Today is International Women’s Day – and given the continuing increase in awareness over the last few years we’re guessing you’ve heard something about their #balanceforbetter campaign? If not, let us tell you about some of the incredible changes we’ve read about in the last week alone. And hear from our team – male and female – about what they’ll be celebrating on this very important day.
It’s taking some time, but change is coming
The Académie Française – official guardians of the French language – recently approved a list of feminist job titles, despite previously expressing objections. We’re not talking about gender-neutral job titles, but equal titles for women in the same roles as their male colleagues. You can read more about that here and join the discussion about whether it’s a step back or not. Here, we think it’s incredible.
And did you hear that Virgin Atlantic announced it was no longer mandatory for female flight attendants to wear make-up? And more so, they’ve finally allowed staff to choose to wear trousers instead of a skirt? For quite a traditional industry, these are significant changes that we wholeheartedly support.
#balanceforbetter in our industry
We asked the rest of the team at Born + Raised to tell us what they’ll be celebrating on IWD. For me, as a proud feminist, today I will be celebrating all the women who came before me that have given me the right to vote, a right to an education and other freedoms that the women in the past could only dream of. I will however, be championing the change that is still required in our society to ensure that in the future, girls and women will be able to look back and thank our generation for the strides we made in achieving gender equality.
Let’s hear some more from the team…
On IWD I’ll be celebrating that I can turn up at Born + Raised without makeup on and know that nobody will ask me if I’m tired or ill. However, the real celebrating can come when we close the gender pay gap and pink tax becomes a thing of the past.
Chloe, Head of Digital
I’ll be pushing Andy and Bew, partners at Born + Raised, to celebrate the fact that they really support equality in the workplace. In our industry, there are so few women in senior roles, but here, we buck that trend and are supported as equals. I’ll also be celebrating my daughter – she’s 4 years old and shaping up to be an intelligent, determined and confident individual. As a full-time working Mum, I’ll be sure to make sure she has the freedom and opportunity I did both in life and in her career – when the time comes, of course.
Steve, Head of Copy
I’ll be celebrating all the incredible women in my life. My two daughters who inspire me with their kickass determination to chart their own course in the world; my Mum who despite losing a husband and a daughter remains the strongest person I know; and also my amazing partner who manages to be a brilliant mother, awesome at her job and a total powerhouse of positivity and quick-fire wit. In particular, I’ll be celebrating the fact that I work in a sector that is more gender-balanced than many others. Though obviously we still have a way to go. I’ll also be celebrating the fact that in working at Born + Raised I am surrounded and supported by some genuinely amazing and inspiring women (most of whom are far better at their jobs than I am). I’ll definitely be striking the balance pose to celebrate them all!
For IWD I’ll be celebrating a friend of mine who’s a single mum: her strength and bravery absolutely floors me every day.
Louise, Senior Designer
On IWD I will be celebrating with two of my best buds from university, they’re coming to Sheffield for the weekend from Manchester and London, so we’re going to reminisce and dance the night away at Church – Temple of Fun; good times!
Sarah, Finance and Operations Assistant
On IWD I will be celebrating those brave women who came before me and who put their reputations and lives at risk to fight for the rights and freedoms I often take for granted today. Taken for granted freedoms such as opening a bank account, acquiring a mortgage and being able to take part in democracy. It’s also a time to reflect on what we can do to help other women across the globe who are currently fighting against oppression and subjugation.
Andrew, Business Development Manager
This IWD, I’ll make sure I take time to celebrate the women in my life. Not for the big, inspirational things, but for the small everyday things they do that makes them special. My wife, for having the courage to set up and build a business alongside a full-time job; my cousin who is a Sister at Barnsley Hospital, fighting every day against a system that is run by white, middle-aged men who consistently underfund the NHS; my Mum, mother-in-law and my wife’s Nan, who all strive to make our lives better to give us something they couldn’t have even dreamed of years ago; an opportunity to come from a working-class background and throw yourself at the world. I applaud everyone, not just women, who push themselves to achieve something that seems almost impossible. You only have to look at the recent Nike campaign to see what’s achievable when you put your mind to it. Applause doesn’t quite do it justice.
I will be celebrating my 10-year anniversary with my partner. 10 years of team work and gender balance. We each work to our strengths rather than to stereotypical gender roles and our son will grow up knowing that both his parents were equally responsible for child care and managing the household and have successful careers. However, the pressure and guilt I feel as a working mother, and the inflexibility my partner has experienced in work in the past proves there is still a long way to go to change the ingrained gender expectations of parenting.
I’ll be celebrating all the wonderfully strong women who’ve helped me become the person I am. My Mum who taught me it’s okay to put yourself first. My wife who taught me to plunge headfirst into any dream. Lisa Simpson who taught me about feminism when she took on Malibu Stacey. Camp Cope who taught me through killer songs. The list is extensive. I’m also thankful to work in such a welcoming and inclusive environment with a bunch of open-minded and compassionate people. The women who I work with challenge me and teach me. Push and nurture me. Question and inspire me. Every single day. I hope today encourages us all to celebrate brilliant women, and acts as a springboard for conversations about equality – for women and for everyone.
This IWD I’ll be celebrating the progress that has been made in the last year towards women feeling able to come forward after being victims of sexual misconduct. Within the advertising and design industry there has also been awareness raised with Creative Review’s Me Too survey.
Ryan, Senior Account Manager
Today I look to women the world over fighting to be seen. I want to acknowledge their right to be recognised as female – irrespective of a gender assigned at birth. To strike true gender balance we need visibility for all women to be demonstrable throughout society. My message to these women this IWD is simple. I see you. I respect you. I celebrate you.
Yvette, Head of Design
The opportunity and responsibility I have with my two young boys to question and challenge the playground stereotypes, and in turn help them to question and challenge them too. We are not born with gender bias, but what we simply accept as the norm in our formative years will undoubtedly frame our thinking in the future. Gender equality is everyone’s responsibility.
So, how will you be celebrating IWD this year? Whatever you do, we hope this written piece continues to support awareness of the campaign and the positive changes that we feel are ahead in our industry, and beyond.