Khushboo Patel is the Local Director for Metro Bank in Wales, leading the growth of the Bank in the region. As Local Director for Wales, Khushboo’s job is to make sure we truly understand the community and their needs, whilst also supporting our local SMEs.
One area that Khushboo is very passionate about is gender balance and that’s something she chats to Business News Wales about here :
When asked to describe the current outlook on gender balance in Wales, Khushboo said:
“There’s a report by the World Economic Forum and the UK overall is number 21 out of 153 countries in the gender rankings.”
Khushboo describes how this ranking has fallen “6 places from the previous year” and that there is lots of work to do when it comes to gender balance in Wales.
In Wales, gender balance has been on the agenda for many years. In the last year, the Welsh Government published new plans for advancing gender equality in Wales.
But why is gender equality such an important matter to Khushboo?
She reiterated that
“inclusion promotes belonging, purpose and wellbeing and diversity ignites that problem solving, creativity and innovation and these are things that businesses want for their people and their work.” She describes how there are “plenty of studies and statistics that prove the benefits of diversity and inclusion, however on the other hand we have alarming statistics that show how much work there is to do”.
Whilst Khushboo says that Wales is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to gender equality, she says that “the true progress is in the detail of the delivery”. She describes how with the support of new policies from the Welsh Government and organisations like Chwarae Teg, “there’s no reason that Wales can’t become a leader in gender equality”.
Over the last year, there have been several statistics to suggest that the pandemic has had a negative impact on gender balance…
“Throughout the pandemic, it’s generally been said that women’s jobs have been more vulnerable than men’s jobs”. Khushboo says that having said that, “the pandemic has highlighted that as a society, we can make flexible working work” and that there are a lot more opportunities in the ecomomy to counter the negative impact of the pandemic on gender balance.
According to Khushboo, through organisations such as Chwarae Teg, changes are being made when it comes to gender balance but time will tell if the UK will become more equal.