Celebrating International Women's Day
Recognised around the world, International Women’s Day is a time for celebrating female achievement and reflecting on the progress that has been made by women. This includes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, whether this is on a small scale or a grander platform. It is also a day for recognising and progressing gender equality, as well as the agenda for every person to be afforded the same rights and respect, regardless of divisions; whether national, ethnic, cultural, economic or political.
SLR is fortunate to employ many intelligent and inspiring women who have worked hard in their chosen fields, and have made their own mark on the company. To celebrate International Women’s Day (8th of March) we want to share with you the stories of some of these women. So, having asked many of the senior women in SLR what International Women’s Day means to them, we are delivering their stories, opinions and anecdotes.
Now in the middle stages of my career, juggling work with family life, I feel fortunate that I have not felt the need to make a choice between one or the other. But it can often feel like a struggle and the lack of diversity at the top of many companies does not go unnoticed. When the pace of career progression slows, it is natural to wonder whether the 'glass ceiling' is real or imagined. Either way, it is great to see the benefits of greater diversity in senior management starting to be more widely acknowledged and I for one would love to see more encouragement and support for those women who are striving towards the top.
Leanne Broadbent, Senior Commercial Advisor, Oil & Gas Advisory
When asked to write a contribution for International Women’s Day my first reaction was to say “No”. I’ve never felt that my gender has impacted my career – I mean “Why would it?” and so in truth I’ve never really connected with the idea of an 'International Women’s Day’. When people talk of equality in the workplace I instinctively think of disability or race but never gender. So what could I possibly have to say on the subject? On reflection however I realise that my immunity to the issue of gender inequality, which obviously still exists, is as a result of the great companies I have worked for during my career, the bosses I’ve had as well as my ‘no excuse’ attitude.
And so my message is for the Dads out there. Be a role model to your daughters … and to your sons: – “make no excuse, accept no excuse, and embrace every opportunity”.
Julie Gartside, Advisory Service Line Operations Manager and Technical Director, Carbon & Energy Management, Manchester
What does International Women’s Day mean to me? I hope it’s a celebration of
women’s achievements and an opportunity to hear how different women have arrived
at their current positions in their careers. So how did I get to where I am now?
I could talk about the mechanics of degrees, the different roles I’ve had etc.
but I think it’s the underlying things that make me tick which I’d like to
Firstly, motivation. My motivation originates as a result of my parents and older brother. My brother was born with a disability and never had an easy time growing up. As a consequence my parents had a challenge on their hands in making the everyday work smoothly (but they did it brilliantly). As a result of growing up in that environment I know how incredibly lucky I am to even be able to do the basic things in life like walking, so being able to have a career is a privilege and something I value every day. I hope everyone reminds themselves frequently of what their motivation is.
Secondly, I want to enjoy my job. I’m no different to most people; if we enjoy something we will want to keep doing it and we give it more effort. So throughout my career I have looked for and grasped the opportunities I am likely to enjoy because they are either interesting or challenging. And when those opportunities haven’t existed, I have gone to find them. I’m certainly not passive! If I have seen a situation where something should and could be done then I’ve tried to help make it happen. This pursuit of a happy and fun working environment also once led to making the CEO of my former company wear giant purple glasses when myself and some colleagues were presenting to him and the rest of the Executive Team our recommendations on a diversity campaign!
I don’t think being female has ever negatively affected my career. I hope most of us now see past gender or disabilities or the other things that make us different, and instead we look at what makes each of us special and the strengths we each bring to our teams. I think the diversity we have in our skills sets, personalities, experiences etc. is something we should cherish. So whilst I’m happy there is an ‘International Women’s Day’ to celebrate achievements and inspire women where barriers still exist, I hope one day in the future it will be considered unnecessary as gender just won’t be seen as an issue anymore.