Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing global attention on areas requiring further action.

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8, with the first day being held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter – providing a unified direction to guide and galvanise continuous collective action.

Organisers of International Women’s Day are calling for people to post their #IWD2019 message on social media with your “hands out” balance pose for a strong call-to-action for others to help forge a #BalanceForBetter.

You can find the latest news, inspirational articles and events celebrating International Women’s Day below. If you have an event that you feel would benefit our members, you can promote this on WeAreTheCity.  Charity or not-for-profit events are free to publish, while all other events will incur an admin fee – please email [email protected]

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INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

NOMINATE A RISING STAR

What IWD means to us

  • International Women’s Day is the perfect time to come together, celebrate and observe the political, economic and cultural achievements of women all over the world. The 8th March will bring to the surface all of the characteristics and endeavours of females around the globe who fight every day to be successful year on year. International Women’s Day has been set aside as a clarion call to recognise amidst ourselves, the work we have ahead for building a world where sexes are defined not by their gender but recognised as binaries – two uniquely distinct but equal entities roaming the face of this earth, and in some cases shooting for the stars.

    Paola Diana
    Paola Diana
    Author & Female Rights Activist
  • As a trans woman, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to identify with what it means to be a woman and our true selves.

    Carmen Liu
    Carmen Liu
    Founder, GI Collection & Carmen Liu Lingerie
  • As a Psychologist, International Women’s Day means to me the beauty of hearing women’s views and aspirations, in contrast to the women who were silenced by society in the past. We now have choices, voices and the freedom to pursue our dreams. My vision is for this to become a world-wide experience for all women.

    Dr Georgina Barnett
    Dr Georgina Barnett
    Head of Global Membership, Seventy Thirty International Matchmaking
  • Any day that highlights the power of women, that shines a light on their strength and achievements, and encourages and inspires them to feel empowered is not just a celebration but an absolute necessity in my mind. International Women’s Day doesn’t just recognise how far we have all come but it reminds us to dream. For me personally, I know first-hand how important it is to have a vision and dream, but often how difficult it is to manifest, especially for so many women in the world who remain without a voice, fighting inequality and injustice every single day – which is why women coming together to support one another is so important. Women are amazing, and this very special day gives us much needed time to reflect on the work that still remains, reminding us all to look beyond our borders, and stand up against our fears – all through incredible solidarity.

    Lara Asprey
    Lara Asprey
    Broadcaster, Writer, Matchmaker & Founder, Asprey Introductions
  • To me, International women’s day (IWD) is a day when every woman in the world regardless of age, status, achievement, colour or background should be celebrated. On this day, workplaces, friends and family should take a moment to appreciate women who are working hard to thrive and who are making a positive impact in their homes and workplaces. Encouragingly, lots of companies have already put flexible working measures in place to help women find a balance between their family and work life.

    That said, returning to work is not always feasible for all women due to the cost of childcare. This is an area where employers and the government could really support working women, for example by creating subsidies or establishing workplace creches. They should be able to have the family life they want and a fulfilling career that not only pays the bills but also makes them happy. Whether in tech or any other field, society still has a long way to go to help women find their balance.

    Bola Adekoya
    Software Engineer, Civica Digital
  • International Women’s Day inspired me to commit to the Club running an annual personal development day for 100 sixth form girls from local secondary schools. The aim of the day is for the girls to focus on themselves and go away feeling inspired for the future.

    Fleur Robinson
    Fleur Robinson
    Commercial Director, Burton Albion Football Club
  • International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us all to take the gender conversation further strategically – it’s less about ‘celebrating’ than it should be about effective and sustainable change…building a safer space for all.

    Jos Dirkx 1
    Jos Dirkx
    Marketing & Communications Advisor, Author & Founder of Girls & Football SA
  • From Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactivity and Rosalind Franklin’s work on DNA molecules to Hedy Lamarr, who pioneered the technology behind WiFi, and Ada Lovelace, arguably the grandmother of modern computing, some of the most important and game-changing developments in the world have come from female pioneers and visionaries. They, along with so many other incredible strong women, broke the mould for what was expected of our gender. International Women’s Day is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the past achievements of these groundbreaking women. However, in addition to it being a time of celebration and reflection, International Women’s Day reminds us to continue being passionate about what we do, empowering us to push the boundaries of what’s accepted as we continue developing and contributing to the world around us. For me, International Women’s Day celebrates how far we have come and cements the drive so many of us have to achieve gender parity and equality.

    Christie Day
    Christie Day
    Group Event Director for Women in Business EXPO
  • There are three things today that are accelerating at a tremendous pace – globalization, technology and climate change. If we want to create a balanced world, women need to be an integral part of this acceleration. To progress, we need people who think differently and ask different questions to be contributing their thoughts and ideas. Women can influence culture, learn and contribute in diverse ways. We can tackle inequality if women become equal partners across all fields. Women also account for 50% of the consumers in this acceleration and having their input in building technology is crucial. One way this will happen is if more girls embrace STEM subjects. For example, I love my job at Shutterstock and the opportunity to work for a global technology company, innovating and building awesome products for a global market. I was lucky to have been brought up in an environment where my parents created excitement around science and maths. Getting kids excited at an early age and removing any gender biases early on is very important. International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate all the women who are playing a part in the exciting tech disruption that is taking place and a chance to inspire the next generation to get their voices heard!

    Rashi Khurana
    Rashi Khurana
    Director of Engineering, Shutterstock
  • For me, International Women’s Day celebrates all of the incredible contributions women make to the world. Having worked in the investment management industry for over 20 years, I’ve witnessed a growing number of women taking control in this historically male-dominated space, setting their own rules and driving change. As an indicator of what the future holds, it’s hugely encouraging. Change is a process that happens over time, and is not always easy. But as a member of the senior leadership in the Investec organisation, I believe we must continue to empower and inspire the next generation of female leaders and keep the momentum of change moving forward.

    Jane Warren
    Jane Warren
    CEO of Investec Click & Invest
  • Each year I look forward to International Women’s Day as if it were my birthday. The amount of love and positive female energy that floats around on that day makes it feel like I’m working at 110% capacity, and being able to pass that feeling on and empower my fellow women through my actions and words is all the satisfaction anyone could ever need.

    Kestra Walker_TickX
    Kestra Walker
    Digital Content Manager, TickX
  • I love hearing stories of extraordinary women shared around International Women’s Day. The celebration of women excelling in their field is inspirational but it’s those who thrive in difficult circumstances that always stand out to me.

    The Microloan Foundation recently shared stories with me of some of the strongest women I’ve ever heard of. Women in sub-Saharan Africa who faced hunger, family tragedy and despair and set up their own businesses with a tiny loan to feed their family, pay for their education and support the community they live it in.

    Living in a region where one in ten children will die before they are five, having this level of entrepreneurial spirit is astounding.

    Emma Kane
    Emma Kane
    CEO, Newgate Comms and Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust
  • International Women’s Day is the perfect time to collaborate, celebrate and observe the political, economic and cultural achievements of women all over the world. International Women’s Day has been set aside as a clarion call to recognise amidst ourselves, the work we have ahead for building a world where sexes are defined not by their gender but recognised as binaries – two uniquely distinct but equal entities roaming the face of this earth, and in many cases shooting for the stars. As I always say, it’s about equal rights not special rights, and men equally need to play a meaningful role in empowering women.

    “It’s about equal rights not special rights, and men equally need to play a meaningful role in empowering women.

    Natasha Mudhar , CEO Sterling Group and Worrld We Want 1
    Natasha Mudhar
    Co-Founder & Global CEO, Worrld We Want
  • To me, International Women’s Day is all about being fearless and speaking up. If you want to achieve something, just go for it – don’t be scared what people think. This especially relates to the PR world, where a big part of the job is coming up with new, creative ideas for clients to get their message across. Sometimes it can be scary to put your idea on the table, but it could just be the award winning concept that everyone loves – you’ll never know unless you speak up and get your ideas out there.

    Jodie Brazier
    Jodie Brazier
    Comms Consultant, TopLineComms
  • International Women’s Day means a great deal to me as it allows us celebrate the incredible, relatively unsung achievements of women and acts as a reminder that we have more work to do, especially in STEM fields, to elevate female role models like Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin to the next generation of talented female innovators.

    Kate Adams
    Kate Adams
    Nesta's Challenge Prize Centre
  • Never underestimate the power of a network – especially one full of women. As you progress further in your career and personal life, your ability and time to develop career-building relationships becomes more limited. International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that we are a part of a community and we need to work together to support each other.

    Norma Gillespie
    Norma Gillespie
    Global Enterprise Accounts, Resource Solutions
  • International Women’s Day isn’t just about celebrating the big, monumental and triumphant moments for women throughout the years but the smaller victories too. We recognise how far women have come in the world every day and Internation Women’s Day is actually a day where I think we should focus less on the iconic females of history and the present day we usually celebrate and turn to the women in our own lives and praise them instead. For me, I look up to women in the media, both past and present every day for inspiring me and motivating me but on International Women’s Day, it’s my mum, my grandma, my aunties and my best friends I’ll be celebrating and recognising.

    After going through a break up in September 2018, being left for another woman, I started to doubt female loyalty but I used that to strengthen my own character and improve my own loyalties and feelings towards women supporting other women. I’ve changed the way I treat other women and improved how I respect other females. I now go out of my way to build up the women in my life but also to be as kind and encouraging to women I don’t know so well but meet along the way.

    We should love the women all around us every day and take inspiration and encouragement from them but on Internation Women’s Day, it’s the perfect occasion to put the ladies in your life on a podium and show the world just how much they raise you up every other day of the year.

    Ellie Pool
    Ellie Pool
    Content and Social Strategist, Life With Ellie
  • Having an all-female team means International Women’s Day always feels particularly special as it’s a day allows us to come together to celebrate CNC’s amazing growth and look at what it means to be a successful woman in business.

    Chloe Nelkin
    Chloe Nelkin
    Founder, Chloe Nelkin Consulting
  • Growing up in Bulgaria, where International Women’s Day is also Mother’s Day, I have come to view this day as a validation for me as a human being on a par with any man in our society. It has given me the confidence to believe in myself and that I can achieve anything I can set my mind to, despite prejudices against women’s abilities to succeed in any challenge they might undertake.

  • For me, it’s a bittersweet reminder that there’s still such a long way to go. Only 15% of UK technology workers are female, but seeing the positivity on International Women’s Day fills me with the hope that this can and will improve

    Zoe Morris
    Zoe Morris
    President, Washington Frank
  • International Women’s Day reminds me of when I started my working career at The European Commission in Brussels. As a young British woman, I was working alongside women and men from the other EU states and it was such an amazing experience and opportunity to learn new languages and cultures. The years I spent there had a huge influence on the woman I have become. It opened my eyes to the importance of diversity and having great women role models in the workplace – even more important to me now that I’m running my own business and leading my own team.

    Alison Shadrack
    Alison Shadrack
    CEO, Adia PR
  • For me international women’s day is the opportunity to come together (men and women) to celebrate the great achievements that have taken place over the year that help and support women to live a happy and healthy life. To congratulate each other and to look forward to the next 12 months and the continued efforts of generosity and collaboration together.

    Catherine Smith
    Catherine Smith
    CEO, Equal Talent
  • International Women’s Day is a day for recognising the work that women already do. It’s a day for acknowledging their achievements and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

    zoe duffy
    Zoe Duffy
    Account Manager, Clartias Solutions
  • International Women’s Day is a nice way to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come and how much more we have to go to tackle the challenges that face us today. It gives us a moment to appreciate all the amazing women who came before us, who struggled and laid down the path on which we now walk on and for which we are now responsible for.

    Tanja Lichtensteiger
    Tanja Lichtensteiger
    Engineering Manager, Sky Betting & Gaming
  • International Women’s Day is inspiring because it highlights women making history, driving progress, and changing things for the better. It lets young girls know that they really can do anything, which is so important in encouraging them to get into STEM fields like maths and engineering. Advertising related to these industries are more directed towards men, and there’s a huge disparity between the levels of men and women studying them in university.

    We need more women in these kind of areas to help make positive changes, and I think it’s wonderful that International Women’s Day gives girls from all over the world the confidence to follow their dreams.

    Jai Popat
    Jai Popat
    Head of HR & Recruitment Manager, VHR
  • I think International Women’s day is fantastic because is really shows young women that there’s so much out there that they can learn, that there are careers out there they may not have considered or even heard of. Our industry definitely needs more women, for example only 4% of the airline pilots in the UK are women. However progress is being made, in recent years we’ve seen more women getting into the engineering industry which is only going to lead to a stronger, more capable workforce.

    Aimee Treasure
    Aimee Treasure
    Marketing Manager, VHR
  • I feel it’s important to remember and recognise that hard work and dedication should pay off in any field and for any gender. We as an industry need to be inclusive and open minded to all individuals to pool the resources we need to drive innovation and business forward. Any day that aid’s that philosophy can only be a good thing.

    Kirsty Sutton 1
    Kirsty Sutton
    Finance Director, Clartias Solutions
  • IWD reminds me that we still have much to do to have a world where one’s gender and any other “differences” are celebrated and embraced instead of fractioning and boxing us in unhelpful ways. Today I still need, and want, to be on the side of those who want to put these issues right. Today, and for however long needed, I want to be part of the solution.

    Elena Rodriguez-Falcon
    Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon
    CEO, NMiTE
  • International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate and showcase women’s achievements. Women have come a long way in the STEM sector since I started my first business and I am delighted that progress has been made. Science is an area that should be as open to women as it is to men, and my career path, I hope, shows that it is possible as a woman to run a successful STEM business. However I do believe there is room for more progress, for example with more women in top positions in STEM related businesses and that is the next challenge to tackle.

    My advice is for any woman looking for a good starting role in environment or ecology or any other STEM discipline is to look at the gender split within the company you are interested in and the numbers of women in senior positions. That may give you a clue as to your future success in the business.

  • I grow up in Russia, where International Women’s Day is perhaps the next most important celebration after Christmas and New Year. On this day all the women, girls, mothers and grandmothers receive flowers, presents and well wishes. I took this tradition with me to London so on this day I remind all the women and girls in my life how great they are. Myself and the girls in the office get flowers and chocolates from our male colleagues and even from some suppliers who know that it is important to us. I am not celebrating for the sake of political meaning or for the sake of proving anything, but just because I like to promote this tradition of helping every woman feeling special and loved.

    Sonia Pash
    Sonia Pash
  • International Women’s Day holds a very special place in my heart. When I started working 13 years ago, one major project I initiated was formally recognising International Women’s Day through exclusive events for women. Most of our company initiatives – sports tournaments, in-house events and concerts – appealed more to men and were less inclusive for women. International Women’s Day programs soon became very popular and I continued to run them year after year even after I started my own companies. It was owing to IWD, I started to realise my passion for these types of programmes and women leadership trainings and coaching became a very important part of what I do today!

    Hira Ali
    Hira Ali
    Author of Her Way to the Top, Executive Career Coach, Leadership Trainer & Keynote Speaker, Chief Executive Officer, Advancing Your Potential, Founder of The Career Excel for Trailblazing Women
  • Coming from an Italian family who took part in women’s and workers’ rights demonstrations, and having been in many of those on my parents’ shoulders as a child, I can’t help being proud of how much we’ve achieved. The road ahead is still long; More women need to act as an example to younger generations and men need to support that. Many governments also need to align themselves to the changing times and social shifts to what is naturally right.

    I actually walked my first steps at an International Women’s Day celebration. I now look forward to walking more steps – alongside the other women and men who aspire for the day where all girls will know that they can be and become whatever they want, without having to sacrifice their femininity.

    Cinzia Ricciardone
    Cinzia Ricciardone
    VP Product, Cognism
  • This year International Women’s Day is particularly important for me and others in the legal profession. 2019 marks the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time. There is still much to be done to achieve equality for women working in the law so this International Women’s Day is time to reflect on what was achieved by the first female legal pioneers and look at the lessons that can be learned to ensure progress in the future.

    Dana Denis-Smith
    Dana Denis-Smith
    Founder, The First 100 Years
  • International Women’s Day to me is like a pat on the back that we are trying our best to give the next generation a better workplace and a better world, where they would get what they truly deserve without asking for it! There is this particular quote I love, maybe because I am usually the only woman in an all male team: “Being a woman on a team of all men means that you have a unique voice, it’s important to embrace that”, by Erin Teague. And another quote by Marie Curie which I find very encouraging for all women, “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”

    vaishali pant
    Vaishali Pant
    Test Analyst, Clartias Solutions
  • For me, IWD is a global acknowledgment of a unique set of societal, political, health and workplace challenges that women face, and also of the talents, voices and contribution levels that women bring to our lives and to our work.

    And so the organisations, businesses and communities who celebrate it each year are publicly reaffirming that they empathise and want to help women towards a gender-equal future.

    Amanda Davie
    Amanda Davie
    Executive Coach and Director, Equal Talent
  • My vision is to inspire a generation to ignite and sustain the talents of both themselves and those around them, so they can make a positive contribution to the world. We can’t do that when we are distracted with the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ of our gender (whether male or female). So let’s embrace what and who we are right now. Let’s show up fully and get on with making the difference which our planet is crying out for.

    Kate Turner
    Kate Turner
    Director, Motivational Leadership
  • The intention is really positive, to promote women’s rights, abilities and contributions. These are all important issues but not a lot seems to happen on the day other than a few token gestures. For me having a positive attitude and confidence in yourself can help women achieve their potential.

    Laura
    Laura
    Clinical Lead (Head of Pharmaceutical Department), Assured Pharmacy
  • Women have always been strong, courageous and achieved great things. It’s just that now we’re getting the recognition! We have some great women in our company and International Women’s Day is a great moment to celebrate our pride in them and, in a way, the unremarkableness of their seniority

    Sam Rowe
    Sam Rowe
    CEO, Ignition and Blue Flint Group
  • As a woman in business, I am incredibly passionate about empowering young women to embark on fulfilling and successful careers, regardless of gender stereotypes. I currently mentor at Leeds University and have volunteered at other alternative provisions to ensure young women are able to reach their full potential.

    Sharing my entrepreneurial journey is so important to me and International Women’s Day is a fantastic platform in which to do this; it brings entrepreneurs and business professionals together to share knowledge and recognise how far women have come in the workplace. It’s also crucial for demonstrating the things we can do together, to ensure the progress in equality continues.

    Jasmine Wheelhouse 1
    Jasmine Wheelhouse
    Founder & Managing Direcotr, No. 18 Ltd
  • This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #balanceforbetter. Balance is an even distribution of strength, enabling something to remain upright and steady. This says it all for me, everyone is something, so we must all have balance to stand strong, upright and steady together.

    Scarlett Long
    Scarlett Long
    Head of Client Services, Ad-Lib
  • International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the movement of women’s rights and equality.

    Our generation has seen significant progress: the narrowing of the gender gap & an explosion of fierce female role models in all industries. I can only imagine what the next generation of women will be able to achieve as more women run for office, run the boardrooms and are enabled to do so by a mindful, generation of men.

    I’m proud to be leading a team of women in the UK (80:20 ratio) and even in a female-lead environment, you still see women undersell themselves out of fear. For me, we need to get comfortable being bold: ask for what we want, back ourselves & own our achievements. Paradoxically, I’ve seen women charged with feminist rhetoric shoot their ambition ahead of their achievements – so ensuring progress is rooted in good work & facts is important if we are to keep driving this agenda forward.

    Lisa Targett
    Lisa Targett
    UK General Manager, TRIBE
  • International Women’s Day made me feel so empowered and reminded me to celebrate all that women have achieved. Since working in the IT industry I have realised how far we come for equality. I salute all women in tech!

    jennie keen
    Jennie Keen
    Account Manager, Claritas Solutions
  • I used to think that International Women’s Day could be seen as a token gesture but I now believe it’s an important moment in time to stop and reflect, not only on how far we’ve come, but how far we have to go. My experience of running my own company has taught me that we should champion women every single day. We make up more than 50% of the population and we should ensure that in boardrooms and business across the country women are fairly represented. As a British, female entrepreneur I am particularly dismayed that women in the US are twice as likely to start their own company as women in the UK. In fact ,women make up just a third of entrepreneurs in the UK. I feel passionate about role modelling and promoting female entrepreneurship at every opportunity. I think that ‘entrepreneurship’ needs a re-brand to make it more attractive to women. I want to make sure that my ten year old daughter believes she can be her own boss if she chooses.

    Rachel Pendered
    Rachel Pendered
    Managing Director, Media Zoo
  • Being a business woman and now having 2 daughters, International Women’s day for me represents being the best role model that I can be for my girls and teaching them that absolutely anything is possible in this life.

    Sara Lou Ann Jones
    Sara Lou Ann Jones
  • As we see in another International Women’s Day, I want to take a moment to consider how we can shape the future. My dream is a world where men and women can share childcare responsibilities equally and both can excel at their careers without the guilt of missing out on family life. My vision is that the next generation of children will be able to access spaces like Third Door as the norm, rather than the exception by the time they have their own children. I’m committed to creating a movement to bring about a change in the culture of working families, where it is normal to work near your children and also focus on your own career

    Shazia Mustafa
    Shazia Mustafa
    Co-Founder, Third Door
  • International Women’s Day is exceptional in providing support for women in many industries, encouraging them to persevere in their chosen career, even if the industry has been traditionally male dominated. There are many initiatives which aim encourage women to get into STEM. International Women’s Day helps promote these initiatives and celebrates the amazing achievements of women in tech industry.

    Katie Fraser-Smith
    Katie Fraser-Smith
    Marketing Manager, Claritas Solutions
  • For me, there is no better theme for this years International Women’s Day than Balance for Better. Balance is about getting joy from all of the elements of life and being able to thrive at work, play and family life in a way where we are nurturing our relationships, living intentionally and moving forward, towards our dreams and ultimate goals. IWD is the perfect time to celebrate the journeys and achievements of all women, but also specifically mothers, who can often struggle with the pressure to raise a family, keep a house and excel at a career, but who do all that is asked of them with a smile on their face and unconditional love in their heart for their family. I salute you!

    Jenni Donato
    Jenni Donato
    Life and Mindset Coach, Chance Coaching
  • As a woman in a male-dominated profession, International Women’s Day reminds me how much I owe to the women who came before me and my responsibility to show the next generation that no job need be off limits.

    When I started out funeral directors were almost exclusively male. The first time I carried a coffin into church I heard “He’s got long blonde hair!” followed by “Gracious! It’s a woman”. My grandmother was a radio technician despite being told it wasn’t a job for a woman and she gave me the confidence to do anything I wanted.

    Chloe McKnight
    Chloe McKnight
    Principal Funeral Director, CPJ Field
  • To me, International Womens Day is a BIG deal. It highlights a plethora of subjects that were previous taboos. It is crazy knowing that this day has actually been around for over 100 years but with the help of digital technology, I’m so glad to see it thrive through mainstream media. I think it is also important to note that even though it is a day to celebrate women, it shouldn’t exclude men, it is just as important for them to be included which is why I am loving the IWD 2019 theme on ‘a gender-balanced world’, #BalanceforBetter.

    CLARA VARAKACHANAPONG-JONES
    Clara Varakachanapong-Jones
    Head of Design, Elvi
  • International Women’s day reminds me that sisterhood is a powerful thing. It’s great when women support each other because, even though I’ve seen lots of change for the better since I started work, the workplace still feels man-made.

    Dr Jill Armstrong
    Dr Jill Armstrong
    Bye-Fellow at the University of Cambridge's Murray Edwards College & lead research of their Collaborating with Men programme
  • This year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Balance for better’, really resonates with me. You can be wonderful at the office, but that’s not your only role. There is also the balance of family, balance of friends, and balance of health, which are equally important. I think that’s harder to do as women, because sometimes we put ourselves last. That’s why it’s so important that we are talking about this through IWD.

    Kathleen Martinez
    Kathleen Martinez
    Senior Director of National Strategic Relationships and Executive Director of the BP Global Foundation
  • The challenge of inspiring girls into business and technology is very real (I know – I have two girls at secondary school!). Challenge, inspire when and where you can, and be relevant and visible. The change will come, but only if we do this as leaders.

    Hannah Dawson
    Hannah Dawson
    Founder & CEO, Futrli
  • For me, International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other women, celebrate their achievements and be inspired. As an executive head hunter, I am responsible for placing candidates into senior positions and onto boards in the private sector and in public life. I’m proud to say that last year we achieved a 50/50 gender split for all of our appointments, which is sadly still highly unusual in the industry. Experience has taught me that the lack of visibility of women in senior roles can have a trickle-down effect – the less we see people like us in senior positions, the less we believe we can aspire to those roles. I believe that International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to showcase the many fantastic role models across all spheres of business and public life, and to remind us what women can – and do – achieve.

    Sian Goodson
    Sian Goodson
    Founder & Managing Director, Goodson Thomas
  • As a Director of Women in Recruitment, for me, International Women’s Day is a celebration of talent and expertise which has not necessarily fulfilled its full potential.

    Our profession has been built on the tenacity, strength and expertise of a myriad of female recruitment professionals. However, our pipelines continue to leak this precious talent, often at a time when these women can add the most value. This day offers an opportunity to open our minds as to how we can mine for nuggets of brilliance.

    In fact, at Women in Recruitment we dedicate a whole week to International Women’s Day because one day is not enough time for the breadth of celebration needed.

    Last year’s activities focused on the power of female leadership and the need to ensure effective succession planning for women in business, whether this be for mothers or those planning time away. Strategies must be in place to sustain communication and management and flexibility are the key ingredients to guide and empower women to continue their roles.

    Ann Swain
    Ann Swain
    Chief Executive, APSCo
  • ’To me, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on how far we have come towards achieving gender equality, by raising awareness of the achievements of extraordinary women and highlighting role models for others to follow. However, it’s also a time to consider how far we still have to go. Despite the constant reminders that equality has still not been accomplished, it does seem that businesses are taking note of the fact that when we are all treated equally, stronger results are yielded for everyone. This is something we must continue to work towards, and International Women’s day should remind us of the opportunity we all have, as the largest underrepresented group, to make a stand for balance and equality for all people.

    Juliet Eccleston
    Juliet Eccleston
    Co-Founder, AnyGood?
  • International Women’s Day offers a chance to view how far women have come in business, and importantly how much further there is still to go. By giving platforms to women in business, highlighting women’s strengths and achievements will further our goal to act as inspiration for the next generation of female business women.

    Women are like sponges, they absorb more than you’d ever know – and a day like this is a chance to celebrate that!

    Alice Barat
    Alice Barat
    Chief Commercial Officer, Elvi
  • To me this day is an important occasion to call out to all women with a feminist awareness in leadership positions, encouraging to change the stereotype roles men and women are still pictured in.

    Wilja Witcombe
    Wilja Witcombe
    Director Corporate Relations, Alumni & Careers, GISMA Business School
  • International Women’s Day is a great reminder of women’s importance in the workplace. I am used to celebrating this achievement from very young age, and in Berlin this day holds particular strength and power to celebrate gender diversity and women rights.

    elisabeth grindel denby
    Dr Elisabeth Grindel-Denby
    Director Academic Affairs & Head of Campus Berlin, GISMA Business School
  • It inspires me to push for change more forcibly, to champion and support as many women as I can and encourage more men to be part of the conversations around gender equality. Because every time I think about holding back a comment in a meeting; not challenging a stereotype or asking to be paid fairly for what I do, I think of my two young daughters and the world I want them to grow up in and the opportunities I want open to them. Just as so many incredible women (and men too) have paved the way so far; it is up to us all to keep pushing; keep tipping that balance and know that we are making a difference for the next generations.

    Charlotte Bunyan
    Charlotte Bunyan
    Head of Strategy, Collider
  • For me it’s a day to mark women’s voices being heard louder and clearer and to celebrate everyone sacrifices and achievements. Let’s keep moving forward, physically and mentally, to make the world a more colourful and entertaining place. Happy International Woman’s Day everyone.

    Anna Dalziel
    Anna Dalziel
    Marketing Director, UK & Global, Momentum Worldwide
  • I believe in the power of many voices: the more voices that are heard, the more people will listen, and International Women’s Day is a perfect example of this. I work with an all-female C-suite team and 75 per cent female staff, so I’m proud to be part of a company that is giving women a voice and raising gender equality benchmarks within the advertising industry.

    It’s been a fantastic year for female filmmaking talent, with the likes of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve and Kim Gehrig’s ‘Viva La Vulva’ spot for Libresse. Working at a content platform, I feel like it’s our duty to get even more talented women to the top of the game. For me, initiatives like International Women’s Day provide a crucial, dedicated platform to ensure female voices really are heard; and to remind the world that our journey is far from complete.

    Victoria Davis
    Victoria Davis
    Senior Producer at BrandTech platform, MOFILM
  • While many of us would like to think that we are close to gender equality, you only have to watch the news or scroll through social media, to see that there is quite some way to go. The theme of #BalanceForBetter for International Women’s Day 2019 is really important and I hope that it will help to put professional and social equality in the global spotlight. Whether it is balance in the boardroom, at the dining table, in the classroom or in a medical setting, what the world needs now, is more balance for everyone so that we can live in a fairer, better society where there is a place for all of us to live, thrive and be happy.

  • I think International Women’s Day is one of those things that is easy for people to underestimate or trivialise, but actually is plays a critical role in levelling the playing field and empowering and enfranchising women in the long run.

    It’s important because women and girls need to see and understand female role models that resonate with them on a personal level, and they aren’t always going to have access to such women and their stories in their daily lives. A global event like International Women’s Day has the capacity to reach out to girls everywhere and connect them with those stories.

    Seeing women that have achieved great things (big and small), against the odds and what society expects from them, tells girls and women not only that they can, but that they have the absolute right and licence to go after their own dreams and be who they want to be. We need to teach girls to listen to their ‘inside voice’, and a powerful way of doing that is to show them real live examples of women that did just that and what that produced.

    We shouldn’t need permission to be who we want to be, but the truth is we still do – and there is no better permission and inspiration than seeing and learning about the amazing achievements of another woman. Learning about women who stood up for themselves and didn’t take no for an answer affirms to us all that this is acceptable behaviour. Over time, public discourses about this will normalise that behaviour, meaning that more and more women will feel entitled to pursue their dreams. We need to stamp out the implicit assumption that this is a luxury or something to be grateful for. Parity of income and fair access to opportunity aren’t benefits to be bestowed upon us, they are our right and the sooner every girl and woman in the world believes this and demands it, the better. Celebrating the successes and women who live these beliefs communicates just that.

    What this also means is that it’s critical that we think long and hard about the women we celebrate on the Day – and ensuring that we are drawing from the most varied and deep pool, which showcased all kinds of women succeeding in all kinds of ways: women of colour, women of alternative beliefs, transgender women and women young and old doing great things in as vast and broad a range of categories and activities. We need to be as inclusive and extensive as we can so that every girl out there can find a mirror for herself and access a role model that resonates personally to her.

    Majbritt Rijs
    Majbritt Rijs
    Managing Director, The Numbers Lab
  • International Women’s Day is special because it represents to me, that women can achieve whatever we put our minds to. Growing up I didn’t have that many role models who were female business owners so now being one myself and doing things on this day, helps me to feel that I am giving something back and motivating and inspiring young children like my daughters.

    Ruth Kudzi
    Ruth Kudzi
    Business Coach, Mentor & Author
  • The importance of International Women’s Day is increasing year by year. Finally, it seems, we as a gender are making traction in the workforce, even if it is little by little! As many of my female colleagues know, the early career path of women can be fraught with bias – unconscious or not. With the growing confidence that experience brings, the ability to tackle this bias head-on, or simply ignore it and plough on regardless, is an important attribute to build. I believe the development of this attribute has helped enormously in my career to date. The joy of International Women’s Day is the encouragement for everyone to stop, reflect on the past and increase their determination to change the future.

    Rowena Curlewis
    Rowena Curlewis
  • International Women’s Day is about empowering women to think big, fulfil our dreams and go for every opportunity by working hard to life our lives the way we want to.

    ‘It’s also about remembering those women who have fought for our rights and continue to do so – and celebrating those women who have broken barriers for us to be where we are now.

    Elizabeth Hawthornthwaite
    Elizabeth Hawthornthwaite
  • It’s important to have a day like International Women’s Day to celebrate and remember the struggles that women have endured to be considered equal in our society and best in class in our companies, in our government, in our public institutions and in our homes. It’s a day when we can learn from their strength and recognise their achievements.Yet it’s even more important to recognise and put pressure on those countries and societies where women are still struggling against institutional bias. Remind yourself that on this day you too can make a positive change.

    Rebecca Oatley
    Rebecca Oatley
    Managing Director, Cherish PR
  • It is sad but true that in 2019, women’s education, health and career prospects are still globally worse than those of men. We do not have the same numbers in business or politics and the lion’s share of childcare still falls with women, but what we do have is a collective voice and the ability to make the changes we want to see. There is no doubt that we have come a long way and there are achievements to celebrate, but the journey isn’t over. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to come together to create a vision for the future, so that equality will be the norm, not an exception to the rule.

    Natalie Trice
    Natalie Trice
    Natalie Trice Communications
  • When I think of what International Women’s Day means to me, I think of a poster I saw in our local toy shop recently.

    It pictured a brother and sister side by side. The girl was taller, and probably older, with her arms crossed. She had a proud, determined look on her face. Whereas the boy had a cheeky little smile and his hands on his hips.

    It read: ‘Prepare your daughter for working life – give her less pocket money than your son.’

    Underneath the image, it continued to state that after 30 years of equal pay law, women’s earnings were still substantially less than men’s.

    I was fortunate to grow up with a brilliant big brother who saw me as an equal, even if I was younger. I have a stay-at-home husband who supports me in everything I want to achieve. I have the joy of dropping my kids (boys) off at school before I go to a job I love every day. Where I run the P&Ls and can ensure that the message in that poster is not a truth in my environment.

    When I think of International Women’s Day I think about how lucky I am. Let’s celebrate those who lead change on International Women’s Day, the brothers, the husbands, the friends, the bosses, and the kids.

    Melissa Vodegel-Matzen
    Melissa Vodegel-Matzen
    MD, Twelve Agency
  • Aspire to become your own role model. Think, is she strong? Does she own the room? Would your younger self look up to her and most importantly does your vision give you goosebumps? Create a vision of a role model you aspire to be and focus on becoming it.

    Nazma Qurban
    Nazma Qurban
    Chief Revenue Officer, Cognism
  • Women have come a long way in the last 100 years, but there’s so much more to be achieved. For me, International Women’s Day is all about celebrating progress, but also continuing to do all we can for a more gender-balanced world. I have been very lucky in my career at Sainsbury’s, where I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and develop, but sadly not all women have been as lucky

    Kate Bradshaw-Sole
    Kate Bradshaw-Sole
    Store Manager for J Sainsbury plc and a Sandwell Business Ambassador
  • As someone working in education, for me this day is all about giving women the resources and the opportunities they need to feel truly empowered and inspired. With this kind of support they will be encouraged to bring their ideas to life.

    cyndi mcleod
    Cyndi McLeod
  • I love International Women’s Day; it’s a nice excuse to message the women in my life and tell them I appreciate them. I’ve never worked in an office where it’s been celebrated much, but this year I’m hoping to change that! Women are often great at supporting each other but in low moments, it can be difficult to remember how much we’re valued – this IWD, I’m going to make sure we all take a little time to remind ourselves how brilliant we are.

    Tess Elford
    Tess Elford
    Account Director, BMB
  • I’m a huge advocate of International Women’s Day, as it provides us with an opportunity to remember the achievements and benefits of women in the work place. Women are still hugely under-represented in the computer and technology sectors; we may be in the minority, but this should be celebrated, not made a barrier. It’s much better to focus on what we have to contribute, rather than the fact we are women in a currently male-dominated environment.

    Christine Hinson
    Christine Hinson
    Director of IT and Communications at SIPS Education Limited and a Sandwell Business Ambassador
  • For me, a big part of International Women’s Day is celebrating some of the wonderful people that I have the good fortune to work with. However, it’s also about raising awareness of how far many STEM businesses still have to go in terms of achieving the right gender balance.

    “Many men in the STEM world don’t see that women are sometimes less inclined to enter these fields, and they often find it more difficult to progress when in them. I believe that unless businesses take action, we are limiting access to a truly great pool of talent.
    “Here at PMI, we’re undergoing a business revolution. We are focusing our business strategy on better, smoke-free alternatives to replace cigarettes. That means that we need a diverse team that is open to doing things differently. As a result of that, we are placing inclusion and diversity right at the core of our business and today we are delighted to announce that we are the only international company to be globally certified by the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation; leading the way in equal pay. This is an important first step but we’re acutely aware of how far we have yet to go.
    “That’s what this day is about – the road that still lies ahead of us.

    Moira Gilchrist
    Moira Gilchrist
    Scientific & Public Communications for Philip Morris International
  • For me, International Women’s Day is a day filled with emotion. On the one hand it is a global show of appreciation as we celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, and an opportunity to reflect on those incremental steps towards a more gender-balanced business world – truly inspirational work undertaken by both women and men. However, on the other hand, it is bittersweet – for every step taken to improve gender diversity, I feel a tinge of alarm – why did it take so long? Why is it such a small step? And why do I suspect we will still be talking about this in 20 years’ time? My view is that we must keep up the pressure in society and business, and continue to push onwards and upwards. Progress is undeniable and unstoppable. Proud to be a woman and proud to stand for “Balance for Better”.

    Ramyani Basu
    Ramyani Basu
    Digital Transformation Partner, A.T. Kearney
  • There is no doubt women bring a different dynamic to the workplace. Our sensitivity, intuition & emotional intelligence help to create a more balanced environment, provoking more robust conversations & opinions. I like to think it’s important I apply my female ‘rosie-coloured glasses’ to everything I do.

    Rosie Hart
    Rosie Hart
    Senior Account Director, BMB
  • In the creative industry, only 12 per cent of Creative Directors are female, so it’s good to be connected for at least a day. International Women’s day serves as an important reminder to ‘lean in’ and remember that we must keep paving a better path for the younger generation; after all, they hold the key to bridging the equality gap.

    International Women’s Day for me is a chance for women to take a moment to celebrate each other; friends, family and colleagues. It’s an opportunity to recognise that whilst there is in-equality, we’re in this together!

    Jade Tomlin
    Jade Tomlin
    Creative Director, Tribal Worldwide London
  • International Women’s Day for me is a reminder to support the women around me to be the best they can be. We can often get caught up in striving to achieve our own goals, but this day serves as a nudge to think about other people, and how encouragement and mentorship can go a long way.

    Federica Bowman
    Federica Bowman
    Managing Director, Digital, FirmDecisions
  • Recent initiatives focused on women’s advancement have united women more than ever. We are stronger when we are together and work towards a more equal and diverse community. Step by step, we are growing awareness of the value of diversity. At Adara, I’m proud that we’ve already achieved pay parity. And we are continuing to strive towards gender balance in leadership and technical positions.

    And this is what the International Women’s Day is all about: allowing us to keep this conversation going. There is an unconscious bias that leads to lost opportunities for women and society as a whole. A way to overcome this bias is by having female role models, and by offering a platform to hear voices from both men and women.

    Speaking in public is a well-known challenge, one I have faced myself. But getting out of our comfort zone is what makes us grow and thrive. This is why this year I set a goal to be more visible, more heard. Already, I have been a speaker at five conferences, and twice at universities. I am speaking up and speaking often to family, friends, colleagues, students, and professionals, whilst also helping other women to get speaker opportunities. By increasing the visibility of other women, I’m ensuring the increase of female role models.

    Any step counts.

    Ask yourself: What are you going to do?

    Sara Pastor
    Sara Pastor
    MD Destinations EMEA, ADARA
  • International Women’s Day gives me cause to reflect on how much things have improved in recent years, and appreciate the women that made this possible, but also to how much work we still have left to do. I always feel grateful of the fact that unlike previous generations of women, I have been supported and encouraged to carve my own path in the world, working in the historically male-dominated finance and technology industries, where I have generally been an equally valued employee. That being said, we’re still yet to achieve complete equality and women across the world are still victims of all sorts of discrimination. I am proud of the women (and men) who have fought for equality to date, but we still have a lot of work to do if we are to resolve these issues, rather than simply gesturing towards them.

    Philippa East
    Philippa East
    Go To Market Manager, Gospel Technology
  • International Women’s Day for me is inspiring as it is a time to focus on continuing to drive change and create greater gender balance in our world. The value of diversity of thought which comes from the different ways individuals – men and women – think about and approach challenges leads to the most optimal outcomes. It is this collaboration between men and women that is so important to help one another to succeed as well as deliver business value.

    Sharon Weintraub
    Sharon Weintraub
    CEO Eastern Hemisphere, BP Supply & Trading
  • This year’s International Women’s Day hashtag ‘#BalanceforBetter’ is a fitting metaphor for how working mothers everywhere live their lives. As a mum recently returning to work in the communications world after my second child, finding an employer who could provide the flexibility I needed in such a high tempo industry was key. We should celebrate women everywhere who manage to ‘balance’ the pressures of different roles. But also remember that balance is not just an issue for women, it’s a wider business issue. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, and we should encourage employers who offer different methods of working to support this.

    Jo Timmermann image 2
    Joanna Timmermann
    Director, Babel
  • International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s contribution to society and the economy, and to thank our allies pushing for gender equality. It’s one day a year where we stop to reflect on all that has been achieved in women’s empowerment but also to reignite the urgency for further change. Sadly there is still a distance to go to ensure women all over the world have access to the same opportunities as their male peers: in education, work, political life, and the home. IWD helps us to focus on that but not be demoralised by it. Action, not apathy is what a day like IWD is all about.

    Kate Glazebrook
    Kate Glazebrook
    Founder & CEO, Applied
  • It’s a century since British women were allowed to practice the law. There are now a majority of women holding practising certificates and half the pupils at the bar are now female. Women around the world are fulfilling their hopes and ambitions; changing organisations and influencing lives. There is so much to celebrate. And yet we cannot be complacent. The law has a critical role to play, not just in setting an example, but in influencing and advancing equality and pushing towards a genuinely equal society where, one fine day, the need for an International Women’s Day will be entirely redundant

    Laura Devine
    Laura Devine
    Managing Partner, Laura Devine Immigration Law
  • It is a celebration of how far we have come as women and it’s great to see women supporting women. I see myself as a bridge between my mother who was a housewife and my daughter who is a strong business owner. I feel my role was to show the path that is possible. My generation have been the torchbearers and we have pushed the boundaries even further. Many of us have unrequited success as we were born into the era of the first female Prime Minister and were told we were equal, but the reality was we were not. However, since then we have achieved so much and I am proud of the world I have helped to create for my daughter’s generation.

    Penny Powers 1
    Penny Power OBE
    Entrepreneur, author, businesswoman and speaker
  • The achievements of women over the years have been incredible, although there is still some work to do, and it’s important we take a moment to recognise this on International Women’s Day. We need to work towards a more gender-balanced world and help inspire for the next generation, and as a mother of three, this is close to my heart.

    Elaine Bruce
    Elaine Bruce
    Finance Manager at H&R ChemPharm (UK) Ltd. and a Sandwell Business Ambassador
  • The technology industry is finding attracting women to the profession a challenge despite the huge benefits it provides. As a woman in tech I believe we need to build more awareness about the great career opportunities available and women leading progression in this field. International Women’s Day is the perfect time to do just that, and to hopefully inspire more women to consider STEM careers.

    Zoe Cunningham
    Zoe Cunningham
    Managing Director, Softwire
  • International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate every day for women, and how far we have come in striving for equality and respect in all aspects of our lives. Whether that’s in the workplace or personally, it’s a day to celebrate our strength and achievements.

    Importantly, for me, it is also a day to celebrate the strong women around me that inspire me on a daily basis; whether that’s friends, family or celebrities, it’s a day to recognise our brilliance and our strength and power, both as individuals and collectives.

    GEORGIE EVANS
    Georgie Evans
    Brand & Communications Director, The Wedding Present Co.
  • To me International Womans Day is the power of all women coming together from all different countries and religions, building each other up and being equal. A day to celebrate the super power of all wonder women!

    Jane Helliwell
    Jane Helliwell
  • International Women’s Day means championing ourselves and supporting each other to demonstrate that women add more than enough value to society; allowing women to feel increasingly confident and empowered to stand up and speak up. We should, at all times, be treated fairly and equally because we are equal. More importantly, it’s about women pushing society forwards so that the gap between both genders is eventually non-existent and we talk about society as a collective.

    I’m lucky to work for a company where merit is awarded where merit is due and as a result, women within the company have excelled. It’s incredibly empowering and refreshing and my wish would be for this to be replicated across society.

    Kathryn Nixon 1
    Kathryn Nixon
    Sales Manager, Encore Digital Media
  • International Women’s Day is pretty important to me as March 8th also happens to be my birthday. I often get comments like ‘of all the people to be born on that day…’ for me it’s a day to really celebrate. International Women day is all about the achievements of women and importantly the potential of women. I also think it’s a day to also remember the place of privilege I come from and be reinvigorated and embrace the work we have left to do.

    In the last few years there has been an amount of recognition of the trailblazing women of STEM, many with stories misplaced in history behind the more prominent stories of men; Bell Burnell finally receiving recognition for her work; the stories of Hidden Figures; Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson; and Code breaker Elizebeth Smith are just a few prominent ones.

    I can’t say I’ve always come from the right place in understanding my own privileged in being able to enter and thrive in the Technology industry a feisty 20 year old with more ambition than education. As I raise my daughter and the world becomes metaphorically smaller it is clear to me we need to shine a light on the work left to do; the basic education girls around the world are denied, the role models, mentors and representation missing across STEM and in Senior Leadership roles. International Women’s Day is our day to celebrate but it is also our call to arms.

    Nicki Fowler
    Nicki Fowler
    Founder, Technology in Play
  • Happy Women’s Day!

    May all women be free to dream and smile 🙂 Your inner being will reflect in your face so let the beauty of what you love be what you do and always be true to yourself

    Dr Pamela Benito
    Dr Pamela Benito
  • I’m passionate about how my network and Sandwell College can help with growth and skills for the region’s businesses, particularly showing young women the opportunities available to them in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

    International Women’s Day is a moment for us to reflect upon women’s achievements and highlight that anything is possible

    Sanjeev Gill
    Sanjeev Gill
    Head of Engagement, Sandwell College, and a Sandwell Business Ambassador
  • As a woman in the world of entrepreneurs, it’s easy to accept that we’re a minority. We feel boosted when there are several women at conferences, networking events and presentations. However, when I present to successful Business Owners, I don’t see ‘men’ and ‘women,’ I see Entrepreneurs! I see wonderful, imaginative minds and driven individuals – we are all so lucky to have each other to support us through, but I would encourage all of us to look past the gender divide and hold the belief that we’re on a level playing field – that we are all as powerful as each other. When we truly believe this, the divide will diminish and we will go from strength to strength.

    Marianne Page
    Marianne Page
    Creator of Systems4Scale & Author of Simple Logical Repeatable
  • International Women’s Day has always been about standing on the shoulder pads of giants. My mum was a trailblazer – she was one of the first women to be given a chief job in advertising, and had shoulder pads bigger than the car she drove. She was always breaking barriers, going first yet pushing from the back, putting everyone else on an equal footing. That’s what International Women’s Day means to me: if we’ve gotten anywhere, we’ve gotten there together, as a group. Standing on the shoulder pads of giants.

    Jade Trott
    Jade Trott
    Art Director, OLIVER
  • International Woman’s Day is a real world symbol of the fact that my 18 year old daughter will start adulthood in a world that is more equal, more informed and more fair than the world I started in at 18. I am delighted for her. I had to learn to speak up and make sure my voice was heard, she has been raised to believe herself equal and to challenge at first sight of anything different. International Women’s Day champions and celebrates the equality which I hope and pray she will experience.

    Vicky Bullen
    Vicky Bullen
    CEO, Coley Porter Bell
  • I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of diversity in organisations at all levels. Women make up a large proportion of the workforce and it makes sense to have a fair representation of females at every level in an organisation. The benefit of diversity is that it brings different points of view, which helps with better and more balanced decision-making.

    It’s great that we have a day that recognises women in the workplace, but the work shouldn’t stop there. We need to make sure we stand up for ourselves and every other woman in our organisation to ensure we have the same opportunities as men. It’s not easy and we need to take courage and lead with spirit.

    As women we have to learn our own craft, know ourselves, and be all that we can be, and then in knowing we have our own courage, we can help others. If we are brave enough to do that, then together, we can lead an army of women on the same journey, helping them to develop themselves and take their own courage, in learning from inspiring leaders.

    Andrea Dunlop
    Andrea Dunlop
    CEO, Merchant Acquiring, Europe, Paysafe Group
  • Gender diversity continues to dominate both the business news agenda and the UK’s political agenda, particularly because of the #MeToo campaign, and it can only help to ensure there is a sufficient representation of talented women in the business world. It’s so positive that there is now a day that celebrates the successes of women across the world. I trained as a Chemical Engineer and when oil prices suffered a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to do some work in the oil and gas sector, which was fascinating. Oil and gas has such a fundamental impact on all our lives but it’s not a field which you hear much about at school and girls often aren’t encouraged to embark on a career in this space. Through initiatives like International Women’s Day, I hope this will change.

    Since then I’ve worked in the financial sector for over 20 years where historically women have been under represented, but headway is being made. I would say that 2018 was a transformational year in terms of diversity and inclusion in the finance and payments industry, but also in business generally. It’s important though that women in the workplace remember to continue to put themselves forward as individuals, even if that means not conforming to the expectations of others. We need to stand out, be tenacious and go for what we want, especially as women.

    With the rise of digital devices, balancing motherhood and family life with a career becomes trickier. Digitisation is everywhere and there are few jobs today where it is irrelevant. It’s so easy to become overly attached to your smartphone. As a working mum, I try to strike a balance and be true to myself. I work at full speed and am productive, but I am also there for my family and ensure I have regular, focused family time. Above all though, to be able to achieve the right balance you have to love what you do.

    Claire Gates
    Claire Gates
    CEO, Paysafe Pay Later
  • I am empowered by the idea behind International Women’s Day and what it stands for. As a young business woman I am grateful for the work being done now and how this initiative will shape mine and other young females futures in business.

    I’m proud to work for a company that not only encourages women in the workplace but see’s the value in having women in key roles within the business.

    Ellie Cohen
    Ellie Cohen
    Group Marketing Manager, Alan Day VW London
  • Men have been the privileged sex for far too long. Ladies, let’s stand tall and make gender equality our reality.

    Shaherazad Umbreen
    Shaherzad Umbreen
    Shoe Empowerment Officer, Shoes By Shaherazad
  • On International Women’s Day we’re thinking about creating a better balance for a better world. We hear a lot about technology shaping a better world – and in many ways it is – but we need to be mindful of what this will look like. Take Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is poised to subsume thousands of jobs over the next few years. According to the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA), this will affect twice as many women as it will men. As business leaders, we need to address this – what support can we offer women to move into new roles?

    Tara O'Sullivan
    Tara O'Sullivan
    CMO at Skillsoft
  • My advice to anyone interested in a career in technology is to maintain a learning mindset. The IT industry is always evolving and change is rapid. Consequently the knowledge and skills you already have will always need to evolve and grow to keep pace with that change. Be open, be curious and continue to learn.

    Michelle Stonebank
    Michelle Stonebank
    Director of Channel Sales and Alliances at Commvault
  • Striving for a balanced workforce not only fosters gender equality, but it makes good business sense. Half our population is female, more than half of college students are female, so why should we not hire more of these talented individuals into the workplace? Not hiring women makes a business less competitive, because they are not tapping into a vital segment of the talent stream.

    Krishna Subramanian
    Founder, President and COO, Komprise
  • On International Women’s Day Hyve is not only championing equality in our own workforce but also addressing the wider issue of the lack of diversity in the IT industry. Age-old stereotypes about the industry do not reflect the fast-paced, progressive nature of technology, and this needs to change

    Lucie Sadler
    Lucie Sadler
    Content Manager, Hyve Managed Hosting
  • While companies have become more sensitive to the gender gap in the industry over time, there is still so much more to be done to change the industry’s culture to close this gap and encourage more women into high tech careers. I believe that, fundamentally, this culture shift needs to start in school – we need to do more to mentor girls and encourage them to study STEM subjects

    Caroline Seymour
    Caroline Seymour
    VP of Product Marketing at Zerto
  • Events like International Women’s Day provide a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements and progress we’ve made towards gender diversity, but there’s still a lot more we can do. As a business owner, a mother and a woman, I’m passionate and vocal about supporting and developing the future female leaders of tomorrow – that is what drives me to challenge the status quo and pursue real change in this area. When I look around my office, I’m proud to be in the position to promote equal rights for all and to witness first-hand the inspirational work our team does every day.

    Aliya Vigor-Robertson
    Aliya Vigor-Robertson
    Co-Founder, JourneyHR
  • To me, International Women’s Day is a day to take stock and reflect on the achievements we have made individually and collectively and to acknowledge the inspirational women who influence our lives. It is a day where we celebrate the contributions women make across the world and the benefits that gender balance brings to the workplace.

    Nicola Critchley
    Nicola Critchley
    Partner, Horwich Farrelly
  • To me, International Women’s Day is a day of celebration, recognising the achievements and tenacity of women. I believe that as a society we must strive for a better balance, with women having so much to offer to the global economy. IWD provides an opportunity to value the differences of women and it is my hope that this will help drive the changes needed to achieve true gender equality.

    Anna Poynton
    Anna Poynton
    Partner, Horwich Farrelly
  • To me, International Women’s Day is summed up in the quote from Maya Angelou “All great achievements require time.”

    IWD allows me to reflect on the struggles women have faced in order to allow for me to be in the position I am in today.

    Rebecca Heyes
    Rebecca Heyes
    Solicitor, Horwich Farrelly
  • International Women’s Day reminds me of how far women have advanced in securing women’s rights and fighting for equality but also reminds me how far there is to go to completely eradicate discrimination and inequality.

    Katie Williamson
    Katie Williamson
    Cost Lawyer, Horwich Farrelly
  • When I think of International Women’s Day I am reminded of Beyonce’s lyrics “All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me.

    Charlotte Whalley
    Charlotte Whalley
    Trainee Solicitor, Horwich Farrelly
  • What I particularly like about International Women’s Day is that it provides an open forum for gender-related matters to be discussed in a healthy and productive way, ensuring that equality remains in the forefront of everybody’s minds. From inspirational stories to more sensitive debates, having an international day dedicated to women allows fascinating and pertinent topics to be surfaced and addressed by the world as a whole.

    Hannah Watkins
    Hannah Watkins
    Content Marketer, Hubble
  • In previous years IWD passed me by unnoticed and I was mildly ashamed recently to read that it has occurred for well over a century. But for the last twelve months I have been inspired by daily tweets celebrating the first hundred years since the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and the effect that had on women in the law. Without those women, I would not have the career I cherish and it is clear I owe them a daily debt of gratitude. On 8 March I’ll celebrate the on going campaign for women’s equality in all walks of life.

    Kate Bex
    Kate Bex
    QC, Red Lion Chambers
  • 10 years ago, it felt as though it was a good thing to celebrate as there were always a small number of exceptional women who reached the highest echelons in their respective industries, and who were role models for the next generation, but in the industries where representation was very low, not much was changing.

    “In the last couple of years, the whole conversation around women has changed so materially and I am much more hopeful that we are now going to see many more women making significant progress in their careers in terms of equal pay, promotions, and sharing the domestic caring burden with their partners, so that not only the really exceptional succeed, but a much broader range of women from all backgrounds.

    Jane Sydenham
    Jane Sydenham
    Investment Director, Rathbones
  • International Women’s Day is of important significance to mark and reflect on women’s enormous role in society. That role has changed enormously for the better since the first International Women’s Day over a hundred years ago but there is so much more progress to be made in gender equality on a world wide scale . It is a day to celebrate the many brave women through history who fought for further equality in terms of basic rights to education and votes but also to ensure this issue continues to sit firmly on everyone’s agenda. It needs to be tackled at many levels and by many people from governments to individuals. I am pleased through our engagement work at Rathbone Greenbank that we are influential in keeping this as a prominent feature at company board level.

    Nicola Day
    Nicola Day
    Deputy Head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Rathbone Greenbank Investments
  • Gender equality is a core global issue. It’s one of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals in its own right, and is inextricably linked to the achievement of many of the others. As an investor, I also know that companies with more diverse boards tend to perform better than their less diverse peers. And I can recognise the immense opportunities that will arise from efforts to close the global gender gap. One study by McKinsey Global Initiative, for example, estimated that up to $28 trillion could be added to global GDP in 2025 under a scenario where men and women participate equally in the labour market.

    “International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the billions of amazing women around the world who make a vital contribution to our economy and society, and to shine a light on the challenges that we continue to face. But we shouldn’t forget that women continue to make that contribution and face those challenges on every other day of the year. That’s why we raise issues of diversity in our engagement and dialogue with the companies that we invest in, commending best practice, challenging poor performance and encouraging positive change.

    Kate Elliot
    Kate Elliot
    Senior Ethical Researcher, Rathbone Greenbank Investments
  • As Fujitsu’s Women in Business executive sponsor for our Women’s Business Network, and given my role on the company’s diversity council, I’m passionate about making a difference for women in business, by identifying what our women need from the company and the senior leadership team in order to be successful. I’ve witnessed first-hand that driving gender equality internally is not just about promoting women, it’s about getting the right balance in teams, the boardroom and across the whole organisation. That’s why, for me, this year’s IWD’s tagline – #BalanceforBetter – couldn’t be more relevant. It’s all about working together – both men and women! – to drive the diversity agenda collectively.

    Wendy Warham
    Wendy Warham
    VP Hybrid Infrastructure Services and Networks & Telecoms, EMEIA, DTS, Fujitsu Services
  • Today is about recognising the economic, social and inspirational contributions of women the world over, both inside and outside the workplace. We’re finally seeing more women being given powerful voices, from US congress, which has its largest ever female representation, to Greta Thunberg who’s brave voice at Davos reminded us all of our responsibility to the world. These are just two examples of women driving real change, but we’re using our voice everywhere to support other women. I wouldn’t have reached where I am today without the amazing women, and men, around me, and as a mother of two girls, I want to raise them to challenge the status quo. The only way that society will change is if we empower our daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues to share the brilliant, brave and phenomenal ideas and perspectives that are uniquely theirs.

    Bridget Perry
    Bridget Perry
    VP of Marketing, Adobe
  • International Women’s Day provides an excellent opportunity to have some very necessary conversations about women in technology and the changes that need to be made to ensure that women get the opportunities they deserve. Many studies have shown that gender-diverse teams deliver better results and I have seen it first-hand at NICE, where women at all levels have been instrumental in the success of the business and advancement of our technology.

    Tamar Sharir Beiser 1
    Tamar Sharir Beiser
    Vice President, Head of Cloud, NICE
  • We need to focus on realising the potential of females young and old. Removing biases not only toward gender but also toward age looking for example to the older woman who has been out of the workforce as much as young talent. The latent capability which we can leverage by focussing on women’s development and helping them to realise their own capabilities is unfathomable.

    Fiona Murden
    Chartered Psychologist and Author of 'Defining You'
  • Today is a day to celebrate all of the amazing women I know. This year, IWD theme is #balanceforbetter, which means: Better the Balance, Better the World and it’s aiming at building a gender-balanced world and that’s what we need especially in financial services. We have come a long way but there is still some work to be done.

    I am very lucky to be able to build Vestpod for women to become financially independent and to be supported by so many great women. We will be celebrating on March 15th for a breakfast event with the Vestpod community and 3 inspiring speakers who are driving change and are also willing to talk about money: Bev Shah founder at City Hive, Laura Whateley journalist and writer and Sharmadean Reid founder at Beautystack. Happy IWD!

    Emilie Bellet
    Emilie Bellet
    Founder, Vestpod
  • International Women’s Day is of massive importance to me and it is a time to celebrate the cultural, career, economic, and political achievements of women. We must see just how far we have come, but we also need to look to the future and see where even more positives changes and advancements can be made. I work with some amazing women who are constantly breaking down the gender-based barriers that could have stopped them from reaching their goals, and this is what we should all be working towards for future generations.

    Lenka Lutonska
    Lenka Lutonska
    Managing Director & Principal Coach, Lenka Lutonska
  • International Women’s Day is a chance for us all to stop and reflect on the impact we have on society. I regularly have the pleasure of meeting highly successful and driven women in the world of financial services and banking and cannot help but be impressed by the impact they are having on raising the profile of this important industry for women today and in the future. A number of the major financial services firms are working with us to shine a light on the many and varied roles that exist for women to develop meaningful careers.

    On a personal note, I am proud to have helped a number of young women to not only take control of their finances but also to secure fantastic jobs and futures. Financial wellbeing is such an important part of what is needed for us all to make a positive contribution to society, to have choices about how we live our lives and set good examples for future generations. I am very proud to be a woman!

    Alison Pask
    Alison Pask
    Managing Director, Financial Capability and Community Outreach, The London Institute of Banking & Finance
  • For me, Women’s Day celebrates and appreciates the women of today. It tells us to encourage and support each other, it tells us to take joy and pride in our achievements. It shows the strength in empowerment and exists to look at women beyond social, cultural, or political views. International women’s day told me that it wasn’t wrong for me, as a girl, to like mathematics or to be fascinated by technology or science. I found strength in my surroundings and now I see myself emerging as someone who I had always hoped I could become. I want to learn more about the world and explore all that it has to offer, and I feel encouraged and empowered as a woman. I feel like I can be anything I want to be, not despite being a woman, but rather inspite being one. Women’s day, to me, signifies courage.

    Sonal Sannigrahi
    Sonal Sannigrahi
    First year student in the École Polytechnique Bachelor of Science program
  • Women’s Day holds a special place in my heart because on this day, especially, we celebrate great female figures like Marie Curie who inspire me every day as a girl studying science, or Rosa Parks who inspire me to speak up for what I believe in. Women’s Day also sparks pride in me, it is a day we embrace and celebrate all the different ways women express womanhood. Finally, Women’s Day reminds me how the previous generations worked hard to give me the rights I have today, and how I can work to make the world a safer and better place for my daughters and granddaughters one day, too.

    Kayo Yin
    Kayo Yin
    Second year student in the École Polytechnique Bachelor of Science program
  • Women have made considerable progress in their representation in leadership positions, but the gender gap continues to be an issue. International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to highlight this; it is significant that women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals, whereas in healthcare, it is nearly half of all leadership positions.

    Abbie Vlahakis
    Abbie Vlahakis
    Interim CEO, Millennium Point
  • International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate achievement but also highlight the work that still needs to be done for a better gender balanced world. At Millennium Point, we are proud to not only have a substantial female representation in our exec team, but through the work of the Millennium Point Trust, continue to break down gender barriers into education and ultimately into STEM-related careers.

    Rebecca Delmore
    Commercial Director, Millennium Point
  • I think the main challenge for encouraging women into the technology industry is getting girls from a young age excited about STEM-related school subjects and the opportunities available to them. The issue we have is that the tech industry is often viewed as male dominated and this needs to change. What we need is talent with a wide variety of skill sets. Having a diverse team of men and women brings out the best results – men are often objective, while women have the creative skills to unite teams to work towards a common goal.

    At BJSS it’s great to be part of a team that truly promotes digital diversity internally and externally. More needs to be done to increase female representation throughout the industry and this starts with schools. We have been running workshops in schools across Manchester in partnership with Digital Her to educate girls on the exciting tech career paths on offer, empowering them to make more informed choices. I’m also a big fan of our coding initiative, teaching kids aged between 11 and 16 how to code across UK cities, including London, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham to ensure a fairer gender balance in STEM education.

    Emily Smith, BJSS
    Emily Smith
    Data Scientist, BJSS
  • As a woman working in media sales teams across international news organisations and now The Ozone Project, building and nurturing internal and external business relationships has played a central role in my progression.

    Throughout my career I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by some very influential, smart and collaborative women at all levels of the business hierarchy who have acted as a support network, mentoring and helping me to develop the skills required in a competitive industry and ultimately making my advertising experience a positive one.

    However it’s evident that improvements still need to be made across all businesses regardless of sector, such as increasing the number of senior female decision makers. It’s not just a tick-box exercise – it’s well documented that diverse teams get better results, but this is often not reflected when you look at female board representation. We must all share a responsibility to continue raising awareness of the fact that diversity of all kinds drives business success.

    Sophie Raptis
    Client Director, The Ozone Project
  • For me IWD is a day to reflect and reaffirm commitments to addressing the systemic inequalities that continue to hinder women everywhere in the world. On a personal level I use the day to remind myself of my own privileges and consider how I can help lift other women up.

    Angela Cullen
    Angela Cullen
    Web Developer, Hubble
  • International Women’s Day for me is about celebrating and recognising the contribution women make to the world in their own special way. It is about recognising their efforts and achievements in business, as entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges and carved their own career path and succeeded in putting themselves firmly on the global map. And it is also a commitment to supporting, mentoring and inspiring women of all cultures and colours to find their voice in any and every way we can, so they too, can achieve their full potential and fulfil their own dreams.

    Vaishali Shah
    Vaishali Shah
    Owner, Ananya Cards
  • On International Women’s Day, UK businesses must recognise the ongoing gender imbalance as a major concern. While we’ve certainly made positive progress over the last couple of years, there’s still a long way to go until the technology sector is truly diverse.

    Breaking down established gender biases and empowering young women interested in STEM – no matter their level of expertise – should be made a primary concern for any modern business. Why? Diversity is proven to increase workplace creativity, performance and ultimately a business’s bottom line.

    We must encourage women in positions of leadership to inspire their peers and the future generation of those working in STEM. It’s about breaking-down misconceptions, educating women about what a career in STEM might entail, and reassuring them that their voice is valued and heard.

    It’s important to use International Women’s Day as a platform to highlight the progress we’ve already made; however, this progress is slow and more still needs to be done. These issues should be tackled at a grassroots level, ensuring young women have access to the right mentors and given the opportunity to view STEM as a ‘normal’ – rather than ‘alternative’ – career path.

    Jill Morris
    Jill Morris
    Senior HR Business Partner, Hitachi Vantara
  • International Women’s Day is extremely important to me, highlighting that gender inequality still persists. This day allows us to celebrate and be inspired by those who are achieving, and hear stories from businesswomen, celebrities, politicians and sportswomen of their journeys to the top. But let’s not isolate our male colleagues, friends and family; for change to really happen, we all need to go on the journey together. In the words of the Prime Minister we need “to build a country that works for everyone.

    Rachel Baxter
    Rachel Baxter
    Head of Corporate Appearances, YMU Group
  • I have realised that feminism and equality are about everyone getting to choose what they do, and care about. The gender pay gap will narrow when all people (especially men) can choose to work flexibly to fit with their priorities/responsibilities without being seen as “less”, and when we value all contributions more equally including those which are unpaid or less well paid “women’s work”.

    Research tells us that boards, and teams, work best with people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and ways of thinking – especially those willing to ask the “stupid” question; so, on this International Women’s Day let’s all feel free to be proud of our idiosyncrasies, our hobbies and passions, and everything that makes us different and really not that different.

    Naomi L'Estrange
    Naomi L'Estrange
    Managing Director, 20-20 Trustees
  • International Women’s Day is special as it marks a global commitment to shine a light on women around the world without whom the modern world wouldn’t be possible. Growing up outside of London in a small town, IWD was the first time where I saw women be given a dedicated voice and it inspired me to share my own. I was published in a ‘Future Voices of West Yorkshire’ publication aged 13 (back on International Women’s Day in 1999) and it helped me understand what women around the world had accomplished and were capable of – and sparked my ambition.

    This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter and whilst that speaks to the balance that the world and different industries are seeking – it also points to the balance that could be created in shared ownership of elements that are still able to, knowingly or not, prioritise men.

    So for me, IWD has a duality to it – to celebrate progress and wonderful, inspiring women around the world and their achievements (and in doing so inspire current and future.”

    Hannah Johnson
    Hannah Johnson
    MD, Blue State Digital
  • In my view, studying STEM gives you the best foundation for your future career. In my current job as Finance director, my STEM background and knowledge has no doubt informed many of my leadership decisions, resulting in more scientifically-grounded and logical decision-making. I passed a higher maths and triple science French baccalaureate (A-level equivalent) which gave me a great head start to become a successfully qualified accountant. I found that having a STEM background has given me a better understanding of my peers’ specialities, related to software development and system architecture. I firmly believe that studying STEM subjects equips you with problem-solving skills and teaches you how to apply knowledge and skills to real-world professional challenges, giving you the ability to maximise results.

    What’s more, as a busy professional and mum, the 2019 IWD concept of “Balance for Better” hugely resonates with me. As a woman, I made the choice to have children and put them first despite being very passionate about my job and career. Civica has given me the opportunity to do both. Having a flexible work environment means I can drop my kids at school in the morning and see them early enough in the evening, while still fulfilling my own professional commitments and objectives.

    “Balance for Better” is also about diversity in the workplace, respecting others and being flexible to your colleagues to optimise outcomes through working together to support each other and through the combination of each other’s strengths. Respecting others, irrespective of gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, political beliefs (despite Brexit!) and disability is paramount to my values.

    As Michelle Obama said: ‘’ You can be a good mom and still work out, get your rest, have a career – or not.’’

    Natacha Robert
    Finance Director, Civica Digital
  • Happy International Women’s Day to Everyone. For me, today is really an opportunity take a moment and think about the ever-changing role that women play. 2018 marked the remembrance of the Suffragette movement – how time flies!

    The diversity conversation has focussed a lot on gender. As a woman in the technology and financial services space, I’ve definitely seen a positive shift in female representation over the last ten years. Imagine an office area the size of half an airplane hangar with only four female technologists on it, surrounded by men – that was me just over a decade ago. Things are certainly changing, for example, the other day my daughter bounced over to me, telling me that ICT is her favourite lesson of the week. However, I am also conscious that at six years old, she is at the age when school girls are ‘put off science’ according to ongoing research into STEM. We must do more to encourage girls to continue with STEM education at GCSE level, A-level and then on to university level.

    At an intern breakfast two years ago, the gender split in the room was equal and there was a positive atmosphere, with everyone in the room viewing themselves as equals. That means that to some extent the message is cycling through, but we must keep up the fantastic work and try to make technology as appealing to everyone as it should be. I encourage everyone to take a moment, or longer, today to celebrate women everywhere. Men’s Day is November 19th and I look forward to celebrating then as well!

    Jacqueline Mayhew
    Jacqueline Mayhew
    Chief Operations Officer, Civica Digital
  • For me this comes right back to supporting and encouraging women and girls in schools to pursue a tech career. Research has shown that whilst many females do take Computer Science related A-Levels, very few continue this to university-level education.

    Girls simply don’t see it as a career option, because they don’t see as many women making successful careers out of it like they may do with doctors, lawyers or teachers.

    I count myself lucky in that I had parents who instilled a belief in me that I could do anything, others are not so lucky, and that’s why it is critical that all leaders in the tech industry are singing the same message of diversity and inclusion. It is vitally important for anyone to be able to look at an industry they are interested in and find an inspirational role model who is telling them that success is possible, and everyone is welcome

    Laura Soutar
    Software Engineer, Civica
  • International Women’s Day is an important date in the calendar for women across the world to unite, to share, and to learn from one another. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to highlight achievements and challenges facing women today. I personally use the occasion as a chance to collaborate with others and highlight specific women’s causes, through data stories and community challenges that turn data into tangible insights.

    Initiatives such as #Data+Women and #WomenInTech are very important to me as well, so I work to connect people with the right opportunities for their career progression and development. It’s crucial that women are supported in the workplace all year round, not just on International Women’s day, and I am glad to assist where I can. There has been great progress in recent years, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

    Eva Murray
    Eva Murray
    Head of Business Intelligence, Exasol
  • It’s been well publicised that the technology industry needs to do more to improve female representation and encourage the next generation of women to pursue careers in technology. Within the industry, female CEOs represent just 5% of the Fortune 500 and just 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women.

    For the first time, technology is helping businesses to measure the effectiveness of diversity programmes rather than relying on gut instinct. Advanced analytics allow businesses to ask the right questions of employee data so they can focus on potential issues such as patterns of attrition and the promotion of underrepresented groups. They can also spot where bias may be playing a role in the recruiting process, better understand their organisation’s pay parity, or configure succession planning reports to factor in gender to help improve female representation in leadership positions.

    Technology is also helping to connect people to opportunities. In many organisations, career prospects are impacted by a “who you know” mentality, but modern, digital platforms are changing this. By highlighting the skills of individuals and the internal opportunities available to them – and their managers – you can create a far more transparent and dynamic environment for all employees. Fundamentally, technology is helping organisations to get the data they need to make effective real-time decisions about diversity, but it cannot solve the issue alone. Companies need to develop a culture that values diversity and prioritises it.

    Carolyn Horne
    Global Vice President of Northern Europe and South Africa, Workday
  • Every year I love seeing how different brands use International Women’s Day to share powerful messages of gender equality. My favourite for 2019 has been Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign that centres around a fantastic advert filled with inspirational female athletes ousting sexist assumptions about women and how we show our emotions.

    Emma Allison
    Emma Allison
    Head of Marketing, Forward Role
  • As a relentless advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, International Women’s Day is the day to reflect and appreciate all the work we have done to encourage, motive and support females of all ages in the company. As such, I take pride in mentoring my senior female colleagues in my role as a leader of 100 payment professionals. International Women’s Day brings the ability to reflect on the time spent guiding these women through their careers and celebrating their progress.

    An annual event ACI Worldwide holds, also in March, is ACI’s Coding for Girls Initiative. This is a free, one-day camp for girls in year 7 to 9, offering crash courses in computer programming and, most importantly, introducing them to the male-dominated world of technology and careers in high-tech professions. At ACI, we believe that familiarising girls with the field early can help break the stereotype and introduce them to what can look like an intimidating industry.

    I am constantly looking for ways to motivate and support women to achieve more, and International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to appreciate how far we’ve come.

    Melissa Mckendry
    Melissa Mckendry
    Vice President, Implementation Services, Retail Banking, ACI Worldwide
  • I believe a diverse working environment is essential for effective innovation in today’s world. It is therefore imperative that women are recognised for their achievements no matter what level they are, and International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to do this. However, I hope one day this day will no longer be necessary.

    As an Advisory Board Member for the European Women Payments Network (EWPN), I invest time promoting diversity and inclusion of women in the workplace. Making sure their achievements get the visibility they deserve. Women bring a different perspective to the table in many situations and that is very valuable. Diversity requires both respect of each other’s differences, but also a learning mindset to understand and appreciate various perspectives in the industry. International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and embrace the achievements of women in payments and the technology industries, in what is still a very male-dominated field. It is also a great moment to reflect on the impact different movements are making – there is a lot of support and willingness in the industry to change which makes me very confident for the future!

    Silvia Mensdorff-Pouilly
    General Manager ACI on Premise Europe, ACI Worldwide
  • I’m an active promoter of women in leadership roles, and try to push the topic of diversity of gender, backgrounds and nationalities every day. I push teams to let go of their boundaries, their fears and their pre-conceived notions of other people, to become one unified team, in love with its diversity.

    In a time of political uncertainty, of conflict and social media manipulation, it is more important than ever to take a deeper look and to see past the superficialities. We need to see past our differences and learn to let go. We must learn to see beyond appearances and learn to truly see the people that surround us. We must focus on positive impact in everything we do.

    Despite some good progress, it is frustrating that in 2019 we are still talking about the challenges of building equality in the workplace. The truth is change won’t just happen because we want; tech leaders – men and women – must keep pushing for it on a daily basis

    Anne de Kerchkove
    Anne de Kerckhove
    CEO, Freespace
  • ‘International Women’s Day encourages women to celebrate the passion they have for their careers and it showcases the determination they have to have to stay at the top of their game.

    Young women can’t be what they can’t see so International Women’s Day is a wonderful way to inspire girls to be confident in following their dreams and ultimately make a difference to the world.’

    Suzanne Thorp
    Suzanne Thorp
    Owner, The Frostery
  • International Women’s Day is a special day for me as an international woman working in cybersecurity. It is a day where we can all pause and reflect on how far we have come in creating more gender equality in the workplace. As I look back on my journey to leadership roles, it becomes clear: it takes all of us to truly balance the scales.

    For me, the idea of gender equality started with my parents who were both dentists with each of their own offices and clientele. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad boasting about my mum being so great at her job and claiming that she was much better than him at running her business. That put my sister and me in the mindset that we could be great. Gender barriers were not a concept or obstacle to us, not then and not now.

    Looking back to the start of my career, I was fortunate to have executives, mostly male, who were my champions. Much like my father with my mother, they gave me the support and autonomy to establish myself as a professional and equal among my peers. But I also went into each job with full confidence that I was the most capable of getting the job done. I never distinguished myself as a female co-worker but as a highly-skilled, adaptable professional.

    Today, as I often take the role of mentor, I advocate young women professionals to seek champions to help them thrive in their career, but I also advise them to be their own best advocate and to have the confidence to aim high.

    Juliette Rizkallah
    Juliette Rizkallah
    CMO, SailPoint
  • International Women’s Day is a time to reflect and recognise the value that women bring to individual communities and collectively to the world – it is a time of recognition and celebration of women globally.

    Every day, women are challenging the status quo, beating the odds and paving the way for generations to come. We are all a crucial part of the environment that is influencing our world’s future women.

    Always remember, when you think something is impossible remind yourself that it’s not – you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Appreciate your accomplishments and reflect on how your struggles have made you the person you are today.

    There is still much work to be done, we must acknowledge that there are many women whose voices go unheard and who continue to be excluded from realising their full potential.

    Mairead Molloy
    Mairead Molloy
    Owner/Global Director, Berkeley International
  • International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate how far women have come in all walks of life, but also to refocus on what more needs to be achieved – and there’s a lot more!

    As an entrepreneur and founder, I am both shocked and unsurprised to discover that only 6 per cent of British Business have a female CEO or MD, and female entrepreneurs have to start up businesses with only half as much funding as men.
    Success really shouldn’t come down to a question of gender, but a question of who has the personality and skills to do the job best. Society needs to recognise this as a problem and address it in order to create a society where women are given the same opportunity as men to fulfil their potential. I hope that International Women’s Day can help to accelerate this vision and engage women and girls of all ages with the opportunities out there.

    Juliet Barratt
    Juliet Barratt
    Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Grenade
  • This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. It’s possible to break this down in a couple of ways: we need more ‘balance’ in the boardroom and in the workplace – particularly in the technology sector. Having women on company boards not only leads to ‘better’ financial performance, but also brings similar talent and expertise to the business, which would have been previously neglected. Ultimately, a ‘better’ balance is fair for everyone.

    Michelle Roberts headshot
    Michelle Roberts
    DIrector of Partner Management, Public Cloud, Ensono
  • Today’s all about looking at how far we’ve come in our progress for equality, as well as recognising how far we’ve yet to go. Our industry, like many others, is built on a strong foundation of creative, ambitious and like-minded women and men. Therefore, it’s crucial we create working environments whereby people have equal opportunities no matter who they are or what field they choose to pursue. It’s about recognising the changing world we’re living in, where men and women are becoming more equal in both their professional and personal lives.

    Kirsty Maxey
    Kirsty Maxey
    CEO, Teamspirit
  • I am proud to have qualified as a Lawyer in 2017, the first year that saw more women admitted to the Solicitors’ Roll than men in England and Wales – which finally represents what the University lecture theatres have shown us for a long time. However, International Women’s Day reminds us that there is more work still to be done to achieve greater transparency, diversity and equality in the industry globally.

    Alice Hallsworth
    Alice Hallsworth
    Solicitor, Child & Child Limited, Globalaw
  • As a young female solicitor at the beginning of my career, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect and feel proud of the diligence and perseverance it has taken to get to where I am in my career. The day also serves as a chance for me to acknowledge the women who have gone before me and to the work they have done to open this path for myself and my fellows in a predominantly chauvinistic profession. The day fuels solidarity and pride amongst females and encourages yet further vital progression.

    Sophie Rothwell
    Trainee Solicitor, Child & Child Limited, Globalaw
  • International Women’s day offers female lawyers such as myself the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in the legal profession and more importantly, the ways in which we can continue to overcome obstacles and exceed expectations. This day is a reminder that we must continue to ask the essential questions dictating our current position and encourage young women to persevere with their professional and personal ambitions.

    Ségolène Dugué
    Ségolène Dugué
    Directrice Générale at Cohen Amir-Aslani, Globalaw
  • International Women’s Day marks not just how far women have come generally, but in the legal world, how much they have accomplished on the global stage for human rights, and gender equity. However, today is also a stark reminder that there is much great work to be done, and we need everyone to step up and play a role to continue to push forward.

    Shannon Nessier
    Shannon Nessier
    Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Globalaw
  • To me, International Women’s Day is a celebration of the achievements that women have accomplished socially, culturally, economically and politically through the years.

    In the legal profession it confirms that hard work and perseverance brings success, irrespective of gender, although it is often the case that women do have to prove themselves to a larger extent than men in order to achieve recognition.

    Alexandra Pelaghias-Christodoulou
    Partner at Pelaghias, Christodoulou, Vrachas LLC, Globalaw
  • Women, as fearless natural-born fighters, have applied their skills and hardwork to overcome obstacles. In particular, women in the law profession have made many contributions to the fight for equality and human rights through driving the implementation of laws. On this International Women’s Day, while celebrating the increase of women entering the legal professions in the recent years, we should also focus on empowering more women in the legal arena, which will definitely help to further welfare and social development world-wide.

    Bahar Ülgen
    Partner at Bener Law Firm, Globalaw
  • International Woman’s Day celebrates women – whether they have chosen to be mothers, professionals, rebels, fighters, lovers. I hope that one day every woman can choose their path without fear of repercussions. As CMO at Gate Technology, I fight this battle by enabling financial freedom and promoting transparency through blockchain technology.

    Marie Tatibouet
    Marie Tatibouet
    CMO, Gate.io
  • I’ve worked in technology for more than two decades, and have been very privileged to work alongside many talented women, but it’s still disappointing to see the number joining me in the industry dwindle. We need more women in tech to make sure our workplaces benefit from diverse viewpoints and talent, and doing so could add billions to the UK’s economy. There is still a general acceptance that the lack of women in digital industries is due to gender stereotyping from a young age, and overcoming these pre-conceived ideas will take time and effort from parents, teachers and businesses alike.

    It’s important that all women in tech make themselves visible and that we use our profile to show younger generations just what’s possible. We may have to be patient – it will take over a decade for the six-year-olds of today to start applying for jobs in tech – but let’s hope we are witnessing the beginning of a tidal shift to lessen the gender disparity in the industry.

    Eleanor Bradley
    Eleanor Bradley
    COO, Nominet
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