Girl Power! Can women succeed in male dominated industries?

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Last weekend, I took my step daughter Sophie to see a Spice Girls tribute act; as cheesy as that sounds we had a brilliant time! But whilst we were singing and dancing to our favourite songs, I reflected on the legacy that they had created, I was surrounded by women who were empowered and could be whoever they wanted to be.

Thinking about it really took me back to the early days in my HR career, I worked with mainly all female teams until I was offered a position in the transport industry and with gender equality being front page news, I thought that it is time to address what this actually looks like in male dominated workplaces.

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International Women’s Day 2017

Inspirational, motivational, encouraging, supportive, collaborative, united.

Today is International Women’s Day 2017 and the above words are what I think of when it comes to this day every year and after seeing the bundles of support throughout my social media channels,  I couldn’t be prouder to be a woman today.

“There is no limit to what we, as women can accomplish”

Michelle Obama

James Brown famously sang “this is a man’s world”, and I think he wasn’t far from the truth; however, we are starting to see the positive changes that so many have fought tirelessly to see. Equal rights, equal pay and more importantly support to make these changes happen. There are exciting times ahead but there is still much more to be done. We are starting to see changes in employment law with Gender Pay Gap Reporting and opportunities with the Apprentice Levy which will allow so many people the opportunity to start their journey to their dream career regardless of age or gender.

The Suffragettes marched through the streets of London in 1915 to campaign for equal pay and for the right to vote, it’s important that as women we do not take what they campaigned for as a given right, they were determined to make a change and they did, this couldn’t be any more prominent in this year’s IWD motto Be Bold For Change.

Today we are fortunate to be surrounded by strong and positive female influences ranging from athletes and entrepreneurs right through to business leaders and there is something we can learn from every one of them. So today take time to listen more and understand the direction that this could take future generations, today is so much more than wearing a t-shirt and saying things only to be forgotten about tomorrow; it’s a movement, it’s about actions and making the world a better place, one step at a time.

I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without the women in my life and those who have helped shape my career, these fantastic ladies all know who they are and I tell them all the time! Consider those who have helped you get to where you are, can you pass your support on to others? It’s easy to forget when you’re working the 9-5 but these small changes and support can make a huge difference. Be part of that change.

I’m very lucky to be from a family that have empowered and inspired me to be the best that I can be, I have a strong mum, supportive sister, a hard working brother and a very proud father and I just wanted to take a moment to say how truly grateful I am to have them. I wouldn’t be where I am now without their love, understanding and support.

However you’re celebrating IWD, enjoy it and have a fantastic day.