WealthiHer Breakfast Series – She Means Business: Cultivating a More Gender Inclusive Workplace


What does modern employment looks like and how you can ensure your business is an attractive place for women to work? Ensuring equal representation of women in the workplace can have positive effects across your entire organization such as greater profitability, enhanced collaboration and this expert-led panel explored all the business benefits and implications.

Meet the Speakers: 

  • Danielle Parsons, Partner, Irwin Mitchell – Providing a legal perspective
  • Belinda Riley, Culture, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Lead – EMEIA Strategy and Transactions – Talent EY – Will discuss business benefits
  • Marcie Shaoul, BA, CPCC, ACC, CEO of Rolling Stone Coaching – Will share key soft benefits of creating workplaces that are right for women
  • Moderator: Zahra Pabani, Partner, Irwin Mitchell;

Home Grown is excited to announce that our monthly Breakfast series with Wealthier is all set to be continued in September!

Key Event Takeaways – as contributed by Ayesha Rehman

Zahra Pabani

  • Women have been striving for equality and flexibility in the work place, it has taken a pandemic to show that flexible working can benefit everyone not just women and can still create a profitable environment 
  • You can’t just write a policy for your people, you have to live and breathe the words and embed it in your culture.
  • The key to getting it right at work for all of us – is to have effective communication – be authentic and clear in what you want to achieve and remember together we are stronger
  • To effect positive change you need to speak up – if you have something to say – say it clearly and respectfully and then own it.

Danielle Parsons

  • It’s going to take a long time to reverse the impact of the pandemic on women. 
  • This is an opportunity; we have the opportunity to accelerate efforts and make a difference. This is a new era of awareness, flexibility and inclusion
  • Covid has busted myths around the way we work—businesses CAN balance success against flexibility. This was seen as impossible pre-covid. 
  • This is time for companies to reset and create a culture of equality. Leverage opportunity now. Learn from the past, and apply the lens of inclusion to navigate ways of working
  • Adopt an open culture. Create a safe environment to talk whenever there’s a problem, and agree on changes if needed.   
  • Policies are helpful. Any policy should set out what the issue is that you’re trying to address and what the support available is. We should also ensure that there is space to have space for individuals to be treated as such, rather than having a one-size fits all approach. 
  • Appoint a well-being champion and identify your union reps so that staff know who they can talk to if needed. 
  • Managers should have the training to enable personal conversations around issues outside of work that can impact work. 
  • Manage absences sympathetically and end the culture of presenteeism
  • Mitigating impact and practical tips if you have several female employees all taking maternity leave at the same time. 
  • You have to be your authentic self

Marcie Shaoul

  • The biggest thing employers can do is communicate more; more effectively and honestly. 
  • If you’re transparent and open, employees can then make choices that suit them.
  • Trust is key. Communicate. Be honest. 
  • Boundaries are important, but setting boundaries is hard. Setting WFH boundaries is probably harder. If we don’t have an off button, we can never fully be in the parts of our lives that we want to be. 
  • If you take responsibility for doing work well, you enable others. If you just say yes to everything, it will cause you to crash and others will perceive you in a different way.  
  • Enabling others to do well engenders respect and is empowering.
  • Define what you want. This enables you to say no to the things you don’t want
  • How your powerful behaviour is perceived is down to the listener, not you
  • Be authentic. If you’re not authentic while being powerful, it can backfire on you. Believe in yourself and your opinions
  • Being soft is also good. You do not need to be powerful to get ahead
  • Be respectful to your audience

Belinda Riley

  • The world is at an inflexion point, creating a huge opportunity to really accelerate our efforts and make a difference
  • Covid has busted myths around ways of working, and many businesses have demonstrated that they can balance success with inclusion and flexibility, which was deemed impossible pre-Covid. 
  • As we start to prepare for the future world of work, the lens of inclusion needs to be applied, especially for women. This will enable future success and create workplaces that work for everyone.
  • We need to look at workplace culture to understand what success looks like for our employees, and how barriers and inequality is experienced by people across the workplace
  • To really understand the culture, it is important to really listen to the lived experiences of people, what they  experience day to day, what they want and needs to belong and bring their whole selves to work
  • Without understanding your culture, what the success prototype looks like and how inequality exists in your current systems and processes across your organisation it is harder to create the right environment for people to be authentic and thrive. There is a significant risk that if you jump to solutions without taking the time to understand your current culture, progress will be very slow
  • The prototype sets an unrealistic standard of success, and needs to be redefined to ensure it values and enables a difference
  • As you start your journey of creating a culture of equality and you having a deep understanding of your current state you need to get clear on the why. Why is equality important to your business, people, clients, customers. the why will continue to evolve
  • If you don’t have an authentic narrative,  people will disengage and will not trust
  • Once you have understood your current culture, you can define your equality priorities, and then use this intelligence to prioritise. Don’t try to fix everything at once.
  • Equality has to be lead by leaders; and treated like a business issue. When leaders connect with the why and why now how, and have their own personal a-ha moment, magic happens and progress will start to accelerate. 

Home Grown is excited to announce that our monthly Breakfast series with Wealthier is all set to be continued in September!

Keep an eye on our events page to find out more…

Watch the full event here.

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