by reducing my carbon footprint. I’m now fully committed to promoting the low-carbon transition around me.”

Within succession planning, RGF Staffing aims to increase women’s participation in the candidate pool for senior executives. As CEO of Recruit Staffing in Japan, Shinya (Shin) Yamamoto states it is crucial to objectively assess each individual’s personality and abilities. “Regardless of gender, we must fairly consider what a person wants to achieve and what contributions people can make. Especially in Japan, we have to break through the cultural norm where women stay at home while men work. Even highly capable women still tend to abandon their careers midway. RGF Staffing supports every employee having the opportunity to fulfill their potential and lead a fulfilling life.”

Furthermore, Mentor Me is a global mentorship program started in 2023, to develop women leaders and digital talent capacity. Kelly Comerford, Payroll Services Manager at Aurion (Australia), won last year’s title “Mentee of the year” as part of the RGF Staffing Developing Female Leaders Program. “This appointment has allowed me to be a fierce advocate for other team members to join this incredibly empowering and insightful program for women looking to step into leadership roles. One of the key skills I have gained through participating is the enhanced ability to contemplate intrapersonal reflection on both a personal and professional level. It is without any hesitation or reservation that I encourage any woman who is considering this program to learn more and dive straight into what I have found to be a life-changing experience.”

Fighting inequality for women with RGF Connect

For RGF Staffing, fighting inequality and reducing barriers for women is also part of the DEI strategy and RGF Connect program. Yvonne Mastenbroek, Chief Sustainability Officer RGF Staffing explains: “Through RGF Connect, we are on a mission to help those who need it the most, whether that’s supporting women facing inequality while getting back into employment, or helping disabled people to find a meaningful job. Our global program is helping fight inequality to create a better society for everyone. I strongly believe that this initiative which brings together all of the operating companies under RGF Staffing to fight inequality and reduce barriers to employment around the world, is helping to build a better society for all, and I am hugely proud of it.” Within RGF Connect, two local initiatives – in Australia and Japan – stand out, and these focus very specifically on women's well-being and improving their social opportunities and position.

Build bridges and break down barriers

Yvonne Mastenbroek Chief Sustainability Officer RGF StaffingYvonne Mastenbroek: “At RGF Staffing, we will keep striving to make the changes needed to truly support women in their efforts to achieve their ambitions. Our goal is to be an inclusive organization and employer where everyone is included. With that in mind, we will continuously keep working on improved succession planning and mentorship within our company. We focus on giving our female talents the opportunities to become future leaders. And as a part of our global social program RGF Connect, we will build bridges and break down barriers for women around the world.”


RGF Staffing APEJ: Empowering women and shattering glass ceilings

The groundwork for the RGF Connect initiative in Australia was laid a few years ago, when RGF Staffing APEJ company Chandler Macleod launched a program aimed at supporting women over 45 break down barriers in the labor market. The program proved so successful that through RGF Connect, it has been expanded to include more groups of women facing barriers: whether those are related long-term unemployment, single motherhood, advanced age or cultural and linguistic diversity.

Cynthia Andrews, Director of Employment Equity at Chandler Macleod, stresses the importance of the program. “In too many cases, employers look at someone’s resume and if they don’t have recent, relevant experience, they’re automatically skipped. Whereas this group has so much to give. In our program we aim to empower women by offering them a platform from which they can demonstrate how their unique life experiences and skills can seamlessly transition into a viable and mutually rewarding career path.”

Staff Service Group: High-value careers for single mothers and future generations

In Japan, single mothers face economic challenges and a risk of poverty, limiting their quality of life and future prospects for themselves, their family and kids. On the other hand, these women are a huge pool of underutilized talent. The Japanese RGF Staffing company Staff Service Group guides single mothers towards flexible career opportunities that work for them. By developing the skills needed to build high-value careers, Staff Service Group is not only supporting these mothers, but will inspire and enable future generations to pursue education and high-value careers.

Being part of RGF Connect holds great significance for Futa Kanda, Sales Planning Division at Staff Service Group: “It means participating in a global social contribution program and having the opportunity to provide education and job support to single mothers.” Yuya Nakamura, Provinces Division at Staff Service Group, underlines the words of his colleague Futa. Yuya is particularly happy to enable single mothers to attain economic independence and bridge the gap to meaningful employment. “The ability of single mothers to become financially independent means more options for them and their children. I’m proud to be helping the next generation to flourish.”


Read more:

The RGF Connect program and it's initiatives