International Women's Day 2020 - Women Inspired

Courtney Watt Industry News


​Yesterday marked 2020's, International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women’s power, their worth and gender equality.

On Friday, I was fortunate enough to be invited along to ‘Women Inspired’, an event focused on raising money for ‘Street Soccer’ and celebrating women breaking into male dominated sports and industries.

Street Soccer helps men and women facing hardship by involving them in playing football and thus giving them a sense of belonging and a place to flourish and work on their confidence and sense of self-worth. We heard from an inspiring woman who throughout her entire life had faced adversity and never expected that football, a traditionally male orientated sport, would be the foundation on which she would rebuild herself and see a future.

The key speaker at this event was Mollie Hughes, an adventurer and explorer and the youngest woman ever to climb both sides of Mount Everest and to ski solo to the South Pole. She spoke at length about the differences surrounding self-confidence and self-belief and the way that although she was never the loudest person in the room, she always believed she could achieve great things. She discussed the ways in which she had overcome the obstacle of walking into board rooms to ask for funding to complete what were momentous challenges despite being a fairly petite, softly spoken women and not your stereotypical ‘mountain man’ who looks ready and raring to take on any feat.

Mollie’s stories are the extreme version of women showing the strength and determination to enter what has predominantly been a male arena but can be applied to so many different sectors within business.

Women make up only 20% of the workforce in the manufacturing industry in the UK despite employing over 2.7 million people. So many people we speak to consider diversity to be the key to growing the manufacturing industry. By bringing together different ways of thinking, these businesses can grow and develop by seeing things differently to the way they may have in the past.

I suspect that there is still some form of prejudice around women working in manufacturing and engineering and that people may believe that these roles are not suitable for women, however, if there was one thing that I took away from Friday’s event it is that Mollie and all the other women we heard from were not just inspiring women, they were inspiring people. Both men and women were in attendance on Friday because it is not just important for women to hear from inspirational women but for men to hear from them too. If we are to truly find equality, we must stop looking at gender and start looking at what people have to offer, stop seeing careers as male or female focused and start encouraging young people to explore all industries.

At Alexander Steele, we are passionate about helping our clients to build the workforce that they desire and that will drive their businesses forward and we have a database of talented, ambitious individuals looking for their next challenge. If you are interested in our talent pool, get in touch with one of our consultants, we would love to hear from you.