To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and our Digital Women Lunch 2023, we’ve been speaking to some of the industry’s leading female voices to get their thoughts on how digital can truly achieve equity. Today, we’re joined by Gina Ramson Williams, Chief People Officer, OMD EMEA.
What are you most impressed by in how your own company is making efforts to achieve equity?
Simply put, action over nice words. Equity is a business imperative and an integral part of our agency and leadership agenda. When it comes to driving fairness and equity, I’m most impressed by our introduction of a newly formed remuneration committee to make informed decisions to address pay disparities. Our improved appraisal partnership approach to career development based on performance and contribution, objective assessment against our competencies, salary benchmarking alignment, using both internal and market data and 360 feedback is core to our decision making. This is how we determine promotion, professional and personal development to achieve career goals and, to reward and recognise our talent fairly.
Are you worried that macroeconomic issues could have a negative impact on diversity initiatives in our industry?
We need to accept macroeconomics will always have both negative and positive impacts on equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives for any organisation – so no, not worried, but essential to keep alert on the wider impacts on the workplace. Currently, the cost of living, supply chain issues for food, fuels shortages, warfare, the economic downturn, have disproportionately affected certain communities. Employers all need to keep constantly aware, listen to employee concerns, adapt rapidly at pace to these factors to reduce their impact on under-represented or socially disadvantaged employees as a priority in the workplace. Our response to these issues is what’s most important to keep them on track.
What is your advice to anyone in a junior position who wants to engender change within their own organisation?
Get involved, share your experience, collaborate and be curious, learn and educate yourself. Join teams or initiatives, actively network and share what you are doing. Take advantage of our resources, tools, seek out advocates, allies and people you want to learn from. Show up to diversity and inclusion specific learning and development activities. Take part in all employee surveys as they are so important in helping us to measure how we are doing and what we need to do to make things better. Welcome and respect people who are different to you and make them feel comfortable being their unique self. DEI is everyone’s business so it’s about building our culture and shared behaviours together. Finally, talk to your People/HR team, leadership and managers with any ideas – we’re listening!