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International Women's Day 2020

International Womens Day

An annual occurrence since 1911, International Women’s Day is a day to reflect, celebrate and unite and belongs to all groups collectively around the world. 

IWD has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now more popular than ever. Not only does it celebrate women globally, it also highlights the trials and tribulations women have had to endure over the years with regards to careers and gender equality. 

Once upon a time, it was perfectly normal for women to stay at home and look after their family, but over time, that responsibility has shifted, and more and more women aren’t treating motherhood as the last chapter of their lives. Juggling family life and a career is no easy feat but is becoming increasingly common and something that should be celebrated. 

In addition to that, it’s important to be aware of how we influence the younger generation as our current actions can have a significant impact on their future. We always talk about empowering women, but why not start encouraging young girls and showing them that motherhood isn’t their only option when they’re older? As well as that, it’s important to make young boys aware of the importance of gender equality and its history, all while teaching them how to treat women not only in the workplace, but in all aspects of their lives. 

More and more women are becoming increasingly career orientated and its important to recognise this as years ago, it was almost unheard of for a woman to go out to work rather than supporting her family from home. The attitude towards women’s equality and freedom has changed considerably over the years, but it doesn’t stop there. 

More and more women are applying for (and being successful in) senior roles, whereas these particular roles were dominated by men in the past. It’s fantastic to see women taking these opportunities, and it shows that they are capable of working under pressure and at a high level. Take Sodexo for example, named as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women last year, for the sixth year running. The company has made gender equality its top priority, with a commitment to ensure all employees work in balanced teams and women are more represented in senior roles. As part of last year’s International Women’s Day, an FM Hub was created, designed to boost gender diversity in facilities management positions within Sodexo. Typically, women would have been under-represented in these types of roles in the past, but its encouraging to see companies like Sodexo setting the bar with regards to opportunities for women in the future. 

Steph Kendall, Business Unit Leader at CBRE said of the gender gap in the industry: “The FM industry is still male-dominated, but this is changing, more rapidly in recent years. I’m proud that my own management team is close to 50:50 males to females, which happened organically. As a result, more aspiring female leaders are drawn to the team.” 

So there we have it, times are most definitely changing for the better. Women are more empowered than ever, but in some ways, still have a long way to go. In terms of careers, an increasing number of women are realising they can aim for the best, rather than accepting anything less. This is a huge change in attitude – a fantastic achievement for women all around the world, and one movement that can only improve as time goes on.