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#EmbraceEquity for International Women's Day

Kristin Luck

March 7, 2023

It’s here again…International Women’s Day! And with it the reminder of how far we’ve come… as well as the sobering reality of how far we have to go. While many women are facing incomprehensible setbacks across the globe, it is important to remember that we are not a monolith. Within the intersections of our collective identities lay a vast array of experiences, wisdom, and obstacles to success:

  • While in the U.S. Women’s Equal Pay Day (the symbolic day that denotes how far into the year women must work to be paid what men were paid the previous year) falls on March 14th in 2023, for Black Women, Mothers, and Native American Women this day falls on July 27th, August 15th, and November 30th respectively;
  • Young workers are struggling to find their footing amidst inflation and rising living expenses while women over 50 face the “double-whammy” of ageism and sexism in the workplace;
  • Trans women are facing increasing hostility and threats of violence while simultaneously being denied access to gender-affirming care.

There is a popular phrase that we’ve used time and time again: “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.” But one also often can’t see inequity if they haven’t experienced it firsthand. While bringing visibility to the obstacles women face is a great first step, we need allies and action takers to step outside of their comfort zone and fight for equity for all. Fighting for gender equity isn’t simply about women; it’s about the many differences that define us as an industry and as a global community. We cannot fight for women without fighting for all women. We cannot achieve true parity without uplifting those who struggle to find equal footing.

If you want a place to start, the workplace is a good one. It is no surprise that, in a space built on hierarchy and power dynamics, women and other diverse professionals are often burdened with additional obstacles to success. Regardless of your position in said hierarchy, you can begin to bring an equity mindset into your workplace by listening to, and considering the realities of, your teammates:

  • Is there pay transparency at your company? Does a pay gap exist? Do all workers have a clear and accessible path to leadership?
  • What are your hiring practices and how do they make room for the unique needs of those who may be experiencing mental, physical, or ability differences?
  • Does your leadership and company ethos cultivate an environment of adaptability and support? Is equity more than a business imperative?

Listen: we’ve been sharing this advice (as well as actions to take) for more than 15 years and, while we are grateful for every inch of support we’ve been given and continue to receive, it has not been enough to slow the tide of inequity in our industry or at large. Taking a group photo with your employees once a year while you pledge to address your pay gap has not been enough. Celebrating a new woman employee on LinkedIn has not been enough. We need action but we also need accountability — we need to see the change to be the change.

That’s why we’re doing something…dramatic this year. While the official 2023 International Women’s Day theme is “#EmbraceEquity” we want to take equity on headfirst to bring a more inclusive research industry into focus. That’s why we’re asking each of you to not only make a pledge to take action but to report back once you do. Here’s how we’ll do it:

  • Complete this “2023 International Women’s Day Accountability” form.
  • Use this template to craft a social image with your unique pledge and an image of you, your team, or your company logo included.
  • Post the social image to LinkedIn and tag @WomeninResearch as well as #EmbraceEquity.
  • In a month we’ll reach back to make sure you’ve made progress and will celebrate your success with the community if you do.

Not sure how to take action? That’s okay….naturally, we have a few ideas:

We want to hear your ideas too — tag us on LinkedIn and let us know what you think Research and Insights professionals can do to tackle inequality in the workplace in 2023. If each of us is willing to take a pledge then imagine what we can accomplish together in the months to come!

About the Author

Kristin Luck

Kristin serves as an advisor and growth strategist to a number of cutting-edge marketing and analytics technology and services firms. She is the founder of two marketing analytics companies that she led to successful exits. Kristin co-founded OTX, an online research business that was named the fastest-growing research firm in the world in 2002 and 2003 and was subsequently acquired by Zelnick Media & Pilot Group and again by Ipsos in 2007. She then founded Forefront Consulting Group, a research technology firm that was acquired by Decipher. Decipher was acquired by FocusVision in 2014 after seven consecutive years of double and triple-digit growth.

Kristin is a licensed investment banker with Oberon Securities and a founder focused on helping fellow founders and executive teams scale and monetize their businesses. Her deal expertise on both sides of transactions comes from participating in both acquisitions and exits from $30 million to $175 million. She is also passionate about supporting founders in international markets execute their entry into the U.S.

Kristin also regularly contributes to both the commercial (Fast Company, Forbes) and academic press (Research World, Journal of Brand Strategy) where she explores emerging marketing and research methods. She is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 sales and branding experts to follow on Twitter.

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