Is International Women’s Day still necessary to acknowledge in PR in 2022? While the workforce that makes up the PR and communications industry in the UK is mainly female, our sector is not fully equal across the board on gender quite yet…
Because while we’re on the subject of Boards – they’re still mostly led by men. Balancing home life and work – a necessary consideration for many women; not always for their male counterparts – has been even harder for many because of the pandemic and unconscious (and occasionally conscious) bias continues to impact career success. Where gender intersects with race, class and sexuality, the inequality built into our industry becomes even more difficult to overcome.
Yes – International Women’s Day is still important to recognise and celebrate, even in a sector that may seem to outsiders like it’s getting it right. So, happy IWD to all women; here are just come of the events and initiatives happening across PR and comms today to mark the occasion.
M&F Health is giving its entire agency a day off in honour of International Women’s Day, encouraging staff to book a doctor’s appointment, take an exercise class or use the time to reflect and recharge.
‘74% of our agency are women and working in health and wellbeing as we do every day, makes us especially aware of the importance of taking care of our own health,’ says James Hollaway, M&F Health owner and managing director.
Inspiration for the move – the agency’s client Organon, which will also be giving its 10,000 employees a day off to prioritise their health, or the health of the women in their lives.
Over at performance marketing agency Journey Further, 160 members of staff across all three office locations will have access to a full-day event focusing on the three pillars of inspiration, education and celebration.
‘It’s important that the day is not only actionable, but also relevant to our staff,’ says PR director Beth Nunnington.
‘To ensure we are covering topics that will make the most impact, we spoke to a diverse group of women across the business, plus heads of departments, to gather feedback about which topics they would like us to put a spotlight on. Our day will include internal speakers, third party speakers, and existing content, such as Ted Talks and roundtable discussions. We’ll continue to drive this action all year round, not just on 8 March.’
With local London charities, the Charities Aid Foundation will be taking part in a Statue Walk with the Charities Aid Foundation, aiming to draw attention to how much work there is still to do to raise awareness about women’s equality and accelerate gender parity across the world, while celebrating women who have left their marks on history.
‘International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women and efforts towards making the world a more balanced place,’ says CAF Bank CEO and leader of the IWD Statue Walk Initiative Alison Taylor.
‘This day also marks a timely call to action following two years of a pandemic during which women’s employment has fallen and inequalities involving childcare and unpaid labour have become more evident.’
Supporting with sports
Fourth Day has sponsored the Stockport Vikings Pumas U8s and U13s girls football teams – which play in the South Manchester Girls Football League and Cheshire Girls Football League.
The daughters of two members of the Fourth Day team play for Stockport Vikings Pumas, with one of the team, account manager Caroline Fletcher, also coaching the U8s.
Nikki Scrivener, co-founder of Fourth Day said: ‘Working with technology clients we still see lots of areas where women are under-represented. The same is true in football, so we can see obvious comparisons. But there are brilliant signs of change everywhere. IWD is a chance for everyone to celebrate this change and show that we are still striving for more.’
Keeping the conversation going
Vhari Russell and her team at The Food Marketing Experts are passionate about gender equality and will be weaving this into the way they work for 8 March and beyond.
Vhari said: ‘As a business we are part of a number of mentoring programs in which we have the opportunity to share and guide business owners and will be using this opportunity to help women in business thrive. We will be sharing blogs about women in the food industry that have bucked the norm and driven huge growth in their sectors. We’ll be sharing views and content for the whole of March, as it is important to keep the conversation going.’
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