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[Video] Why we all need to choose to challenge beyond International Women’s Day.

Next week will mark International Women’s Day with 2021 being the 110th year that people across the globe have celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

Even back in 1911, when International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, it’s heartening to note that the movement resonated with so many:  more than one million women – and men – attended rallies for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained and to hold public office. 

We’ve come a long way since then and women’s equality has made significant gains, largely thanks to the willingness of inspirational women across the globe to make a stand, but there is still some way to go.  The world is still unequal.

This year’s theme for IWD is ‘Choose To Challenge’ (#ChooseToChallenge) a theme that Agent3 holds particularly close to its heart given ‘challenge’ also happens to be one of our core values.  We encourage our staff to challenge their colleagues, challenge their clients and, most importantly, challenge themselves to be the best version of themselves.

In order to be successful, we need to ensure that we, as a leadership team, create a working environment and culture that encourages our people to speak up and challenge – particularly where challenging bias is concerned.  We all have our own unconscious biases and next week, to coincide with International Women’s Day, I’m looking forward to working with our teams to help identify and challenge these biases in order to continue building a more inclusive workplace where everyone has equal opportunity to progress and where we attract diverse talent at all levels.

Having as diverse a team as possible underpins a growth mindset for all, and no person in Agent3 is too junior or senior to lend support to this just as, in the wider world, no person is too insignificant or too lofty to choose to challenge inequality in life.  We all have a role to play. 

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we are fortunate enough to have a selection of women we know share their thoughts and experiences with us to help inspire others to continue challenging. Make sure you visit our website and social channels on Monday, 8th March, when we share inspiring stories from the following people:

Alison Yeun, Enterprise ABM Manager, Autodesk 

Jade Bonacolta, Enterprise Marketing Manager, LinkedIn 

Vera Hartmuth, Marketing Director, Salesforce 

Penny Ladkin-Brand, Chairperson, Next15

Dominique Davies, Regional Director, UK, Right to Play

In listening to their stories, a theme of career self-doubt emerges from some, with a rallying cry to find the confidence to speak up when you know something is not right.  But it’s incumbent on all of us to work together to create the right environment to support this.  While all of these women have achieved success in the workplace, each is also a sister, daughter, mother or friend who has chosen to challenge. And when people come together to challenge, or to celebrate friend, family or colleague achievement, significant gains are made. 

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”   

So, on International Women’s Day, and into the future, will you #ChooseToChallenge?

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