We are 100% women owned and 100% women run at Six Yards Plus. I thought that was enough of a statement that we were driven by women, and that the workplace would automatically be woman centric.
But I have, however, over the past four years, discovered that it takes MUCH more than that.
It takes an acknowledgement that levels of family support and equal parenting are very different across households
So, as an organisation, we are happy to have children accompanying their mothers if required. Or to adapt if team members need days off for their own health conditions, caring for other family members or to manage events at home.
Cheerfully and without a grudge- that is what makes it enabling. Individual women should not have to deal with the consequences of the traditional roles that society sometimes boxes them in.
It takes recognition that team members sometimes deal with situations of extreme pressure- a little empathy goes a long way
So, we must be prepared to go out of our way- to support an education, to help out if there is an issue with the authorities, to instill confidence and to reassure them that you will do as much as you can, to support their ambition to work.
And that this is done with mutual respect- there is no upper hand in this relationship.
It takes pride in the achievements of your co-workers as mothers, as daughters, as students and as friends.
All of us grow when we share- I am personally incredibly proud of the brilliant things my team is taking on- health wise, family situation wise, life situation wise, and how they deal with it strongly, confidently and with awe inspiring determination.
Because the tribe doesn’t build itself- it is born out of a bond that comes from sharing things beyond work.
It takes prioritising the well being of your team.
We may not directly influence public spaces, pandemics or crime. But since these things disproportionately impact women, we ensure that our team is protected from the negative effects of these to the extent possible. Prioritising well being of team members over short term gains is definitely one of the things it takes, to build women centric work places.
And more than anything else, it takes a sense of humour and a sense of true belonging. Of wanting, every day, to come to a place that allows you to express yourself, to grow, to learn.
Here’s a big hi-five to teams who are doing all this and more!