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Today marks International Women’s Day (IWD) ‘a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality.’  Launched more than 100 years ago (March 1911), the 2024 theme is Inspire Inclusion, to help establish a more inclusive world for women.

To commemorate the day and see what positive steps Metric Group is taking to balance gender equality and inclusivity, female colleagues from the company are sharing their personal work-related experiences.

Spotlight on gender imbalance

Latest data reveals that when it comes to pay parity and leadership roles, women are seriously lagging their male counterparts.

A gender gap report developed by Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy at the University of Cambridge, found women working in the manufacturing sector earn 17% less than their male peers. Challenges such as non-inclusive cultures/conscious and unconscious bias (68%), barriers in promotion and leadership (59%), and lack of skills and training support (33%) were cited as preventing equitable opportunities and rewarding careers for women in the industry.

Kirsty Kaye joined Metric Group in 2022 as a sales manager’s assistant and has since worked her way up the career ladder. Now, as head of service delivery, she oversees the service reception and fulfilment team.

“Despite operating in what is stereotypically a male-dominated industry, it’s refreshing to see that when we recruit for new staff to join our ever-growing team, that we always have a good mix of candidates”, Kirsty explains.

 “We recruit people based on skill and ability not gender, and we now have women in the field carrying out engineering work and a production team that is heavily female-skewed – which would have been unheard of five or 10 years ago.

“Metric really has evolved over the years, and in the future, it would be nice to have some more women working for the sales team and female directors. I feel this would really level the playing field,” Kirsty concludes.

Nurturing an inclusive culture

A 2023 global study of 10,000 people across seven countries, revealed inclusive organisations have higher-performing, happier teams. In the context of the research, inclusion was defined as ‘being treated with dignity, able to bring their authentic selves to work, able to contribute, and feeling connected to others.’

Client service manager Joanna Bradley has also been with Metric Group a little over two years. Responsible for the client service reception and scheduling, she ensures service level agreements are met while handling first escalation points for customers.

Joanna says: “Inclusivity is at the forefront of everything Metric stands for. Everyone is encouraged to work together and communicate with one another, which makes for a much happier work life.

“We have women working across every department of the organisation and if I ever feel like I’m not being heard then I know I have plenty of support from my colleagues. We’re all treated as individuals and our voices are valued.”

Ximena Loveridge, central operations manager at Metric adds: “I believe everyone’s contribution is valuable, and through collaboration we create great ideas and problem solve, drive innovation and work as a team to a really high performing level.

“Metric empowers this by encouraging open table discussions across functions and departments and giving everyone an equal opportunity to be heard. This in turn results in great results and solutions for our customers.”

Realistic work-life balance

Despite media rhetoric reporting women can ‘have it all’, juggling work life and family commitments can be too heavy a strain for many women. According to the Fawcett Society, a charity that campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights, one in 10 mothers with children under-four had to quit work over childcare. The report, which was released at the end of 2023, revealed many were facing a “motherhood penalty” as their careers weren’t progressing.

As a mother, Ximena can relate. She explains: “Being a fulltime working parent, having to negotiate the daily school run and juggle all of life’s interruptions along the way, has been challenging to say the least, but having an employer who is flexible, open to listening and accommodating is a huge benefit, along with an understanding partner and a supportive family. 

“Sometimes you can’t have it all, but recognising this and creating small wins can help see you through the daily routine.”

Looking ahead

With a legacy spanning more than 100 years Metric Group has evolved with the times – being at the forefront of new solutions and technological innovations. And the secret to its success has always been having a strong and committed workforce.

Not a company to rest on its laurels, 2024 is a year of development and learning for the brand – with a big part of its growth strategy focused on better understanding its people.

So, what more can be done?

“Investment in employees through training and development, aids engagement and strengthens knowledge for future progression. Additionally, providing an open forum for feedback encourages voices to be regularly heard,” concludes Ximena.

To find out more about an inclusive career with Metric Group visit our careers page.

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