Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful. The IWD 2023 campaign theme seeks to forge worldwide understanding about why equal opportunities aren’t enough, and a focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.
International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
#EmbraceEquity with Catherine Meyer, senior marketing executive at Eames Group in the UK.
1. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women, and why?
In the past, when someone would describe their working life as ‘part time’, immediately you would presume that they had to make sacrifices to maintain the balance at home. It was seen as a sacrifice, and it is a sacrifice. As a new mum, returning to work after taking 1.5 years off was daunting. Hybrid working patterns have helped me ease back into my new roles at work and home. It has also allowed my husband to see first-hand what it’s like to raise a child day-in day-out and how that looks when combining it with a professional career. This was not possible pre-hybrid working.
2. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?
Making sure I listen to others, I learn from others and take what I have learned and pass it on to people who need or want to hear it.
3. What advice would you give women in the industry you work in?
Take chances, go with your gut even if it’s scary and learn as you grow.
4. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements, what woman/women inspire you?
I am drawn to and inspired by people who are passionate and really focused on their craft or business. There are so many women who, for example, own small businesses, are yoga instructors and nutritionists working in local communities, helping people in their own ways, and who are massively inspiring, and the best thing is you can actually go and talk to them and surround yourself with these amazing women whom you can learn from.
5. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Support for each other. Everyone needs to pause for a bit longer before making decisions and even before talking. If we can be more kind to each other no matter who we are, we will be able to jump farther than we realise we can.