‘Embracing Equity’ This International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a chance to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls. It’s a global day of unity and advocacy to raise awareness around the barriers that still exist, inspire support for organizations empowering women and to reignite a call to action. The 2023 theme is focused on the critical difference between equality and equity and why equal opportunities for all are no longer enough.
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, gender equality is the idea that everyone should have access to the same resources and opportunities. Instead, equity recognizes that women often require more than an even playing field to address the historic reasons for this inequality and allocates what is needed. This can mean equal treatment or treatment that is different but equivalent in terms of benefits, rights and opportunities. Equality is the goal and equity is how we get there.
At VHA Home HealthCare, we are proud of our diverse workforce of nurses, personal support workers, rehab therapists, office staff, supervisors, managers and executives, who are predominately women. In fact, 90% of our staff and service providers identify as women and 72% of managers and supervisors are women leaders.
To help us recognize this important day, staff and care providers in different roles across the organization reflected on what embracing equity really means and how we can work collectively to impact positive change. Here are a few of the highlights from our staff and care providers.
VILMA RICHARDS, Registered Nurse and Nursing Supervisor
“For me, embracing equity means embracing transparency, diversity, inclusion and fairness. We all have different needs and circumstances that should be acknowledged and celebrated. Equity means adjusting imbalances in all parts of life and providing the tools necessary to advance, grow and succeed.
By reflecting on our successes, as well as the work that still needs to be done, we can reinvigorate our efforts, demolish barriers and stand up and speak out.”
ERNESTO SEQUERA, Director, Human Resources, Talent Acquisition and Development
“Embracing equity goes beyond treating individuals the same way or fair treatment across the board. Equity should be a part of who we are and how we act on a day-to-day basis. I have a Latino background and was proudly raised in a home and culture where this was modeled by my mom and now my wife.
Collectively we need to make objective decisions and identify and overcome our own biases. This includes addressing the gender pay gap, equal access to education and increased representation of women in positions of leadership.”
SOFIA ALFRED, Occupational Therapist
“I am grateful to be in a career that is not only woman-dominated but also in a role where I am able to embrace equity daily. Working in the community allows me to support a diverse population with different socio-economic statues and a wide-range of care needs.
I am able to provide tailored strategies to assist with the overall goal of increasing independence and safety. For clients who are experiencing other challenges, this may include the extra resources they need to achieve their goals.”
Are you in? Will you #embraceequity to impact positive change? When you embrace equity, you embrace diversity and you embrace inclusion. We are all responsible for challenging the status quo, valuing and supporting differences and celebrating the many achievements of women.
Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at VHA Home HealthCare. To find out more about events happening in your community, visit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Events
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