How Smyle Have Been Embracing Equity

International Women’s Day 2023

Every year International Women’s Day (“IWD”) gives us all a chance to see the progress made and highlight the challenges women worldwide face. This year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity’, to embrace the difference between equality and equity – because equality isn’t enough anymore!

Learn about the changes Smyle has made to create a more equitable workplace and support the women in our agency since the last IWD.

Updated Benefits Package

Earlier this year, following a company-wide consultation, we introduced an improved benefits package for all our Smylers.

Improved maternity leave empowers our women to enjoy precious time out of work if they choose to start a family and not feel the pressure of returning earlier than they have to. Improved paternity leave also means that fathers can take on more responsibility, allowing families a more equal work-life balance. We also offer additional time off for those returning from family leave (including adoption leave) to support the transition back to work and offer flexible working so that families are set up for success long-term.

Menopause Policy

At Smyle, we are committed to supporting our people through life-changing situations and in 2022, we launched our Menopause Policy. 

The policy’s purpose is to create an open and supportive working environment where managers and employees can openly discuss, and without fear of judgement, any issues associated with the menopause. Also, to ensure the necessary support is known and offered whenever someone may require it. Finally, to educate and raise awareness and understanding of menopause amongst Smylers so that we can break down the stigma sometimes attached to menopause.

We also recognise that when people talk about menopause, it can be assumed that only cis women experience it. However, it’s important to highlight that members of the trans and non-binary community can experience menopause symptoms.

Women at Smyle

To support underrepresented groups at Smyle, we launched the Collective, a new internal community with the aim of offering support to colleagues as well as guidance and recommendations on all things DEI to the business. Within this new community sits Women of Smyle. Women of Smyle is a support group of female business leaders, managers, junior staff, and women just starting their careers. We offer advice to colleagues, create a safe space for women to express concerns and ensure they have a voice. Emma Gardner, Smyle’s Executive Design Director and one of the first women to become a director, leads the group.

Looking Ahead

We will continue to build on our successes and recognise our shortcomings since the last International Womens Day – but the good fight is far from over. There is still so much we can do as an organisation and that Smylers can do to challenge stigmas and embrace equity within Smyle and in broader society. 

One exciting new initiative we’re starting in 2023 is a Women’s Leadership Programme after one of our own took the initiative and pointed out the need for more female leaders in our agency, as well as wanting support to meet her own needs and ambitions. We can’t wait to share more about it in the coming months, so watch this space…