International Women’s Day – championing equality and equity


(reposted from Business News Wales)

Although the primary focus is of course women on International Women’s Day, here at Business News Wales, we wanted to delve that little bit deeper and hear from a male’s perspective, given the significance of achieving gender equality for today, tomorrow and in the future, so that the next generation don’t have to encounter some of the prejudicial challenges and obstacles that so many have already sadly faced.

Phil Jones, Chief Executive at Business in Focus, reflects on his enthralling professional life and career, how things could have been better if more equality was apparent in the Armed Forces previously and why he is immensely proud to be in a leadership role at a reputable company that takes great satisfaction in promoting both equality and equity.

“The first 26 years of my professional life were spent serving in the Army on operational deployments worldwide. I was very lucky. As the advert suggested, I joined the Army and discovered the wider world. When I joined up back in 1986, the opportunities to see the world, develop your career and climb the ranks were there for all on an equal and equitable basis.

It was a true meritocracy where everyone could work hard to reach their full potential. All that was true, except for one tiny, tiny detail. If you were a woman, many of those opportunities were not open to you at all. Thankfully, the Armed Forces today is a lot different. Women make up around 12% of all personnel and can apply for over 90% of roles, including our Special Forces. I make this observation because I know that the Armed Forces I served in would have been so much better, I would have learnt so much more and (I don’t mind adding this in) would have been so much more fun had there been true equality and equity for both men and women.

Fast forward to 2023, I’m at Business in Focus, one of Wales’s leading social enterprises, working hard so that the many thousands of people we support every year can reach their potential. There is one tiny, tiny difference however, which renders my work life so abundantly more fulfilling than at any time in my career, women. Why is Business in Focus successful? Because 73% of the people who work for us are women; because 73% of our leadership group are women and because like so many successful businesses, we embrace and champion equality and equity. That’s why we’ll take great pride this year in celebrating International Women’s Day.”