International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of woman. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
We have asked team:
“What’s the one piece of advice you would give to your younger self? or if you are a man… What advice would you give your daughter/sister/partner?…”
Here are their answers:
“In my early career I probably didn’t push myself or step up/ speak up as I should have. I started working in the 90’s so it was a very different landscape to today. So, my advice to my younger self (and to my present self!) would be to ignore the barriers of gender – to learn from the men and push for the same opportunities.”
“My first job after completing my studies was for a company that was heavily male dominated. I felt extremely inferior and to some extent, quite intimidated. My advice to my younger self?… Be fearless and bold. Confidently emanate that my role, knowledge and contribution to the business are equally as important as my male colleagues. Perhaps confidence and boldness is a skill that you learn over time, however I shall be reminding my 2 young daughters that they are by no means inferior to anyone – regardless of their status or gender.”
“Just go for it, don’t be afraid of making mistakes and be whatever you want to be. Don’t conform to what you think you should be…ever.”
“I’d tell her to be more supportive of other women and don’t buy the ‘women are mean to other women’ stereotype. It’s not true, but it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you look for rivals you see them everywhere.
Context: I’ve had two jobs where most of the staff are women: Hasson Associates, and my first proper job after I left uni. The difference between the two environments is crazy. Hasson Associates is a supportive, professional environment and my first job had a toxic, competitive, gossipy atmosphere. I think the (male) manager expected a certain degree of cattiness so there was no one really saying ‘hang on, why are you being so mean to each other?.”
“Be who you truly want to be, don’t let gender or any stereo types get in your way and speak out if anyone try’s too. Identify your hero’s – read about their journeys and obstacles and how they overcame them and aspire to be them. Don’t let the Harvey Goldstein’s of this world get in your way. Their time is up. You’re the future and they’re soon to be extinct.”
“Never doubt – strive to always remain strong and believe in myself and my ability and what I have to offer as a woman in the workplace, work hard and don’t be afraid to go head to head with men who say inappropriate things – stand up and challenge at every stage, no matter of age or position – do not stand for discrimination at any point in life, workplace or in other environments.
As a mum of a 10 year old girl, I am constantly telling her to stand up and believe in herself and what she can achieve, to push boundaries and be confident, realise her own potential and what she has to offer.
My dad always taught me to be brave and not to be afraid to communicate with anyone, whether they are a senior director or royalty, as everyone is a human being and I have taken that piece of advice and pushed through life with that nugget of wisdom.”
“My 11 year old daughter is living in a very different world to the one I was brought up in, where ‘children should be seen but not heard’, particularly girls!
She isn’t aware of the many boundaries I faced as a young girl – in sport and career choice. So, I talk to her about all the different jobs she can do from becoming a professional footballer to a plumber. Learning a trade was never ever mentioned as a possible career choice when I was young, purely based on gender.
The most important piece of advice I can give her is to do whatever she wants to do, not what ‘society’ thinks she should do, based on her gender. “