While B&T’s Changing the Ratio has been postponed, that doesn’t mean the conversations around diversity and inclusion need to end. In fact, talking about it is more important than ever.
That’s why B&T is be running an article series, kindly sponsored by CHE Proximity and Adrenalin Media, around why changing the ratio is still paramount, even during these difficult times.
When discussing changing the ratio, what more often than not comes to mind are issues surrounding, gender, or race.
However, the need to care for elderly parents is emerging as a new layer of diversity, with very little support in place by many organisations. And, it is women who primarily take on this role, again limiting their ability to climb the corporate ladder.
Research from Honeycomb Strategy has found that while we are at the start of this trend, the need for children to look after their parents is increasing as parents increase in age and lifespan.
We all know it’s coming, but it’s not top of mind, being talked about openly or addressed by organisations.
Honeycomb Strategy found there is very little support in place by organisations, with no existing policies to support this emerging trend. Currently, it involves tapping into sick leave / annual leave, which is unstainable for those who have parents with ongoing support needs.
The research also found it is falling on women to take on the caring role. And, as we are overcoming one barrier to diversity (parenting), this challenge for women is emerging. This again becomes a limiting factor for women to climb the corporate ladder and stay in their careers. They move from parenting children to being a carer for their parents, with limited time to pursue their career goals in between.
Recent research from Honeycomb Strategy in May 2020 found more than two thirds (70 per cent) of women anticipate that in the future they will need to take on the responsibility of caring for an elderly or sick parent in either a full time or part time capacity, compared to only one in two (54 per cent) of men.
General Manager NZ – ANZ Kellogg Company Tamara Howe (main photo) has been vocal on the issue, saying one of the things that is holding women back from actually making a difference in executive roles is that they still do the vast majority of the caring.
She said: “Women can default to career breaks or going part time due to needing to care for young children or elderly parents. That’s a conversation that needs to change.
“One of the things that is holding women back from gender parity in leadership/executive roles is that they still do the vast majority of the caring (both children and now an increasing need with an aging population – caring for elderly parents); so how do we help men who want to do the caring; take flex, take paternity leave, which can still be socially unacceptable. How do we change those conversations so that women can have the opportunity to move into more leadership roles and men can have the opportunity to take on more caring.”