March 8th, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024

This years theme for International Women’s Day is #InspireInclusion and here at Assetz Capital we’re all for celebrating women’s achievements and creating a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Some of our colleagues share their opinions on why International Women’s day is important to them and what it’s like to work in a male dominated industry.

Zoe Langer, Change Manager

Following the birth of my daughter, I sought out Mother and Baby Groups in my local area. All my friends with kids were already at the school run stage, which was way past my “feed, sleep, nappy change, repeat” stage. I was excited to meet other new mums and give my little one the opportunity to play with other babies at the Mother & Baby group… until I quickly realised the average age of the other mums was a good ten years younger than my own, and they were all sat in their own established cliques. I tried to enjoy myself and join in for the sake of my little one, but my first few sessions were uncomfortable, awkward and a little lonely, all because I didn’t feel included.

The other mums were blissfully unaware I was feeling this way, they were not intentionally trying to exclude me, but it took a couple of sessions before I built up the confidence to break through my imaginary boundaries. I eventually got chatting to another mum who was then joined by another and then another, and finally I felt part of the group. 

This years International Women’s Day theme is Inspire Inclusion, and this experience is my example of how important it is to inspire Inclusion, in yourself and on behalf of others!  We shouldn’t let our own perceptions stop us from being included, and equally we should do what we can to make those around us feel included, regardless of age, lifestyle, or gender.

Irene Thomas, Operations Director

Personally, I strongly believe leadership is not just about gender. I believe we can all become successful leaders as long as we have the passion and desire to grow.

As a female in a male dominated industry, you sometimes have to adapt your communication skills and body language to help with the matter you are dealing with. I am fortunate enough to have worked alongside some great male leaders who have always supported inclusivity in the workplace so it’s never been a real issue, but not everyone is in the same situation so adapting is key. 

* It’s important to always stand strong when making a statement and use your voice and actions to back it up.

* Be you, listen and learn, and most importantly get a good mentor to support you and take on the feedback to grow.

* Drive the purpose with enthusiasm, trust, transparency, motivation and ask for support when they need it.

We also asked a couple of our male colleagues what International Womens day means to them.

Andrew Charnley, Managing Director

“Supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality is an important focus area for me personally. I was lucky enough to have a strong and inspiring mother and other female family members and have worked with some of the very best and inspiring talent throughout my career, many of whom have been women. In an industry that is still very much “male dominated”, the continued focus on championing gender equality and a wider diversity drive, remains a key priority.

There has been demonstratable progress across society, especially over the last 10 years, albeit, from speaking with my female colleagues across the business and wider industry, it is clear there remains much to do, and that requires all of us to get on board and play our part. 

For me, gender equality will be achieved when all barriers to females are removed. It is important for one very simple reason. If we ensure true equality and inclusion across our wider society, we create a more balanced place to live and work. In addition, we ensure we truly empower everyone to achieve their potential.

I know how important mentorship and sponsorship have played in my career and it is vital that every female and marginalised genders, can also benefit irrespective of at what point they are at on the career/life journey. Strong role models are vitally important and help to show younger female and marginalised genders what they can achieve.”

Alan Stevens, Head of Business Improvement

Why do you support women’s empowerment and gender equality at Assetz?

I believe supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workplace supports creating a diverse and inclusive workforce where everyone can contribute to the success of a business regardless of gender. 

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

Throughout my career I have seen more women achieve success in senior roles (my line managers in the last 3 companies I have worked for have all been women who have been innovative and inspirational leaders). I’ve also seen more women in roles that were previously typically male dominated (like tech / software development) which is great to see.

What does gender equality mean to you, and why is it important?

To me, gender equality means equal opportunities / pay and conditions for all. Gender should never be a factor in deciding if someone is suitable for a particular role. It should always be based on the persons skills, knowledge and experience alone. It is important because all workplaces should be a reflection of the modern society that we live in where people of all genders play an equal part.

What role do you think mentorship and sponsorship play in creating more inclusive career opportunities for women and marginalized genders?

I think this plays an important role, particularly for increasing career opportunities for women and marginalized genders in careers / roles that have previously been male dominated. 

It helps break down barriers and encourage people to consider other roles / career paths where they have suitable skills