International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
The IWD 2023 campaign theme of #EmbraceEquity seeks to forge worldwide understanding about why equal opportunities aren’t enough and how equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Acknowledging that people of all genders start from different places will create true inclusion and belonging.
IAM RoadSmart is proud to shine a light on a few inspiring women working at their Head Office in Hertfordshire.
“As a young woman who is just at the start of her career, gender equity is extremely important to me. Regardless of gender, every employee of a business should have the opportunity to develop and flourish in their own way. I’m also very conscious that there might be situations or events that occur throughout my working life, which would mean my personal life would require more attention. For example, having a baby. So many women have seen their careers suffer due to the lack of support from employers, which makes the whole notion of gender equity even more important.
“I consider myself to be a confident and outgoing person, which in past leadership roles, has been mistaken as rude, or abrasive compared to male counterparts who might act in the same way. I think we need more strong-minded women to continue breaking this stereotype in the workplace to make a positive change.
“I feel inspired to make a change for all the women in society who will come after me. This includes if I ever have children, I want my daughters to have no fear of building their career as the support will be there for them to make it happen. It’s a pivotal time for gender equity so I hope that the girls in generations to come have that support to really succeed.”
“My job involves creating and co-ordinating communications between staff and stakeholder groups, and throughout my career I’ve become well practised in adapting the way I communicate on a one-to-one basis compared to delivering corporate messaging to different audiences. When I think about gender equity, I believe it means respecting, listening to, and working with everyone equally regardless of gender.
“In order to make a positive change it’s important we work together to raise awareness and communicate the challenges. It’s key to be aware of the challenges and opportunities we face with regards to gender equity, and how to discuss and share information with each other in the workplace. I’m always inspired by those who champion the small wins and want the best for everyone.”
“For me gender equity is gaining equal recognition for my skills and abilities, whilst acknowledging the journey that has brought me to where I am today. I wasn’t overly academic at school, but I was always encouraged to find opportunities that could help me find my own path in life. When I went onto university I excelled and continue to push myself, and I feel by not having someone dictate my route, enabled me to find what worked best for me.
“During my career I’ve been surrounded by amazing female leads where they earnt respect from their knowledge and skills and led the way in terms of equal opportunities. I believe being given learning opportunities to gain new skills has helped get me to where I need to be, and having the chance to apply for internal promotions has always been valuable in helping me progress.”
“My job focuses on defining, implementing, and overseeing the people and culture strategy for the organisation, whilst making sure culture remains as a core value for the charity. Having the right people with the right skills in the right role at the right time is what myself and my team work on.
“For years many have strived for ‘equal opportunities’ and have merely set unrealistic quotas and targets based on gender that ticked the box to say they are an equal opportunity employer. Equity is quite new, and organisations are still trying to understand the difference. It focuses on fairness rather than sameness which may not be realistic or right for the individuals, and it will be interesting to see how this subtle difference could be more impactful and personal as it develops in the workplace in the next few years.
“My job focuses on delivering through people, so whatever organisation I work for I always want to support people to do their best, whilst helping the organisation to succeed. It’s my role to make sure we have the best people who are equipped to deliver and achieve success. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing someone succeed, especially if I’ve helped in some small way.”
“I joined Sussex Police is 1981 where I built up my experience through various roles in the county. Ten years later I joined the Traffic Team, based in Haywards Heath, and this is where my passion for road safety began. When I was working in the police force it was incredibly male dominated, yet I didn’t feel my gender played a part in the opportunities I was given because you were rewarded for your hard work and dedication – that being the same for anyone in the force. I remained in the Traffic Team until 2001, leaving simply because of childcare reasons.
“My working career has always been heavily male dominated, including managing a all-male team at IAM RoadSmart until more recently. I know my team respect me for who I am, what I have to offer, the support and guidance I provide – not because of my gender.
“It’s excellent to see IAM RoadSmart and many other organisations shining a light on gender equality and equity, I hope it brings positive change and more inclusive working environments for everyone.”