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Campaign to have a level playing field for women

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, February 03, 2018

BUSINESSES and corporate organisations have been urged to actively work against sexism and unequal structures to eliminate unequal opportunities for women in the workplace.

The strong sentiment came from Women in Business (WIB) president Dr Nur Bano Ali during the launch of the 2018 Westpac WIB awards in Suva on Thursday.

The sentiment also echoes this year's awards night theme: "Times Up" which joins in on the global campaign against sexual harassment founded by Hollywood celebrities on January 1, 2018.

The movement is also in response to "Weinstein effect", a global trend in which people come forward to accuse famous or powerful men of sexual misconduct.

Dr Ali said they considered the campaign and decided unanimously to join the global campaign and work with solidarity with the women of the world wherever they may be to call out on forms of unequal opportunities for women.

"We at Women in Business are sharply committed to the agenda of increasing more women in commerce and management at the highest levels," Dr Ali said.

"This will necessarily bring the change in attitudes and help stomp out the inequities that have for too long being ignored and not addressed."

Dr Ali said they also believed that more women in corporate leadership would change the environment which they operated in resulting in fairer structures for growth and development.

"The inequity in pay structures, board representations and leadership positions will only and I repeat will only change through leadership by women," she said.

Under WIB's involvement with the Times Up campaign, the body is literally calling that it is times up for unequal pay structures for women; unequal opportunities for women in the workplace; any form of harassment in the workplace; sexism and sexist comments; token representation of women in leadership and punishment for any form of harassment.

"Unequal opportunities and pay structures actually destroys a person's self worth and creates angry and unhappy people and no organisations needs that," Dr Ali said.

"We also ask for punishment and elimination of people who are seen to promote sexism in the workplace."

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