If you had asked me back in March of this year if I would be able to do all the things that have since become part of my “new normal”, I would have said it was impossible.
From taking on additional responsibilities, to trying to sustain positive personal mental and physical wellbeing, the pandemic has been hard on all of us in a variety of ways.
Women in particular have really been tested by this pandemic. I wasn’t at all surprised when I read a recent report found that women have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing crisis: 58% of women reported an increase in workload compared to 33% of men.
Through our Employee Network, we at Fujitsu have been able to see and track the various challenges fellow members have been facing.
While the primary purpose of these networks has been to help members know that they’re not alone, it has also given our teams at Fujitsu the ability to take more meaningful actions when it comes to making life easier for employees.
Because an increased workload can take many forms and will be different for each of us. Employee Networks are there to ensure the right help is in place to support everyone when they need it.
What we’ve done
Our Employee Networks have served as a safe place for employees to freely share the unique challenges they’re facing.
These conversations happen across the organisation, and include all sorts of stakeholders, allowing leadership to take proactive measures to help.
So, here are some of actions we have taken this year:
- To actively recognise the additional challenges being placed on those caring for loved ones, we’re providing one additional week of paid carers leave. So far, more than 750 people in Fujitsu have been able to benefit from this – 64% of those being men
- In order to encourage everyone to work in a way that best suits their life, we removed the remaining barriers to flexible working and are highlighting the benefits in our new policy
- We’re continuing to invest in our female specific development programmes, understanding that our diversity and inclusion goals don’t simply disappear in times of uncertainty. Instead, our objectives become even more crucial and we have treated them as such
- Finally, we’ve increased our focus on supporting positive mental wellbeing. More than 300 people attended webinars around mental wellbeing, how to sleep well and managing anxiety.
Drops of water form an ocean
While being a Times Top 50 Employer for Women is great accolade, for us, it’s a lot more than just rhetoric. As an organisation, we’re focused on making Fujitsu as diverse, inclusive and gender balanced as possible.
And by giving employees a platform to make their voices heard and taking the time to understand their individual challenges, we can find little ways here and there to make a difference.
We believe these incremental changes are what lead to widespread change. The progress we’ve made couldn’t have been accomplished in a day nor just by leadership, but instead through sustained and strategic focus on our people, in both good times and challenging ones.
That’s what makes this year’s Times Top Employer for Women accolade especially important.
We all have a part to play in challenging the norm and being part of the change. Lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to reflect on the change we want to be in the world, and hopefully those personal decisions will continue to ripple outwards long after this crisis is over.