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What does International Women’s Day mean to us?

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The 2020 theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, something we are passionate about and believe in at Women in PR, and some of our committee members are today explaining what this event means to them.

“As long as there are significant barriers preventing women from achieving their full potential, and poorer life outcomes purely by nature of being born a girl, then I will do my bit to help to drive positive change and support women wherever I can.  I see International Women’s Day as an important part of that. It is an opportunity to highlight important issues – from the gender pay gap to lack of women in the boardroom – and take practical action. This year, at Energy UK, we will be delivering practical advice and support for female staff and members, through a women’s development coaching workshop with Women to Work, focusing on career progression and identifying what individual happiness and career success looks like – and how to achieve it. And we will be promoting our videos celebrating women in the energy industry – where we hear from women talking about what they love about working in energy and give advice to other women on how to get into the sector.”
Abbie Sampson, Energy UK

“For me, International Women’s Day is a day of two halves – gratitude and celebration for those strong tenacious females who came before me, battering their way through traditional male barriers so that the only thing holding me back at work is myself; and it’s a day where I will recommit to redressing inequality in the hope of a better future for my children. So, in 2020 I am actively choosing to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements, whether that’s through the books I read my girls at bedtime, to the role models we discuss over dinner and to the championing of the amazing women in my office to keep on smashing those barriers.”
Charlie Mulock, Hope & Glory

“When you still hear the name Dave called out around a boardroom more often than you see a woman sitting at that same table, or when you see girls excelling at maths at school only to find no women in an engineering firm, you know there is still a need for International Women’s Day. IWD is an opportunity to shine a Batman-style spotlight on an issue that requires our attention 365 days a year – the gender inequality that women and girls face every day, in every aspect of their lives. It’s a platform to champion the untold stories of women from every background and to importantly galvanise minds behind tackling the barriers that hold women back. This year, I will be joining thousands of women calling for a more equal world on the March4Women in central London.”
Sneha Patel, Mayor of London’s Office

“#EachforEqual is something that absolutely resonates with me – not only as a woman in business, but as the mother of two sons. Equality is something we often talk about and they are not only aware of but embrace, which gives me hope that things are changing for future generations. Let’s not forget however, that while things are better than they were, there are still big steps to be taken when it comes to the gender pay gap, flexible working andwomen in leadership. We need to keep working, to ensure these issues are being addressed, the policy is implemented, and by doing this we can build a society where equality and inclusivity are the norm and even greater achievements are celebrated.”
Natalie Trice, PR School

“IWD gives us the opportunity to celebrate how far we have come and acknowledge how far we still have to go to achieve genuine equality. I am 100% behind this year’s theme of ‘An equal world is an enabled world’.

“Growing up in an all-female household where money was scarce and in an area where girls were expected to achieve very little had a lasting impact on me. While my path in life has not come without its struggles, I am grateful to all the women, the #changemakers, that came before me. Their bravery, combined with my own efforts to banish my ‘imposter syndrome’ has enabled me to be brave enough to live the life I have always wanted to lead, forging financial independence, breaking down barriers and using my voice wherever I am able. 

“We all have a role to play to make it easier for the next generation of women to progress.  We can’t stop now. I believe in #payitforward and if you can find the time, I would urge all women to join a board, be a role model, a mentor, a coach or sponsor other women – just don’t pull the ladder up after you’ve reached the top.”
Sarah Samee, Lloyd’s Register

“For me, International Women’s Day and others like it, give invaluable momentum and profile to the gender equality cause. It gives us all a chance to see some of the amazing work being done by individuals, businesses, governments, charities and individuals globally, to be inspired and motivated to keep going as there is so much more to do. That said, I agree with Lisa Unwin, Founder of She’s Back, ‘A woman is for life not just for IWD.’ Therefore I empathise with the healthy scepticism about brands jumping on the bandwagon around such platforms. Organisations and individuals getting plaudits from me on March 8th will be those with humility, those working hard every day of the year for inclusivity. I applaud the 2020 #eachforequal theme as for me, the cause is gender equality. We all do better when women and girls do well.”
Jane Fordham, Jane Fordham Consulting

We believe that ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ and it’s no secret that the lack of flexible working provision is the reason why many women are unable to progress in their careers or ‘break the glass ceiling’.

This is why we are focusing on our flexible working campaign ‘What the F?’ in 2020.

With 87% of the UK’s full-time workforce wanting access to flexible working the PR industry desperately needs to change its attitude towards flexible working provision. The younger generation expects flexible working to be a given and to be treated equally and we know that to retain the best and brightest talent, organisations, PR or otherwise, need to be alert to the changing needs of the workforce.

We have just launched a survey with Opinium to find out what flexible working looks like in the industry, it is open to all and you can complete it here until 13 March.

For more details, head to www.internationalwomensday.com, do share your story and on social media using #EachforEqual #IWD2020 and as Sarah so rightly said, #payitforward if you can find the time, help other women – just don’t pull the ladder up after you’ve reached the top.
The Women in PR Committee Team