INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2019


 
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MELANIE CAMPBELL

Head of Marketing



Today is International Women’s Day – a day of celebration, reflection and pushing for a better future. We looked into this year’s slogan, thought about gender equality at Cooper Parry and asked some of our wonder women a few questions.

This year’s slogan is #BalanceForBetter. But what does that mean to us?

It’s another reminder that we don’t live in a balanced world. Gender-biased attitudes are still rife. The World Economic Forum recently announced the current global gender pay gap will take 202 years to close, and women are grossly underrepresented in senior positions in many workplaces.

There are more FTSE 100 CEOs called David than there are women. And outside of the FTSE 100, women barely account for one in 20 of the UK’s CEOs.

Clearly, a lot more balancing needs to be done. This responsibility doesn’t fall on the shoulders of an individual, or an organisation. It’s about everyone coming together and doing their bit to champion gender equality and pave the way for a time when no woman’s potential is left untapped.

Our CP Wonder Women

As we look around at all of the inspirational women we’re surrounded by here at Cooper Parry, we know we’ve got a lot to celebrate. We’ve got female role models throughout the business. And exceptional women in every department. But that doesn’t mean we should stop doing everything we can in the move towards equality.

It’s not about men vs. women – gender equality has a lot of benefits for the whole business. Higher job satisfaction, keeping hold of our best talent and attracting the perfect fits are key examples. In addition, a 2018 report by Catalyst also found that gender-diverse workplaces showed improved financial performance, higher levels of innovation, more effective decision-making and greater productivity.

In other words: gender equality is flippin’ fantastic. For everyone. We caught up with some of our wonder women to ask them a few questions. Here's what they said:

Abi Bown, Chief Digital Officer

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Which female inspires you the most and why?

I can’t choose just one! On a daily basis my 5-year-old daughter, Gabriella inspires me – she sees no limit to what she can do. In the contemporary world, I’m a huge fan of Deborah Frances-White and her podcast about the hypocrisies of feminism.

Historically, Maya Angelou, the author and civil rights activist. And while there are too few female role models in business, especially in Tech, the one female boss I’ve had was awesome: Jeni Mundy, now the MD of Visa UK.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Lots of things, from a lawyer to cabin crew. I knew I had to ensure I was financially independent, so I had choices.

What's been your proudest career moment?

I’m proud of lots of things, mainly not compromising my career while being a mum. Leaving the Corporate world when it went against my values and joining a business (#CP) where my values are aligned was a highlight.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Enjoy the ride. Be true to yourself and trust in what you believe. It’s about being, not having or doing.

Gemma Edwards, Director

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Which female inspires you the most and why?

Mother Goose! (aka my Mum). She’s the STRONGEST woman I know. Being a single parent, bringing two small children up and still managing to have an extremely successful career (and life) has inspired me to always strive to be the best version of myself.  She brought me up to love life and the people around me.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Even from an early age I’ve always been a determined and resilient young woman. However, if I’m being honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. The one and only thing I did know was, whatever career path I did choose, I was going to give it my all and I therefore adopted the mantra: ‘Sky’s the limit!’

What’s been your proudest career moment?

Hands down it has to be winning the Cooper Parry ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’… WOW, what a way to end 2018. It’s got to be the most overwhelming, proudest and most humbling moment in my life.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Lead by example. Empower those around you. And keep learning – sky’s the limit

Jo Giles, Head of Facilities

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Which female inspires you the most and why?

Karren Brady, ‘The First Lady of Football’. She made a conscious decision not to go onto university as she wanted to get out into the world and make her mark. And what a mark she made, becoming the youngest Managing Director of a UK PLC in the top flight

of English football – a market dominated by males. She’s now known as Baroness Brady CBE.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A professional dancer.

What’s been your proudest career moment?

Being promoted to Senior Manager at Cooper Parry, who would have thought!?

What advice would you give to your younger self?

You don’t have to be perfect. And don’t be afraid to take risks.

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