International Women’s Day 2018 is set to be the year of movements. This annual event not only highlights the ongoing need for gender equality and parity in all industries, but campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have paved the way for women to speak up on a variety of issues, from domestic violence and racism, to the rallying for greater gender equality with #March4Women and taking a stand on Equal Pay Day.
To celebrate the run up to International Women’s Day 2018, Corporate Citizenship spoke with our team to find out what the day means to them. Up first, we speak to our Global Marketing Manager, Cecilia Law.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A celebration of how far women have come, recognition of our achievements and how much work is still left to do. As well as an inspirational day, it also serves as an education. 2018 marks 100 years of suffrage, and yet women are still under represented in politics as in many industries. We may not be talking about the glass ceiling as much as we have done in the past, but it is still prevalent and the inequality is still very real, as seen in the recent row over fees paid to reshoot scenes for the movie All the Money in the World.
Have you experienced any negative gender-related issues in your career?
I have been lucky to work in companies that have allowed me flexibility to take advantage of the work-life balance. However, I may have come up against the unspoken scrutiny of colleagues I just may not be aware of! If there is one issue I could shine a light on, it’s maternity/paternity leave. I have been to many debates about gender and this topic comes up time and time again, particularly the issues around “will she come back?”, “how will she juggle the work/life balance?”, “will she want to work part time?” etc. The truth of the matter is, no matter what industry the parent-to-be (women, men, same-sex couples alike) is in, their priorities will change. Some may choose to continue to work-hard/play-hard, whilst others may choose to take a backseat to enjoy parenthood. Either way, it is the parent’s choice in what they do and they should not have to fear or feel patronised by what employers, colleagues or any other Tom, Dick or Harry thinks. It’s none of their business! But that said, the workforce needs to make it easier for parents, particularly women, to return to work. I’ve heard many comments that when a new parent returns to work (whether part or full time), their “head’s not in the game” which is really disrespectful. Who are these people to judge?!
What advice would you give your younger self as you started to navigate your career?
Don’t follow the crowd and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is one of life’s biggest learning curves. Eating humble pie every now and then keeps you grounded and will build your resilience to life’s future challenges.
What would your hopes be for Women and specifically around the theme of #PressforProgress?
I hope that in the future there won’t be a need for a women’s day. That phrases such as “stop being/acting like a girl” are no longer used with negative connotations. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign is a great example of social responsibility and sends a powerful message to both male and females that we all need to be responsible for how our behaviours create gender stereotypes that can then be negatively normalised by society.
Source: CC News Feed