Embracing Equity with Kirsty

In aid of International Women’s Day 2023, we’re shining a light on the inspirational women we work with, collaborate with, or have pure admiration for as female pioneers within their fields. 

As part of our Words of Wisdom blog series, we interviewed seven inspirational female founders from tech, PR, research and fundraising to discuss this year’s Embracing Equity theme. 

I started my career in oil and gas recruitment in an office with 16 males. This is typical of the oil and gas recruitment industry as historically it has been very male dominated. 

I was the first female this department had hired in a recruitment role, and I loved it. Rightly or wrongly, when I left, my director confessed I’d changed his perception of women in the team and was ready to hire more.  

Fast forward a few decades, and I’m heading up Project Services for Give Opinions. My role is to assist our clients in sourcing the right people for their research projects. My day-to-day tasks involve building screeners, data management, managing social media content, sourcing and engaging participants, and project management.  

Keeping the Give Opinions respondent panel active and growing in numbers ensures energetic, insightful, and engaged respondents.  My previous life in career recruitment meant I already had all the prerequisites to step into Give Opinions and create something unique with our UK panel. I am a RAS accredited recruiter, and Give Opinions is a registered member of MRS, ICG and ICO. 

In what way can organizations be more inclusive to encompass marginalized and vulnerable groups such as youth, women, persons with disability and so forth?  

In market research, accessibility refers to the ability of researchers to reach and gather data from a representative sample of the population. 

Accessibility can be affected by numerous factors, such as the availability of appropriate research tools, the target population’s demographic characteristics, and any barriers that might prevent some individuals from participating in the research. 

Ensuring accessibility is important because it helps to ensure that the research results accurately reflect the attitudes, behaviours, and opinions of the target population rather than being biased towards certain groups. This is particularly important in market research, where the insights gained from the study can significantly impact business decisions and outcomes. 

To ensure accessibility and inclusion for everyone at Give Opinions, we use various methods, such as offering incentives to encourage participation, using multiple modes of data collection (such as online surveys and phone interviews), and carefully selecting and screening participants to ensure they represent the target population. 

What does embracing equity mean to you?  

Embracing equity to me means recognizing and addressing the systemic inequalities and biases that can affect research outcomes and using strategies to ensure that research is inclusive, representative, and equitable. 

To embrace equity in market research, we focus on creating a research process that acknowledges and minimizes any potential biases, discrimination, or exclusion. As standard, our pre-screeners cover basic demographic questions, and we always aim to be inclusive and demonstrate a fair representation of the UK. 

In which areas should more efforts be employed to ensure more inclusiveness?  

Market researchers should strive to understand the cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, and other demographic factors that may impact how individuals perceive or respond to the research. 

We always think of new ways to reach different audiences across the UK. We recognize that not everyone has access to social media or computers. For those individuals, the research industry needs to offer either in-person interviews or telephone interviews. How we source them can be a challenge, but one we don’t shy away from!   

Researchers should also use language and methods that are inclusive and accessible to all participants, regardless of their background or experience. 

Please share any good examples of practices, measures or initiatives that can be adopted, shared and/or scaled up.  

By embracing equity in market research, researchers can ensure that their findings are more representative, accurate, and actionable for all target population members, which can lead to more effective business decisions and outcomes.  

At Give Opinions, we also ensure that research participants are diverse and represent the target population. This can involve targeted recruitment efforts and ensuring that individuals who are typically excluded from research are included. 

We also consider the potential biases and inequalities in our data analysis and interpretation and strive to identify and address any disparities. 

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