ArticleMarch 18, 2021by included

Grasping the inflection point!

The events of the past week in the UK which saw the senseless death of Sarah Everard, a woman walking home alone, can best be viewed as an inflection point on gender violence. The public response has been visceral and unprecedented, and has put violence against women front and centre of public consciousness resulting in a call to action that has not been seen or heard before.

It echoes that which we witnessed last year following the death of George Floyd in the US.  Essentially gender and racial violence come from the same place, the exercise of power and privilege against those perceived as less powerful or privileged.

The force of the response means the talking is done and the action needs to start.

For change to be effected, the action needs to take place at different levels:

At societal level, where everyone challenges the norms on gender violence, starting in the home and school and by educating boys on their role as men and Inclusion partners;

At Government and public policy level, recognising that current public policy on gender and race is not working. Overhauling the criminal and legal justice system that currently sends out mixed messages, and by addressing social inequity that leads to the prevalence  of powerlessness and the exercise of privilege. And examining the intersection of gender violence on women from different communities.

And thirdly in the workplace. The workplace being a critical component because it is a microcosm of society, bringing diverse people to work together.

Employers have an important role to play in developing consciousness and action around inclusion and fairness amongst its employees, both building inclusion systemically into its people systems and processes; by educating on norms of gender and racial balance; by taking steps to create frameworks of sponsorship and allyship that support and raise the profile of women and minorities.  This is an opportunity for leaders and organisations to step up and help create sustainable change.