IWD2020: Vanesha Kistoo

Author Matthew Gravelle
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 Vanesha Kistoo, Director, Global Mobility at Blick Rothenberg. 

What does equality in the workplace look like for you?

In a perfect world, it looks like a place where people focus less on what divides them and more on what brings them together. Progress has been made but we still put a lot of emphasis on gender, race, age, beliefs, abilities, and social background to decide who we work with and how we work with them. In my experience, access to equal opportunities has a better outcome when combined with providing the support that each individual needs (e.g. coaching, endorsement) so they can make the most of the opportunities. 

How do you think parental leave should be approached in 2020?

The challenges that each family faces differ. Therefore, in my view, a progressive parental leave policy must be flexible, to give the parents enough options so they can choose what fits into their lifestyle as well as what works for them financially, with access to equal leave for each parent. Currently parental leave regulations and policies are very focused on the first year a child is born and allow for a maternity and paternity pay over a consecutive period of leave. How about a longer leave period with the option to choose when to take the leave, perhaps multiple shorter periods over 2 years.

What have you or your business implemented to achieve positive changes for an equal workforce?

As a business we have set up a Great Place to Work focus group and a Diversity & Inclusion focus group. Both groups consist of colleagues from various parts of our business. Several positive changes have come out of the discussions. We also have a Future Leaders programme which has been designed to coach and equip a group of men and women from various parts of our business, with the skills they need. We share Learning and Development opportunities on our intranet

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