This International Women's Day, I interviewed Agatha Poston, Legal Entity Controller Manager at Bank of America,and she shared her thoughts on how we can #EmbraceEquity.
Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful. The IWD 2023 campaign theme seeks to forge worldwide understanding about why equal opportunities aren’t enough, and a focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.
International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
1. How can companies strive for more equitable talent attraction?
Every career is different, and what works for one does not necessarily works for another. Companies need to continue looking into creating equitable opportunities for diverse talent as well as better tailoring career paths to the needs of the modern and diverse talent pool. I think that with the generational span, the companies offering more equitable opportunities will gain more competitive advantage.
2. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women, and why?
I think of the recent flexible working as a breakthrough for attracting and retaining diverse and high-performing talent as it helps everybody, not just women, to live a fuller and more balanced, happier life in and outside work and to spend more time with loved ones. With the new expectations from the workforce around flexibility, companies need to be agile to try and create flexible working arrangements tailored to each specific individual.
3. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?
When I meet a genuine ally it always strikes me how much positive impact they can make. Even small things, like a word of support from a male ally, can have a huge impact on somebody's career and help diminish the stereotypes in the industry. I was fascinated when I first heard the phrases like "dads for daughters", "husbands for wives" or even " sons for moms". In these powerful contexts, it is easy to see how the aspects of equal opportunities in the workplace become relevant for all.
4. What advice would you give women in the industry you work in?
Go into the industry that fascinates you, work with the people who value you, grasp opportunities that come your way and create a broad professional network.
5. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. What woman/women inspire you?
I consider myself extremely lucky to have seen brilliant examples from the smart and hardworking women around me. Firstly and most importantly, my dearest mom, grandmom and mother-in-law, who are, and were just brilliant at everything they did at home or at work, and I still don't know how they were able to balance all those important things so well. But in addition to this, throughout my 18 years in the industry, I have met some incredible individuals of all genders and backgrounds who I am confident to see in the top levels of organisations in the near future.