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One year on from the launch of the Mintel EMEA- and APAC-based ‘women in business’ employee resource groups (ERGs), and in celebration of the new Americas-based ‘women in business’ ERG, the respective chairs share the successes and key learnings, as well as what’s in the pipeline as Mintel continues on the path of greater diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and challenges its partners to do the same. 

Ahead of International Women’s Day (8 March), we at Mintel continue to look for ways that we can help #breakthebiases – both consciously and unconsciously – and remedy things that can hold women back from success at home and in the workplace. Of course, imagining a world where men and women are equal is one thing, but tangible steps are necessary to ensure that we are actively creating the world we want to see. 

Mintel’s global IWD 2022 ERG campaign ‘I am’ seeks to highlight the uniqueness of each of our colleagues by demonstrating how we are much more than just women; we are mothers, sisters, athletes, bookworms, brewers, avid gardeners, IT superstars, and business leaders – sometimes all in one day. In order to level the playing field for women and ensure they have access to the same opportunities as men, it is first important to understand how everyone has a different story, everyone brings something unique to the table, and everyone’s needs in the workplace are different – regardless of gender. Bringing this to light serves to highlight the unconscious biases we all have, and it’s only by sharing our stories can we work together to break down the often invisible barriers women in the workplace face each day.  

The opportunity exists to celebrate our differences in a way that brings everybody up, gives everyone a seat at the table, and truly values diversity for the potential it provides. 

Women’s Inclusion Network (APAC)

Sharon Kwek, Director, Beauty & Personal Care, South APAC, Mintel Consulting

From day one, Mintel’s Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) set out to provide a safe space for the community that we represent to drive conversations, support one another, and learn from each other. The journey has been challenging and rewarding all at the same time. As women at Mintel continue to improve ourselves, we also learn about improving the environment we are in to be an ally and an advocate that will raise our words to break biases. In fact, our IT department in APAC has seen an increase of female hires – from 30% to 44%. 

Training has been a core focus for WIN and continues to be part of our mission to cultivate an inclusive culture encompassing female leadership. All of these are strong testaments to the commitment of WIN and the impact it has brought thus far. 

As much as it is about creating the space for one another, it is as important to learn to know how and when to hold the space for one another as a community. Over the first year, WIN has seen members showing up for themselves, for the community, and for one another: we heard inspiring personal stories, touched on the challenges working in male-dominated industries, and discussed unlikely hobbies all in an effort to dismiss gender labels and recognize that every choice is valid. 

In a diverse region such as the Asia Pacific, embracing what makes us unique is the first step in creating a space that is inclusive, equitable, and benefits from diversity rather than letting it be something that holds us back. One year in and we are still a work in progress. WIN aims for consistency in what we do and advocate, to focus on what unites us more than what divides us. 

MintELLE (EMEA)

Minisha Wahi, Regional Commercial Director, UK & Nordics

A year on from launch and our mission continues, providing a truly global platform for women in business across Mintel. Throughout this time it’s been an encouraging and fulfilling journey. Our member network grew to over 180 strong, and as we learnt about how to start and build an ERG, our leadership and action teams, alongside our members, are what continue to make it a success.

With an environment created to encourage, inspire and challenge the status quo while providing foundations to have open discussions and be part of the change, we interviewed senior leaders, discussed the gender pay gap and partnered with Corndel to provide training on building personal development plans, all with the view of providing growth opportunities for our members.  

What we’ve enjoyed most have been the member discussions which provided a safe space to share views and opinions as well as ideas and solutions to support each other.  Bringing our wider European offices onboard has been great to hear about how their world operates, what opportunities and challenges they face, and share ideas and learnings across all our markets. With our mentorship programme about to launch, the first year only warmed us up, and we know we’re already looking forward to continuing the conversation in our 2nd year and beyond.

Female Empowerment at Mintel (Americas)

Sarah Fainman, Associate Vice President, Mintel Academic

Having witnessed the profound impact WIN and MintELLE have made globally, the women of Mintel in the Americas have come together to launch FEM: Female Empowerment at Mintel. The first meet-up was held in January and watching each woman’s face pop up on the screen as they joined the meeting, with the song ‘Girl On Fire’ by Alicia Keys playing in the background, will be remembered as one of the most inspirational moments in my memory. 

What we love most about this group is how diverse we are. We are girlfriends, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, colleagues, artists, athletes, recent college graduates, seasoned professionals, mentors, and leaders. Some of us are celebrating 20+ years of being a working woman and some of us are celebrating 4 months. Yet, despite these unique differences and backgrounds, we all come together with a clear vision and streamlined goals. With the help of one another, we plan to show up monthly to discuss topics that will empower us to be our true authentic selves. As we work together to define the future of work, we have aspired to get more women to apply for promotions and have defined the skills needed to get there. 

To us, being a working woman it is imperative that we have diversity where decisions are made. To truly have equal representation, women and all marginalized groups need to use their voice, their knowledge, and their experiences to shape outcomes. It is our hope that FEM can empower the women at Mintel to excel. And, as the Americas Multicultural Inclusion Network (MIN) celebrates its one-year anniversary, the collaborations, conversations, and educational sessions will only push us closer to those goals.