How do you support your female colleagues at work?
For many years it’s been a great source of satisfaction to support colleagues by sharing my experience to help them grow and reach their potential in the business. I support female colleagues by treating them the same as I treat male colleagues while recognising differences between genders. In the end it’s about treating people with respect, being honest and showing empathy and aligning everyone towards common goals regardless of gender or other differences.
How is the Knauf Insulation workplace different for men than women?
I think there are different answers here depending on whether we are considering office or plant-based roles. In our Northern Europe Head Office 34% of colleagues are female and I would say that the workplace is similar for male and female colleagues. In our plants in Northern Europe only 3% are female and in terms of shop floor roles in plants, women are not represented at all. Such an environment can lead to inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues on the shop floor and has led to practical differences for example in the provision of adequate welfare facilities.
How can we redress the balance at Knauf Insulation?
Women cannot solve inequality problems on their own. When we see or hear inappropriate behaviour or comments or witness female colleagues not being treated equitably then we all have a duty to call it out. Secondly, we need to start to redress the balance in our manufacturing facilities, firstly by ensuring that we have the appropriate facilities for female recruits then by doing more to attract women into those roles by ensuring that job adverts, interviews and role content are inclusive.
What would you recommend to others to support female colleagues more?
Recognise that diversity brings benefits to any team. Be open minded. Listen to understand any challenges that female colleagues may have.
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