Women and global mobility: on her terms

Relocate Global’s International Women’s Day celebration, perhaps ironically, showed March 8 has something for everyone.

Women looking directly into the camera
Connecting people of different backgrounds and experiences, the event shone a light on the possibilities to be realised when we lift our sights, are creative and look at the world through a different lens.

Building resilient businesses

Starting the International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, Relocate Global managing editor Fiona Murchie welcomed the 50 guests to the roundtable session and lunch at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) London office with a personal message.Being able to bring together so many people passionate helping young people and women be all they can be “is one of the happiest and most important days of my life,” said Fiona.“It takes a lot of courage and effort to stand up and speak out about the issues and challenges women face, both here in the UK and in the rest of the world. It’s very easy not to do anything about this.“But it’s also too easy, especially for young girls, to be knocked back. It would be great for the life chances of boys and girls to start from the same place, so everyone has the strength to flourish in the workplace and wider community.”

Connecting people

Linking International Women’s Day with the global mobility, education and other sectors represented at the event, Fiona asked guests to consider what IWD means to them as individuals and women in their workplace. To help everyone frame their thinking, Relocate Global’s resident artist, Peter Moolan-Feroze, talked about how it is possible to capture ambiguity and uncertainty by hand-drawing our ideas and using them as a basis for discussion.This experience enabled guests to connect their experiences to International Women’s Day and capture what its spirit means to them.Some of the key themes emerging round the tables were how IWD offers an “anything is possible” mentality, where boys, men and fathers matter, where women have a voice and a right to an opinion that is heard, and a ultimately a space where these issues can be considered.   

A global view

One of the beauties of International Women’s Day is that it is an organic movement. No single organisation runs, owns or hosts this international event.For Relocate Global, which has an international readership and relevance, this created the space to link up with the On Her Terms campaign, run by human rights charity, the Amos Trust. On Her Terms seeks to advocate for and give a voice to young women who live and work on the streets in countries around the world, giving them a sense of ownership and control of their life and the choices they make. Support for these young women is critical. It is eight times harder to reach and work with this marginalised group than for young men in the similar situation because of the barriers they face.While women in the corporate world are clearly far more advantaged, the challenge of finding and using a voice – and being heard – are similar. “Having your say and being echoed by someone else is a really powerful experience,” said guest speaker Karin Joseph of the Amos Trust and On Her Terms. “What these young women are facing is a different part of the same struggle we all face, whether that’s about challenging inequality or not. We can all learn from and support each other."Karin ended her address by citing words spoken by Joy, one of the On Her Terms programme participants: "Many girls on the street have dreams and goals, but because they haven't learnt their potential, they lack something. If they can realise this, they can move on. I hope they can discover who they really are, who they can be.” 

On her terms

Before a networking lunch with Lauren Touré of inclusion consultancy f(i) Frost Included, the final phase of the morning’s session asked guests in facilitated round-table conversations to consider what “on her terms” looks like to each of us.Opening up a number of fascinating avenues for discussion – including what longer working lives mean for women – it also offered concrete action points and the motivation to carry the spirit of the event into workplaces and communities. Building confidence and understanding among women, men and employers of the issues; supporting young people to achieve their goals; and having access to a toolbox of skills, experiences and understanding that enables every woman to make choices on her terms will be the focus for Relocate Global throughout this year in line with our commitment to put people at the heart of global mobility.

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