International Women's Day Each for Equal 2020

iProspect's round-up of International Women's Day 2020

We asked several of our Content & Digital PR team to provide some thoughts and opinions for the week of International Women’s Day 2020.

This is how they responded to our questions:

Which women inspire you and why?

I’m inspired by different women every day. Whether it’s because she’s the same age as me, or her attitude towards focusing on progress instead of perfection, it’s Gina Martin (activist and writer who succeeded in her mission to make upskirting illegal in the UK after tirelessly fighting to change the law for 18 months) who currently fuels my desire to make a stand for what I care about.

I also admire Karlie Kloss, an American model who heads up Kode with Klossy; a summer learning programme for teenage girls which helps them develop coding skills and boosts their confidence to pursue careers in technology. Our society seems adamant that women can’t be multifaceted – they can’t be both conventionally attractive and technologically minded at the same time, but Karlie Kloss shatters that archaic assumption.

The one woman who has remained a constant source of inspiration, however, is my mum Sarah. Her first job was at a men’s suit tailoring shop. When she applied, she was told the position was for a male member of staff only, but at just 15 years old she fought against it and got the job. To say she’s been my rock since the day I was born is a huge understatement. She teaches me strength and resilience, but also to love fully and fearlessly.

- Olivia Lott, Digital PR Manager

Are you doing anything personally or at work to help drive change?

Making change is a collective effort, however all individuals, regardless of gender, play a part in a much bigger movement.

Little things can ladder up to bigger mindset and organisational changes. Calling out behaviour that’s not acceptable, ensuring women get the same opportunities as men for things like pay rises, promotions, speaking opportunities and visibility in what is a very heavy white male dominated industry. We all have a responsibility to challenge when someone has been underrepresented or ignored because of reasons out of their control, like race or gender.

Fortunately for me, my desire and determination to push a positive change or challenge injustice comes from an incredibly strong, empowering and inspirational female figure: my mum. And at work I treat my team just how my mum treated me. With the utmost care, respect and freedom to be their true selves.

Everyone at a bare minimum deserves equal opportunity. I am ensuring the females in my team are listened to and more importantly given the opportunity to develop their careers and independent thinking to help promote a better environment for everyone to grow and work how they wish to work. The idea that everyone in a company wants to work in the same way is outdated and out of touch.

Working from home is cool but it’s not for everyone. Hot desking can lead to great team collaboration but can also cause huge stress and anxiety for others. Big presentations or team meetings make some people feel overwhelmed but for some it’s what gets them out of bed. All we can do as good human beings is respect and understand everyone’s individual needs. Don’t force policies down people’s throats and as I’ve said countless times, encourage freedom and expression.

- Shaun Hill, Head of Content

How is the company helping to drive change?

International Women’s Day is a day to inspire and be inspired; to be a part of a movement that builds the confidence of women, not only in the workplace but also in our day-to-day lives, empowering us to become role models for future female generations.

To help drive the change at work and support female empowerment within our company, I applied for the Dentsu Women and Leadership programme to develop my skills within a female leadership role. Initiatives such as the Women and Leadership programme are vital for helping women feel empowered and it has enabled me to support my line reports and encourage their own development within the company too.  

My advice for other women starting out in this industry is to be bold, speak up and be heard – do your bit to help drive change and keep pushing for female equality within the workplace. While things are improving, there is still much work to be done.

- Abigail Roberts-Law, Content Marketing Manager

What does gender equality mean to you, personally and in work?

To me, gender equality is the equal treatment of everyone, with equal opportunities made available to everyone. Whether you call it gender equality, feminism or female empowerment – all of the above are so much more than the sloganism we see on notebooks and t-shirts. It’s ensuring our feminism is inclusive and intersectional, which should go without saying. It’s making a conscious effort to champion those who have been undermined historically.

In work, gender equality to me looks like an equal balance in senior leadership teams, mentoring programmes to empower women to go for leadership roles, and actively organising events and initiatives to encourage women to express themselves. It’s also the way we conduct our relationships with other female colleagues – we need to support each other rather than feel like we’re in competition. As the quote goes, “There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.”

- Riona Doherty, Content Marketing Manager

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is about championing gender equality and honouring the achievements of women, particularly those who work hard to fight for female empowerment. It is about celebrating how far things have come since the day was first set up by the Suffragettes, whilst acknowledging that there is still a long way to go before we achieve true, global equality. It is an opportunity to celebrate women around the world and send a message to the women whose voices are still unheard that we are united, and that there is hope for the future.

- Katie Garrett, Content Marketing Manager

What advice would you give to other women starting out in this industry?

  1. Apply for roles that you are not 100% qualified for and apply for a lot of them. You don’t necessarily need to have all the required skills to be the best fit for the job, skills can be taught so demonstrate that you have an open attitude to learn.
  2. Interviewing is a two-way street; you are interviewing a potential employer as much as they are interviewing you. Think about what environment you want to work in and what is important to you. Is it a good maternity leave policy, agile working, leadership courses, mentor schemes or free sanitary products?
  3. Be curious and ask questions. How many women are in senior roles? Is there a female figure who you admire that you can learn from? What specific skills do you respect in fellow colleagues, how can you take inspiration from these in your role and career development?

- Megan Wrafter, Content Marketing Manager