Women in Toys’ Frances Cain on why the industry needs awards celebrating women

Ahh summer.

The start of balmy, sunshine-filled days (well, sort-of), weekend barbeques, and G&Ts in the garden. This summer also sees my daughter’s first foray into the world of job-hunting as she looks for her first placement.

Watching my daughter (and her friends) dip their toes into the waters of networking and job hunting reminds me of my own job search for that oh-so-terrifying first placement at her age and how much things have changed since then.

Today there is much more awareness about the benefits of creating a gender balanced work environment. Studies have found that it is a key component to the success of companies across all sectors: realising women’s potential in the workplace enhances employee engagement, boosts productivity and improves brand reputation.

According to the Women and Work Commission, (BITC / The Prince’s Responsible Business Network), women are taking on more high profile roles than ever before. However there is still a huge discrepancy in terms of gender balance in most companies. Women make up only approx. 26% of board members at FTSE100 companies, with female executive directors at just over 8.5% of all FTSE 100 companies. And in the UK, there is still an overall pay gap of 19%.

Clearly we still have some way to go before we can truly say we have a gender-balanced workforce. Which is why events like Women of the Year are so important for the industry: it’s vital that we celebrate the confident, talented women that are making a difference in our sector. By highlighting their accomplishments and achievements of the past year – and the role of women in general in the toy industry – we are helping to create an inclusive and fair work environment for everyone. Something that benefits us all.

This year’s Women of the Year event on the 21st of July will be a celebration of the brightest and best in the industry and is a great way of acknowledging the accomplishments of these stellar women. But it’s more than that: it’s about the industry’s continued commitment to creating a dynamic and gender balanced workforce, in which all talents can thrive.

Who knows, I might even find a job placement for my daughter while I’m there this year.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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