International Women's Day - 100 Years of Celebration - What does it mean to you?
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International Women’s Day – What does it mean to you?

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
86 blog posts

There is a part of me has an issue with any kind of “Day”.  If you have to put emphasis on a particular day like Valentine’s Day for example I always think “well what happens for the other 364 days?” Do we just make these things secondary?

I have taken time to look at the history of International Women’s Day and what it means to me. I grew up in a family where my Dad was passionate about me and my sister having every opportunity for our future and using the opportunities we had been given from the past. This meant making sure we voted and making sure we understood the off-side rule!

“This meant making sure we voted and making sure we understood the off-side rule!”

2018 feels particularly significant for International Women’s Day. Not only is it is the centenary of the suffragettes, but #MeToo and #TimesUp have increased awareness of exclusion, inequality, harassment, and abuse in general, not just of women.  Many of us in England are not aware that in Ireland abortion is still illegal and that there is an imminent referendum to change this law.

International Women’s Day – over 100 years of celebration.

Did you know that International Women’s Day has actually been observed for more than 100 years? It started with the wonderful suffragettes in the early 1900s and the first official International Women’s Day was “celebrated” in 1911. (Although two years prior to this a National Women’s Day was held in New York to highlight the issues of garment workers) It is now marked around the world and has been celebrated on March 8th since 1913.   In 1975 it became so important that it was recognised by the United Nation which each year creates a theme.  This year it is;

“We can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive”

Amazing Moves have been made.

The original aim of International Women’s Day has however not been realised although in many countries we have made amazing strides.  In most countries through the world equality for women has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe, and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Across the world women’s education and health continue to fall behind men’s, and violence towards women is still worse than it is towards men.

Scarily, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2017 found gender parity is more than 200 years away globally, a pretty saddening statistic.  This means that gap is said in real terms that women work for free 51 days of the year.

Women’s Rights Continue to make news.

In 2017 and continuing in to 2018, women’s rights continue to dominate the headlines. Allegations against leading men in power of sexual misconduct, including Harvey Weinstein, spreading globally through different industries seem to hit the news almost weekly. There will be more to come. Abuse and harassment that had simmered below the surface for decades have been called out in high-profile sectors from film, fashion, music, politics to art.

Time magazine acknowledged the outcry against sexual and gender injustice making  it its “Person of the Year” for 2017, and made the Silence Breakers its collective winner.  The high-profile validation of change continued with actors wearing black at awards ceremonies, the BBC journalist Carrie Gracie resigning as China editor over unequal pay. Then there was Frances McDormand’s inspiring Oscars speech this week looking for an equality rider in contracts calling for equality for men and women.

The prominent names pushing the agenda are the headline takers, but the injustice goes much deeper than this to people who don’t have the profile to be heard. The headline grabbers are helping them but everyone no matter where they sit must be heard and not scared off. Real change can happen in everyday life and ordinary attitudes moved which is where International Women’s Day #PressforProgress comes into its own. However, it should not be just for one day!

#Pressforprogress encourages all women and men to take part, by choosing one area to concentrate, to press for progress in your area of influence: keep a gender-parity mind, challenge stereotypes and bias, be an ambassador for positive visibility of women, influence others’ beliefs and actions, celebrate women’s achievements. Just choose one and work on that.

Workplace is going to celebrate our amazing  members who manage their businesses and their home lives to unbelievable success. Members like Lysha Holmes, Lisa Welch and Gill Morris to name a few.  The overriding strength these women  have is  that in a world where you can be anything they choose to be kind.  Kind to the world  around them and kind to themselves.

For you, this could be a day of reflection, a day of fun or a day of action. Whatever it means to you, any gender, any race –  stand up –  be proud.

 

Up Next

The 6 types of people you'll meet in a coworking space

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
86 blog posts

When you walk away from that big glitzy corporate world and all the departments, services and co-workers that gave you daily personal and business support it can feel quite scary. However, fear not because you can find yourself a new network of people to call colleagues or coworkers in shared workspaces throughout the world (or, right here in Manchester).

You might not think so on first setting out on your own, but these people can be important to you and can stop you feeling lonely and isolated. Choosing a coworking space that has diversity of types and ages of people working in it is a good place to start.  This will give you the knowledge and experience you might need but not have access to as a freelancer, solo worker or entrepreneur.

The healthy coworker

This is the person who takes the stairs and stops us dipping in the biscuits at 11am. They arrive after a gym session, go for a walk at lunchtime and are hitting the yoga spot at the weekends. They always have a good healthy food tip and eat a delicious homemade lunch that puts your soggy sandwich to shame.

These are great people to have around as they are not judgemental but are always looking for buddies to go along with them to whatever class they are doing. They are great motivators and help us all to stop thinking like a couch potato and start thinking like a green goddess.

When we are all being told to eat less and move more these are the office buddies who will all make sure we have the energy to grow are business and be a success. There are lots of hidden health benefits of having this type of person in your coworking tribe.

The social media guru

Now, most of us understand how important social media can be to our new venture. However, above posting our weekend activities on Facebook or your lunch on Instagram many of us are not sure how to be noticed on social media. When you first start out alone, knowing there is someone who has already gone through all the pitfalls and can give you a beginner’s guide for dummies is a real advantage. A self-taught social media addict is always happy to share a skill or two but just following their social media feeds will give you a hint of what to do next. They normally also know where to direct you for some formal training. One of our members at Workplace has been great at promoting the new Google Garage on Manchester.

The integrator

This is the one who asks all the questions and gets to know everyone.  They are great introducers and know what everyone does. This makes them a real asset to the newbie as if you need any help about any subject they can normally point you in the right direction for the member who can give you help.

These people are the ones that are all inclusive and create event for others to join and get to know each other. They are not normally in it for self promotion but are naturally good hosts.

When you are first setting off or even established it can be hard to know where to go for help and support and looking no further than your co-workers can be a real cost saving exercise. It also means that often they will recommend your services when they know someone who can use your services.

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The networker

You say the word “networking events “to some people and it makes our blood run cold.  Others however thrive on it and this makes them well connected. This is the member who is always having coffee with someone or hitting an event.  If these people are good they always want to give help and so making sure they know what you do is a huge advantage. The next time they are with someone who says they need some legal advice, they are sure to recommend you if you make sure they know your credentials.

They know the networking rules – give first and receive second and we can all learn from this.

The fun one

This is the person who works hard but is also fun. Being happy is all about enjoying yourself and the occasional laugh. This is the person who always manages to lift everyone’s spirits and looks on the lighter side of life.

In Emily Madill’s recent blog shared by Huffington Post called “3 Ways to Enjoy More Play in Your Day” you could learn how to be the fun one in your shared work space!

The aspirational colleague

This sounds like it could be a negative, but it isn’t. This is the person who is working hard, motivated and dedicated to their cause. What this person does for you is drives you harder.  When you are going it alone, it is sometimes hard to motivate yourself and not get distracted.

This is the person you aspire to be.  It is like in sport they always say to play with someone who is better than you. This is the same work, alongside someone who you think is better than you that you can learn from and who makes you a better version of yourself. This is the person that will have a conversation that challenges you and tests you and is always happy to discuss your problems and challenges and help with the solutions.

So, overall being in a shared workspace does not have to be you going it alone without the traditional network of people from your corporate life. Even in a shared workspace these groups exist, and you just need to find the venue that works for you and incorporates the people that you need to help you get along.

Get to meet more of our members and what they do by heading over to our members spotlight section on our blog

We also invite you to join us for a free day to see if our people can be your people. Apply here.

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