Every year, people across the world come together to mark International Women’s Day on the 8th March. This day is an opportunity to celebrate and promote the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, but it also marks a call to action for gender parity.
According to the World Economic Forum, sadly many of us will not see gender parity within our lifetimes and it may not be achieved for over a century. There is urgent work to be done and we all have a part to play.
This year, we spoke to some of our staff and students about what International Women’s Day means to them.
“I am extremely proud to be Principal of a College that champions equality and diversity. At the College. Women make up 50% of our Senior Leadership team and over 60% of our work force identify as female.
“International Women’s Day is a chance to reflect on the work of those women who came before us, celebrate the achievements of women today and promote equal opportunities for future generations.” Diane, Principal of Bournemouth & Poole College
“As Head of Equality and Diversity at the College, and myself as a woman, International Women’s Day allows us to reflect and celebrate all the strong women who have fought to get us the equality we have today. It also gives us the opportunity to promote further improvements in equality for all backgrounds and heritage, and inspires us individually to reach our full potential.” Alice, Head of Equality and Diversity
“International Women's Day is important to me because I believe nobody should be discriminated against for their gender. Equality and diversity have always been important to me and they continue to inspire and guide my work as BPCSU President. Thank you to all the women around the world that shape our society and lives for the better!” Zach, Bournemouth & Poole College Students' Union President
“International Women’s Day teaches younger generations that the world is capable of change and equality. We see female role models everywhere and they should be celebrated for who they are and their accomplishments. I #ChooseToChallenge stereotypes and biases that prevent women from positive and professional visibility in the workplace.” Lucy, Apprenticeships Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator
“I believe that International Women’s Day is important as it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all women from all walks of life across the globe. It’s an opportunity to educate about the contributions to society that people may not know that a woman had involvement in, as well as providing a platform to give a united voice to speak up against the gender inequality that some women still face to this day.
“In my industry, I believe that it is important that International Women’s Day is celebrated as, despite the progress being made, the tech industry still has a heavy male stereotype. Celebrating all of the amazing women in STEM, not just today but every day, will always help to show these incredible women as role models and inspire the next generation of women in STEM.” Georga, Software Developer Apprentice
“International Women’s Day is so important for us to share and celebrate women and the role they play in our college and college community. We must continue to challenge inequality for women across the world and ensure that we celebrate proudly.” Lloyd, Head of Student Engagement
“International Women’s Day is important to me not only because I’m a woman but because I’m a humanitarian and any progress towards equality is positive for holistic equality. This day is a gentle reminder to reflect on bettering our society, whether it’s being mindful of our own comments or judgements or even supporting and encouraging socially responsible local organisations that respect equal opportunities.
“Above all, it’s an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments, including recognising women’s rights and rights of all genders. I don’t see it as just a day for women but a day for everyone to positively view and hopefully enjoy equality.” Rimshah, Student Union Vice President
“Great teams stand or fall by their diversity. On International Women’s Day I am proud of the diversity at The College, and the massive part women play in my team. Skills and abilities should never be seen as gender specific, and I am particularly proud of the work we do to champion apprenticeships for females in non-traditional industries.” Matt, Commercial Director
For more information about International Women's Day and how you can get involved, please visit internationalwomensday.com