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Gate One, the digital and business transformation consultancy, marked International Women’s Day (IWD) by gathering together to discuss this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge as part of a wider agenda of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives.

We began the call with some inspirational spoken poetry1 before splitting into groups to discuss a range of topics from what IWD means to us and how each of us celebrates the day, to personal experiences of lockdown, including how it’s widening the gender divide in households.

Another topic discussed was removing the burden of women needing to find a mentor to help progress their careers when male sponsorship and systemic changes would have a far greater impact. As a company, we are mindful of this, which is why our managing partner Tim Phillips sponsors our DE&I activity, to ensure accountability on systemic changes. This, combined with our coaching programme, will provide the space for everyone in our firm to progress their careers at Gate One. The call has kickstarted an initiative to create a quarterly women’s network, where everyone at Gate One can come together to share ideas for how to progress equality within our firm.

Many of the Gate One team attended IWD-focused webinars, including one hosted by the Global Institute for Women at King’s College London. The institute shared the results of a recent survey2 on gender pay gap perceptions. An alarming statistic to emerge was that only a third (36%) of respondents believe that “closing the gender pay gap is important and should be one of our top priorities right now”. Another 40% believe that more flexible working practices post-pandemic will help to overcome the issue of inequality within the home. This sparked conversation around how Gate One can support its people to continue working flexibly for the benefit of all staff.

Sonia Cochet, head of people and talent at Gate One, said: “Diversity, equity and inclusion is a key priority for Gate One. For us to foster greater equity, we need to look at the systems and structures in place to get to the heart of the challenges and have the courage to fix them. It is not just a women’s issue to overcome, it’s for all of us to create the conditions for our diverse talent to thrive.”

DE&I is one of Gate One’s seven strategic priorities for 2021. To ensure we meet our goals, quarterly objectives are reported to the Gate One and Havas board. We have progressed over recent years, but we want to continue to foster an even more diverse and inclusive culture. Our journey is ongoing, as we continuously improve on building an inclusive company.

Sonia Cochet

At Gate One, we tackle your toughest challenges and accelerate your boldest ambitions. Our mission is to deliver meaningful change.