Boosting the number of women at work is not just a moral imperative but also fosters creativity and has a measurable impact on the bottom line. According to the World Economic Forum, however, we will not see gender parity in our lifetimes. Estimates show it will take on average another 100 years, and for some countries over 200 years for this to be achieved. Cultural bias, company cultures and in some cases labour regulations, are a threat to women’s inclusion and advancement to leadership positions.
Research and data demonstrate gender diversity and inclusion is a business imperative, and women are an untapped strategic talent. Companies who create a work environment for women to thrive and programs to support them will have a strategic advantage to face the economic and social challenges of the future.
One organization has created an innovative solution to challenge the gender parity timeline and accelerate women as a strategic talent. The organization is iSAW (International Smart Advancing Women), an international professional women’s organization, supporting enterprises, companies, institutions, and individual women.
Men are also members of iSAW, as allies and champions. “iSAW firmly believes that male support for the progress of women is critical in ensuring women have opportunities to advance and thrive. Male champions are appreciated, valued and needed to ensure the success of iSAW’s vision, and initiatives” said Lynn O’Connor, iSAW co-Founder.
A Welcome LIFT
iSAW has recently announced the launch of its new global platform for professional women, LIFT (Learning and Intelligence For Tomorrow) on March 8th 2021, to coincide with International Women’s Day. Powered by Unily, a leading enterprise digital workplace provider, LIFT is an innovative learning and intelligence habitat for women to collaborate and hone their professional and technical skills and personal power in order to advance in the business world – pioneering a distinctive and impactful change.
“We all know the power of technology can change the world; iSAW is excited to partner with Unily to launch our LIFT platform, bringing the full force of their award-winning digital technology, converted to multiple languages, to address gender inequality in the workplace in a way never done before,” said Nancy Speidel, iSAW Founder and CEO.
Using next-generation features, the LIFT platform uses Unily’s technology to target members’ professional interests, provide access to international thought leaders, subject matter experts and global networks to enhance their career fulfilment and raise their awareness on gender parity opportunities across the globe. iSAW also holds local and global events and workshops to engage with its international audience. This is a great opportunity for companies worldwide who have a critical female workforce but do not have a detailed Learning and Development offer on career guidance, knowledge sharing and mentorship.
“Our plan for companies is to raise awareness on the value that women bring to the workplace by using facts, data, and working closely on the ground. We hope to create a forum of collective minds that aims to enhance workplace productivity and advance gender equality globally,” explained Ebtehal Alrewaily, iSAW co-Founder.
The iSAW LIFT platform also aims to:
- Provide members with a synopsis of key data and insights usually buried in huge reports.
- Remove barriers to global communication and sharing.
- Create a community (virtual and in-person) featuring iSAW’s global thought leaders and interact with members facing similar challenges.
- Drive a values-based culture of constant striving to learn, lead and lift others.
iSAW is currently working with nine Universities and over 300 students to support its efforts and create content for its GRID – Gender Research Insights Database.
If you would like to learn more about iSAW’s services and how you can become a member, please visit https://isaw.org/.