International Women’s Day (IWD) is an important global event that is dedicated to creating a better, more inclusive working world for women, and it’s a great way to celebrate the work our female colleagues contribute day-in-day-out. On top of that, it provides us with an opportunity to recognise the important role our industry plays in bringing people together to celebrate occasions such as this—women and men across the globe organise and take part in events, from conferences and awards to corporate events and festivals — to raise awareness of this important annual initiative.
Here, members of our FreemanXP team share their thoughts around IWD and the changing role of women in the workplace and our industry.
How and why are initiatives like International Women's Day important?
Initiatives like this are an important reminder of the progress women have made in society over the years. They are also a great way to celebrate women’s achievements and to encourage others to pursue their dreams! — Victoria Cooper, Senior Client Services Manager
I think a woman’s role in the workplace is subconsciously undervalued. International Women’s Day allows people to realize the weight of their contributions to programs and teams. — Katie O'Brien, VP, Experience Design
Initiatives such as IWD are fundamental to the ambition of gender equality. This day is dedicated to creating time and space to explore the topic in its entirety so that we can better understand the very real issues we face and make plans for positive change. It’s especially important for us to come together, listen, learn and support one another at a time where concern for women’s rights across the globe is heightening. — Emily Shaw, Strategy Director
International Women's Day is a chance to commemorate all of the achievements and contributions that women have made to the world. It enables women to be heard, and that is a step in the right direction. #BeBoldForChange — Millie Porter, Marketing Intern
How has women's place in the workplace evolved in recent years/decades?
It is a great time to be a woman with creative ambitions in London right now. The stigma for working mums coming back to work although still present has started to be addressed and initiatives like IWD allow for an open conversation to take place with friends, peers and our wider families.
Yes, there is the option of flexible working hours but it is the transition to ‘lifestyle working’ that excites me. Scandinavian countries have been doing this for some time now and it is the core reason countries like Denmark and Sweden offer a very egalitarian way of life irrespective of one being a woman or a man. — Niru Desai, VP, Strategy
How are women leading the way in the brand experience sector?
IWD is an incredibly important initiative for the creative and marketing industry as a whole with a number of campaigns in place to encourage women into more senior roles. My experience of the brand experience/events industry is that while generally speaking there are fewer women on the board or senior management teams, this is changing. At FreemanXP in EMEA for example, there are four of us on the senior management team reporting into our MD, making up over 60% of the team.
What I notice is not that women are less represented in senior roles, it's that women are less visible. At conferences I attend or articles that I read, what is evident is the lack of women talking about our sector, suggesting that we are less comfortable in thought leadership type scenarios. — Sarah Mayo, Marketing Director
As a woman, what do you love about working at FreemanXP?
Workplaces focus on the deliverable rather than the location or hours that are needed to complete a piece of work. Certain roles like the one I have here at FreemanXP allow me to participate, add value and lead strategic projects while balancing my commitments to my family around my lifestyle schedules of school runs and office travel. But of course, not all agencies or roles can garner such empathetic treatment. Awareness of which roles are more likely to offer women to continue their ambition in the workplace but still not trade in the pleasures of a family life is what is needed today. — Niru Desai, VP, Strategy