IWD2020: Laura Cosgrove

March 7, 2020

We proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2020. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Whilst we all know that gender parity within the workplace has improved over the past decades, we all also know that there is still a long way to go.

We interviewed Laura Cosgrove, Senior Manager International Tax and Global Transfer Pricing at Groupon. 

#IWD2020  #EachforEqual

What does equality in the workplace look like for you?

Equality and diversity go hand in hand for me. It’s ensuring that a workplace promotes equal opportunity for all and that each individual has the chance to achieve their potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

To ensure there is equality in the workplace there needs to be clear communication and promotion of the same. Employees need to be educated and a culture needs to be created and harnessed that encourages inclusiveness whilst ensuring individuality is respected and supported. Employees should feel empowered and be equipped with the skills to challenge inequality and discrimination in their work/study environment. 

Senior management need to lead by example in this area. The board needs to demonstrate a dynamic and diverse board and it needs to feed its way down through an organisation.

Do you feel social media has influenced a positive shift change for female leadership?

Social media has clearly had a huge influence on society in both a positive and negative manner. In more recent times, I find myself questioning does the negative outweigh the positive with the impact of online trolling. I read an article on Thomson Reuters back in November 2019 that had the title “Women leaders driven offline and out of work by social media abuse”. It’s quite disheartening to read the fear being invoked in strong, powerful women by how one post could be interpreted wrong and the hate barrage that could ensue. 

Social media is a powerful tool for corporations and individuals. It allows you to connect instantly with a wide audience, a global platform at your fingertips. This is both powerful and dangerous all at the same time. You can share your view, who you are, what you stand for in instant but this also means, responses are instant regardless of whether they are of a positive or negative nature and this has a huge impact on the mental health of individuals.
Social media has given us access to strong female leadership figures and the ability to engage like never before and some amazing movements have been started because of it. That said, I still find myself struggling to say its completely a positive shift.

Is there a business that you admire for their positive approach to an equal workforce? If so, who and why?

I have been with my current employer for over a year now and I have been really impressed as to how they have approached equality and diversity. In the workplace, there is some fantastic communities and groups set up to support diversity and there is regular comms and events to celebrate diversity. Their mission was to make sure it’s a great place to work for every employee and celebrating all backgrounds. I haven’t been at an organisation that has so actively looked to engage individuals across all demographics and offices to collaborate with one another which has been great to see.

Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organisation/company they are employed by.