IWD 2020: What it means to me

Resilient, independent and inspirational are just a few words that spring to mind when I think of women in 2020.

To me, International Women’s Day isn’t just about celebrating the achievements of women throughout history from all around the world. It’s a time to get people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures to come together to support and promote equality, and yes, that includes women’s rights. I would say, this is something I have definitely become more passionate about and have been made more aware of as I moved into my late 20’s.

I remember when I was 20 and was asked to think of a woman who inspires me. This may have sounded like a simple question, yet, when I was growing up, there was less emphasis on successful women who have made a difference to the world. I never knew who I was supposed to look up to as a young girl and what sort of person I wanted to be. I was really shocked that I couldn’t think of ONE WOMAN who I could relate to and think, yes – I want to be like her! This hit a nerve with me and almost made me feel quite ashamed of myself, was there really not one woman, who I could say inspires me?

What I have come to realise with age and education is that my inspirational woman of choice doesn’t have to be a celebrity or a person in the limelight, but they can just be a regular person who for being their everyday selves and standing up for what they believe in, can be an inspiration to all.

At INSHUR, we are putting a huge emphasis on celebrating International Women’s Day this year, especially as we work in the tech sector which is known for being very male dominant. Did you know that only 3% of women choose tech as their first career choice? Shocking, right? Especially considering the digital world we now live in.

My colleagues at INSHUR were asked to define women in 2020 using one word only. Some of these words included ambitious, leaders, brave and game changers, again, these adjectives would have never been classed as acceptable vocabulary 50 years ago when it came to women. This really goes to show that times are changing, however we still need to encourage the continuous promotion of gender equality around the world to ensure women are truly recognised and accepted in all societies.

Additionally, every member of staff has put forward one woman who inspires them and has written a few words on why. What has been incredible to see, is the real variety of suggested women. We’ve had everything from female authors to inventors, athletes, politicians, popstars and journalists. It’s very touching to hear of how these women have become role models to us all. Thankfully, we can now look up to and recognise so many amazing women, who have inspired generations in all walks of life.

I have been working at INSHUR for just two months now and what I have really noticed is the passion towards promoting diversity, inclusion and equality. Having worked in female-heavy environments in the past, moving into the tech world I wondered whether I would feel intimidated by all of the men and whether I would be treated differently because of my gender. However, I have never felt so accepted and appreciated in any other role as I do now. INSHUR are really awesome at recognising talent regardless of gender, race or culture and I am truly proud to be a part of a company that is paving the way forward, towards creating a fully inclusive workplace.

I have created a deck that will be on show in the office over the next few days. Feel free to download it and use it as you wish. The aim of this deck is to highlight some of the realities that women are still facing in 2020.

You can check out how else we celebrated the day in our office on the INSHUR LinkedIn page!

 

Written by Flick West