5 companies driving equity in the South West

5 companies driving equity in the South West

The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. 

While the two may sound similar, it’s important not to confuse them. Equality and equity have very different meanings and real-world outcomes.

Defining equity

On a basic level, equality means giving every individual from a group the exact same resources or opportunities. Sounds fair. But this definition doesn’t factor in that individuals each have their own specific needs and requirements.  

Equity, on the other hand, is the recognition that each person has their own unique circumstances, backgrounds and requirements. Equity takes these factors into account and seeks to empower the individual by allocating resources and opportunities which would enable an equal outcome. 

Equity in business

Naheed Dosani describes the difference perfectly: “equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits.”

Equality makes sure that people all have the same journey towards the same end goal.

Equity levels the playing field, and in business this translates as giving people the tools and time they need to be successful.  

So, in celebration of 2023’s International Women’s Day and in homage to the theme of #EmbraceEquity we have put together our list of the five companies that are driving equity in the South West region… 

Neighbourly  

Our client Neighbourly is helping some of the best-known businesses across the UK to build equity into their strategies and out into their local communities.  

Their employee volunteering schemes connect local community groups and charities with corporates wanting to donate their time. Neighbourly provides opportunities for exchange and collaboration between diverse communities and businesses. The Neighbourly team can support their clients with their objectives relating to equity, through consultation on how to tailor programmes around supporting specific communities or initiatives.  

This International Women’s Day, visit Neighbourly’s site to see just how many good local causes are helping to address gender equality and equity within your city.  

Babbasa and Bristol Creative Industries 

Just last month Bristol Creative Industries (BCI) announced they are teaming up with social enterprise Babbasa to launch a city-wide internship programme. It aims to help young people from Bristol, who identify as an ethnic minority and/or from a low-income background, gain insight and experience in the creative industry.  

The initiative follows a recent BCI report which stated that increasing diversity and inclusion is a significant priority for six in 10 (59%) creative firms, but 21% admit that they are struggling to recruit talent from diverse backgrounds. With Babbasa leading the recruitment process, the programme is sure to unlock doors for those who would not have otherwise had the chance. 

The scheme will see many of the city’s most well-known creative businesses such as Aardman Animations participate in offering six-month full-time paid placements to applicants starting in May. 

Women’s Work Lab

We’ve been following The Women’s Work Lab for a while, and have huge admiration for what they are achieving. Founded in Bristol by Rachel Mostyn and Camilla Rigby, The Women’s Work Lab supports unemployed mums who are receiving benefits to help them (re)start their careers. 

The mums they work with may have faced a variety of barriers to work, from lone parenting and domestic abuse to supporting children with special educational needs. This programme is about helping mums gain the confidence and skills they need to take a step closer to work. Partnerships with socially conscious employers across the South West help enable this. 

The Women’s Lab is about unlocking talent, giving women the skills and confidence to move forward in their careers and securing financial security for the future. It empowers them to fulfil their potential. 

Bristol Sport 

Women’s sport is experiencing a meteoric rise. Last summer, 11 million people tuned in to watch the famous Euros victory on TV, and a full-capacity Wembley Stadium cheered on the Lionesses. In 2022, 15.8 million new people watched women’s sports, and 27% of those went on to watch more women’s sports afterwards. These statistics demonstrate that equity can lead to significant achievements.

Since Bristol Sport was formed in 2014, they have committed to improving the standards and opportunities for women’s sports to grow throughout the South West in football, rugby, and basketball. The organisation prioritises visibility for the women’s game by organising numerous double-header matches with the men’s and women’s teams playing on the same day at Ashton Gate. This places the women’s game in front of a larger audience, attracting a larger fan base, and enabling more sponsorship opportunities, which they invest back into the women’s teams.

Bristol Sport has also promoted female athletes as role models for the younger generation by showcasing their achievements and contributions to the sport. This has helped to inspire more girls and women to pursue sports and realise their potential.

Their commitment to the young women of the South West is also shown through the Bears’ health and wellbeing programme ‘Bear in Mind’. This is designed to equip girls in secondary education with the tools needed for self-confidence and to cope with wider issues within modern society faced by many young girls today. 

Communicating equity 

Now that you understand equity and have some great examples to learn from, it’s important to consider how you deliver this within your own business and communicate with your audiences.

If you need help developing your company’s messaging around social values, get in touch today to discover how AMBITIOUS PR can assist.