Sophie Le Ray is an entrepreneur, an author, and an experienced business facilitator.
Sophie is the founder and spokesperson for the WIL Forum, the first platform for businesswomen leaders in the Middle East and Asia. Based in Dubai for over a decade, she is the co-author of award winner ‘Game Changers: How Women in the Arab World Are Changing the Rules and Shaping the Future’, published in May 2016.
Most recently co-founder of EVE list, a social enterprise measuring the state of gender equity in the workplace.
She now lives in Europe where she advises companies on their D&I practices and regularly speaks in global conferences on entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment.
SHOW NOTES BE A GAME CHANGER
Key Headlines and References (with timestamp) from Sophie’s discussion (‘nuggets’)
[00:00:00] Welcome back to the change cultivators podcast.
[00:00:59] Sophie’s background.
[00:04:41] What gets you up in the morning?
[00:04:54] Overview of Evelist.org
[00:06:17] Feeling frustrated about not seeing the impact in companies.
[00:06:40] Thinking I’m going to kick asses. And then COVID hit.
[00:07:07] What can we do to give people a very transparent and neutral set of information that can help them make the right career decisions.
[00:07:51] Creating an index of companies that you score according to their gender parity efforts.
[00:09:58] The macro impacts of gender equality on poverty, education, and micro-farming.
[00:10:22] On the surface, gender equality might seem like a very straightforward issue at the corporate level. But It does have far deeper reaching impacts on society.
[00:10:57 When males and females have equal rights, society benefits.
[00:11:45] The correlation between fighting poverty and gender equality, is empowering women.
[00:12:18] Microcredit and how women farm with a much more sustainable approach.
[00:12:46] The world bank issue a document called ‘Women in the law.’
[00:14:11] We’ve been talking about gender equality for years, and yet the global stats on women in the law are still so unbalanced.
[00:14:19] The World Economic Forum says it will take a hundred years to close the gender gap – and now with COVID, they are saying it will take 257 years.
[00:14:36] Gender equality as one of the UN sustainable goals.
[00:14:56] Everybody speaks about gender equality, but really it comes down to you as a person making a personal decision that this is important.
[00:15:40] The change that we, as people, need to embrace and learn to navigate to make this movement a reality.
[00:16:25] Once the top of an organization really connects with the issue of gender equality and they do something about it, that’s when you start to see a difference.
[00:17:13] It’s something very personal, very deep. More storytelling is essential. But at the top, there’s a need for a moment of epiphany.
[00:17:45] Gender parity should be like a product launch in a company. It should be led from the top. There should be resources allocated to it. There should be KPIs, measurements, objectives, and serious money behind it.
[00:18:10] Diversity Officers need to have the power to make decisions in companies and sit on the board.
[00:19:40] Can women have it all? Or do we have to actually sometimes make sacrifices, as men do?
[00:20:00] The whole workplace is not designed to have it all.
[00:20:45] How the introduction of VR will impact women’s careers and ability to have more flexibility in the workplace.
[00:22:00] Sophie’s advice to our listeners on how they can personally embrace this change, and, how COVID has further impacted the handling of this change.
[00:23:40] Connecting emotionally with situations.
[00:24:25] What will define which companies are getting it and which companies are not getting it.
[00:25:28] How COVID has been a necessary break. To really reflect on how our workplaces are designed and how things are working.
[00:27:02] What advice would you give to CEOs of companies to really drive this issue forward?
[00:27:28] What advice would you give to women?
[00:28:06] CEOs need to educate themselves on the issue of gender equality. Connect with it and have deep knowledge about it.
[00:28:40] Ask the silly questions without shame.
[00:29:27] You also need to know when you get into the corporate world, that there will be some pressure and you cannot have it all at the same time.
[00:30:52] Trust yourself, have confidence in yourself.
[00:31:10] Sophie’s recommended books on understanding the gender gap.
[00:32:49] Once you have that epiphany, you can actually transfer it into your leadership style.
[00:34:12] Close and how to get in touch with Sophie and Evelist.
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