Today is International Women’s Day, #IWD2017 , and like every year, I use the opportunity to renew my pledge and commitment to fellow women.
Since I was a child my paternal mother, a railway engineer, inspired the family to pursue a professional career through her example; my maternal grandmother through her compassion and creativity and my mum through her sheer determination. Now, it is my turn to inspire my nieces.
As regional Chair for #NAWICUK & Ireland, in London and the South East, I volunteer side by side with a fantastic team of committed individuals to redefine the future of the industry we feel so passionate about. And today, (with them) I will aim to inspire the girls at Preston Manor, London, to look beyond the role models presented to them by the media into a wider range of opportunities which can literally shape the future of our cities.
If you wonder, what is it that you could do to support the same pledge, I would like to share some suggestions for there are many things we can do as individuals and as a collective yet we often think that our individual power is much more limited than it really is.
As Individuals we can:
- Go to schools and speak about the significance that the work we do has in those kids’ every day.
- Become ambassadors of our profession or trade
- Join/Volunteer in associations such as NAWIC to develop projects which can affect change and inspire
- Support those peers who may be considering to leave the industry.
- Demystify linear career paths by sharing our experiences
As companies we could:
- Use clear language and contextual images in our websites
- Participate in careers days like those NAWIC (and others) organise (LINK)
- Be open and fair in regard to the criteria for promotions and opportunities (Avoiding biased behaviours.)
- Embrace (rather than fear) Diversity
- Review employment policies and working practices to make sure they account for everyone
- Create formalised networking opportunities
- Recognise and reward talent: Apprenticeships, Graduate schemes, In-house development programs etc…
If this article gave you a few ideas you are ready to pursue… take the pledge. It is the right thing (for everyone)