International Women’s Day 2022
Working in business and in a senior position whilst being a woman is not only rare but also extraordinarily inspiring. For years now, women across the world have been campaigning for equal rights in all areas of work and life. The milestones continue to be achieved and this year’s theme of Break The Bias is another step in the right direction.
BWT is working hard to break the bias when it comes to gender equality in the workplace. We recently spoke to Julia Soames Pearson (Credit Manager), Louise Fletcher (Customer Service Manager), Karen Hester (HR Officer/Payroll) and Meera Malde (Finance Manager), about what International Women’s Day means to them and the importance of their role within BWT. When asked about what International Women’s Day means to them, our BWT women had the following responses:
“A day to celebrate what women have and can achieve across the world and it is a day to reflect on my own contribution to that achievement.” Louise
“It is a concept I disagree with, as we should be celebrated every day! It is important however to recognise how far the rights of women have progressed over the last 100 years and how far they still have to go in order for women to stand on a level playing field with men.” Julia
“For me, it is a day that celebrates the various professional and personal achievements of women. It is an important day because it highlights areas that need further work and where we can globally continue to make a difference.” Karen
One thing that all of our Managers agreed on was that Women’s Day is a day that celebrates women; their professional achievements, their personal achievements, their dedication to various causes and their unwavering faith in making tomorrow a better, balanced world.
Whilst speaking to the women of BWT, I discovered that they are inspired by working mums. For Julia, it was Michelle Obama, “I’m in awe of the strength that Obama exudes whilst trying to juggle life all without sacrificing herself.” Karen has a competitive streak and respects any woman that goes the extra mile, in this case literally, as she is a huge fan of Jessica Ennis. Louise made a great point about an issue that is relevant to women today, “wanting to be a great mum, whilst wanting to excel in your career takes strength, hard work and dedication.”
BWT is leading the market in European water technology and staff in the UK have a key role to play when it comes to maintaining the brand name. The women in BWT UK work in a variety of roles that ensure the company operates effectively on a daily basis. When asked what they enjoyed about their roles, one of the common themes was teamwork.
“I have a varied role in the company, not limited to Finance! This enables me to help/assist anyone when required, which I enjoy.” Meera
“People; be it customers, staff or colleagues. I am dealing with people all day long. I am an absolute people person.” Julia
“Being part of a hardworking team, whom are passionate about delivering excellent Customer Service to both Internal and External Customers.” Louise
Each day brings a new challenge and Karen points out that, “the variety of role, is what makes working at BWT so exciting.”
Working in a leadership position and maintaining that standard is commendable not least because you have to work incredibly hard to keep your head above the water whilst trying to do the best for your company and colleagues. Through our conversations about Women’s Day, discovering the journeys of each of our BWT Managers was inspiring.
They discussed the key leadership lessons they had learnt along the way. Karen commented that what helped her was “asking for advice and embracing changes as they happened.” Louise stated that you should, “always provide your team with positive feedback for the things they do well.” Whilst, Meera spoke about “accepting different personalities and being able to adapt and adjust to different work environments.” Julia rounded off the discussion by remembering the one key lesson that she had learnt over the years, “never build your success at the expense of others. Be a winner in your own right, based off your own merits; it is a long way to fall if the support beneath you disappears.”
As our conversations with the women of BWT slowly came to an end, we looked back at everything they had achieved and we asked them one final question. If they could, what advice would they give to their younger self, who is just starting out in the world?
“Push yourself out of your comfort zone – it will be painful but the more you do, the more benefits you will see.” Karen
“Work hard, stand your ground, take risks, be ambitious and do not let anything stop you.” Julia
“Never stop asking questions, it is the only way to learn!” Meera
“Believe in yourself. The challenges you will face in life will only make you stronger and shape you for the future.” Louise
Thank you to each of our Managers for taking time out to discuss a topic that is important to women across the world. Being a professional woman in the workplace is not easy and yet, as we have heard from these women, it is possible if you continue to encourage one another, take chances and believe in yourself. Today, on International Women’s Day let us all make a pledge to encourage, inspire and lift up the next generation of professional women for a better and sustainable world.