Celebrating International Women’s Day: Inspiring inclusivity for women

Mar 7, 2024

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With our 75% female workforce, it’s perhaps unsurprising that International Women’s Day stands out to us on the calendar as one to celebrate. Here, we share unique stories from four employees, highlighting various ways to inspire inclusivity for women this International Women’s Day and what this day means to them.

1) Worldwide celebration for women 

One of the most significant aspects of International Women’s Day is its global embrace. It isn’t just about personal experiences but also about understanding the lived realities of women across the world. Helen, our Business Development Manager, vividly captures this global spirit through her experiences working with NetWorks, a charity supporting vulnerable women and communities in Romania.

One of her most striking experiences was supporting a free pamper day for women in one of Arad’s most deprived areas; this small act of care sparked smiles on the faces of women living in extreme poverty. It was a life-changing experience not only for Helen but also for her fellow female volunteers, underlining the importance of a shared commitment to empower women across diverse cultures.

“We were brought together … from countries such as Sweden, Zimbabwe, Finland, Norway, the UK and the USA. Our cultures were different but we embraced each other and found friendships for life through supporting other women.”

2) Mothers: unsung heroes

Motherhood is perhaps one of the most challenging and impactful roles a woman can assume. In an age where opportunities are more accessible for women, there also comes increased pressures to balance priorities, especially for working mothers. It’s imperative that we acknowledge the often overlooked role of working mothers in our society and workplaces, as Nicola Sutherland, Account Director, aptly articulates.

Nicola’s shift from obliviousness to admiration since becoming a mother herself is a reminder of the invisible, yet extraordinary, feats her working mum colleagues carry daily. While becoming a parent can drastically change a woman’s capacity and priorities, society’s expectations stay the same. This is something International Women’s Day shines a light on to bring about change faster.

I am now in awe of my female colleagues. I had previously assumed that they effortlessly returned to work after having a baby, or they are simply a master of juggling childcare and school drop offs with important meetings. But they are nothing short of superheroes who can be likened to swans pedalling hard under the water to ensure nothing slips.”

Find out more about the challenges faced by mothers in tech and Modern’s work with Motherboard, a business charter, community, and event series for mothers working in the tech industry in this article: Overcoming the motherhood penalty.

3) Promoting inclusion through flexibility

To truly inspire inclusivity in the workplace, we must offer flexible working options. This approach ensures women can better balance their professional and personal lives, whether due to health, childcare, or simply to maximise their productivity, working to a schedule that suits them. Sian Eddy, Modern’s Head of Operations, offers her personal experience and insight into the benefits of flexible working.

When Sian joined Modern, she had just become a mother of twins amidst a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, Modern’s work environment enabled her to strike a balance between being a parent and a professional. Sian’s experience underscores the importance of fostering inclusion through flexible working options, not just for parents, but for everyone.

“In my current role as Head of Operations, I get to have a real impact on how inclusive we are as a business and I am passionate in ensuring that the benefits I enjoy from being able to work flexibly, are beneficial to everyone that works here. You don’t have to be a parent to want to work flexibly, and no one that is child-free should feel that they are at a disadvantage compared with working parents.”

4) Shaping an inclusive environment

International Women’s Day invites us to consider our individual contributions to advancing women’s inclusivity. Sapphire Smith, Marketing Executive, shares what that means to her.

“It’s a great opportunity to look at our own lives and think ‘how can I make an impact?’. It could be as simple as providing a coworker with extra support when they have a childcare emergency. Or, creating an environment for open and honest discussion around topics like women’s physical and mental health. 

Having a workplace that supports this has been incredible and despite being relatively new to the business it hasn’t taken me long to see this demonstrated. At our most recent employee engagement event, Modfest, members of staff presented their passions. Talks ranged from supporting women with gaining their physical strength whilst battling eating disorders to learning British Sign Language to be more inclusive of others.  Having an environment where it was safe for everyone to be vulnerable and appreciate one another has meant that these conversations aren’t shied away from, in fact they’re encouraged. ”

International Women’s Day not only celebrates the milestones women have achieved, but also underscores the continued struggles women face globally.

Let us use this day as a collective call to action to continue building a more inclusive world, honouring the remarkable women of our past, celebrating the astounding women of the present, and empowering the promising women of the future.

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