For this year’s International Women’s Day, our female colleagues completed an anonymous survey about IWD and working as a woman in this industry. In this first post, they talk about International Women’s Day and what it means to them.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
‘It is about striving for balance and acknowledging that women have a significant part to place in the workplace and should be equally valued and compensated.’
‘A special day to remind women that we are wonderful but also that we still have some way to go in the fight for equality. And that’s ok, we are in this together.’
‘Solidarity and recognising how far women have come and achieved. Empowering each other and creating awareness on equality worldwide is important!’
‘To celebrate how far women have come in terms of being valued and represented in society, since the days when we were considered inferior to men. Luckily, in most of the western world, we have now gained a seat at the table and it’s a chance to celebrate the success of those who helped us get there, but also a reminder that there is still some way to go in some countries, for example less access to education, health and safety risks and political representation.’
‘Gender equality is still an issue in many contexts, it is not a ‘given’ that men and women are treated or perceived in equal terms. IWD provides an opportunity to have positive discussions regarding the importance of gender balance and to celebrate wonderful female role models who are leading the charge.’
‘Like many men and women, my views on the need to secure women’s rights and shape an equitable society have been influenced in recent years by raising a daughter. A daughter who (despite often wearing gender-neutral clothes and playing with ‘boy’ toys and having a proudly feminist working mother and a father who is more useful in the home than her mother), said at the age of six when asked if she would like to be a doctor, ‘I can’t be a doctor, only boys can be doctors.’ A daughter who had to be persuaded to remain in the top maths set at school because she was the only girl from her form in that set. A daughter who has repeatedly heard other mothers saying to their daughters, ‘Don’t worry, darling, I wasn’t any good at maths/science/technology either’ as though those things were in some way not cool or aspirational. A daughter who has said she can’t call herself a feminist because she associates that term with being unfeminine or anti-men. A daughter who sets high standards for herself and the women in her life, but who is comparatively tolerant of the foibles and failings of the men she knows (in a ‘Oh, shame they can’t help it’ sort of way). We kid ourselves if we think we don’t have to be alert to gender bias in our society and International Women’s Day is a great time to stop and think about that.’
‘This is a day where I can reflect how proud I am to be a woman and recognize the progress I’ve made in my career and personal life.’
‘For me, its super important. I have a couple of really inspiring women close to me, in my work and personal life and I think it’s great to take a moment to appreciate and reflect on their success/journey.’