Balance for Better: your say on International Women’s Day

A key conclusion from the first-ever Relocate Global International Women’s Day event was the importance of the having the opportunity to talk about women in global mobility’s experiences at work.

Image of panel of men and women
Delegates said that having the space to talk about their personal experience and share perspectives helped to frame the challenges and opportunities.Last year’s inaugural event spurred individuals on to set and achieve their own personal goals in the context of the wider inclusion landscape.The team at Relocate Global is no exception. This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day takes place on Friday 8 March at the Institute of Directors and is the direct result of the interest and desire for an ongoing forum. 

Time and space to Think Women

Relocate Global’s Think Women discussion and lunch is designed to create the time and space in facilitated round-tables for everyone in global mobility to think about what gender equality, inclusion and diversity, and the day’s global themes – including balance for better, and think equal, build smart, and innovate for change – means to them.Building on this observation of the importance of having a voice and hearing other women’s experiences, we listened to what women and men working in HR and global mobility had to say about what IWD means to them and the way ahead. 

Siobhan Cummins, Head of Global Mobility, Naspers Ltd

"IWD is an important event in the calendar for so many reasons, but mainly because it brings awareness to the role of women and their importance in the workplace."What is concerning is that despite the number of women in managerial and professional roles the number of female mobile employees has increased very little in the past 10-15 years.""While this varies by industry, more should be done to encourage women to take on an international move and not opt out. Women make great expats! Lets have more of them."

Elysia McCaffrey, Deputy Head of Government Equalities Office and Head of Gender Policy and Operations Division

"Balance for better means creating an environment where every person knows what they are good at and has the confidence to showcase their strengths."It means an environment where people are safe to challenge and be challenged and where everyone feels able to ask for help. When you are empowered to do these things, the strength of your team is limitless!"At the Government Equalities Office, we want women and men to feel equally empowered. To share childcare, to work flexibly, and to be able to be their best at home and at work."Gender balance throughout every sector, at every level, will make business and home life better – for everyone."

Claire McCartney, Co-Director of Inclusive Talent, and Associate at the CIPD

“It's a time to really celebrate all the remarkable achievements of women around the world.“Of course, we shouldn't be doing that just on one day, but all year round.“It's also a time to take stock of how far we still need to go to achieve true #BalanceforBetter and gender equality for ourselves and for future generations to come.”

Jill Morris, Senior HR Business Partner at Hitachi Vantara

“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.”

Mairéad Nayager, Chief HR Officer, Diageo PLC (International Women's Day supporting organisation) 

"This International Women’s Day, we are championing the inspiring women and men within our business, while working to shift the dial in favour of greater gender balance in our business and beyond.“This includes sponsoring a scheme supporting 50 women to return to work in the creative industries and hosting celebrations in our offices around the world."From a personal perspective, as I celebrate my second International Women's Day as a working mum, I’ll be reflecting on what more I can do to contribute to building a balanced world for my daughter. We all have a role to play in pushing forward this important agenda."

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