Updated: Nov 19, 2019
As We Hate Pink is hosting Engaging Men with Feminism on Wednesday, November 20th, we talked with Rossella Forlè, co-founder and CEO of We Hate Pink, about her amazing organisation, her engagement with Female Empowerment, and the importance of Gender Equality in our society.
What is We Hate Pink?
We Hate Pink is a London based community platform aiming to increase the access of women to leadership roles at all levels. We support and believe in gender equality, because diversity is not just the best thing from a social standpoint but helps business to create more creative and innovative teams.
Could you tell us a little bit more about you and your background on Female Empowerment?
I have been involved in feminist activism since I was 15, having worked on different projects in UK and Italy, supporting women right and refugee women. I have always been passionate about this topic, because I have experienced discrimination and violence myself - I'm a survivor of domestic violence. After dealing with my trauma, I decided to channel my emotions in something positive that can create value and help other women. I started supporting other women who were victims of violence. Once I start working inside corporations, I realised that discrimination in the workplace is still there, so I decided action needed to be taken there too.
What do you think is the main challenge we are facing as society to achieve Gender Equality in the workplace?
In my opinion gender equality became a big topic in the past few years, which is great but there is a lack of real action to actually solve the issue, like changing laws and put processes in place. Stereotypes about women in leadership and working mums are still there and the old generations don't really want to make a change. Companies use "gender equality" as part of their agenda to sell products, because research shows that if a brand takes a social stand they can sell more. But no one is really interested in changing the status quo. Gender equality is considered something that needs to be addressed not just in the western world. There are 130 million girls in the world between the age of 6 and 17 out of school, with no access to any kind of opportunities. I believe that without social equality we cannot achieve gender equality.
Do you think younger generations are more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion?
Absolutely yes, young women and men are more sensitive about this topic and they're taking a stand more and more. I truly believe in the power of new generations and I hope that this is not going to be argument of discussion in the next 50 years. The sad thing is that we're still dealing with glass ceiling and inequality in the workplace that matched 20 years ago. The situation is changing but it's taking too long in my opinion. We have been discussing about inequality for years, it's time for change now!
What advice would you give to companies that are looking to raise their Gender Equality in the workplace?
Just do it. Have a look at your company structure and make sure you have an equal representation of women from different backgrounds at every single level, from junior to more senior positions. Start hiring more women in leadership roles and make sure they will get paid as their male colleagues. Create a space for women and men where they can talk freely about inequality at work, in order to address the problem.
Don't miss out the inspiring event next Wednesday, November 20th: Engaging Men with Feminism.