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International Women’s Day 2022

“Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”

~ 2022 theme for International Women’s Day

The 2022 theme for International Women’s Day aligns with the issues of climate change and sustainability which continue to impact all areas of our development, environmental, social and economic. This day will highlight women and girls from around the world who are leading the fight against climate change, working towards a brighter and equal future for everyone.

 

Did you know?

  • Women are increasingly acknowledged as more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than men, with 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty being women.
  • In urban areas, 40% of the poorest households are headed by women.
  • Climate change may lead to an increase in gender-based violence, child marriages and a decline in sexual and reproductive health

 

We spoke to 5 members of the JDP team, both men and women at different levels within the business, at different stages of their career, to ask them some questions pertinent to International Women’s Day 2022.

 

Jenny Powell – Managing Director

 

  1. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If yes, how did you overcome these?

Working within an engineering consultancy company in my early career, I was often put down by male stakeholders who didn’t believe I would be able to achieve specified outcomes because I was operating in the ‘old boys club’. Confidence in my own ability gave me the strength to persevere in a situation that simply shouldn’t have existed. 

  1. Is there a woman who inspires you, professionally or personally?

As an avid lover of all things netball, England Netball captain Serena Guthrie is someone that stands out as an inspiration to me. Her consistent competitiveness is something that also resides within me, so I guess you could say I feel like we have something in common, and unfortunately it’s not the level of skill on the court! Her journey to the top has been tough and she has had to overcome obstacles and setbacks, much like I have in my own career. She has always prevailed, and her success is extraordinary, she found her own unique style to excel in her game and this is exactly what I have done to excel within the procurement world. 

  1. Why do you think that diversity in the workplace is so important?

Individuals all bring unique perspective to situations, so diversity is essential with everyone bringing different experiences to combine and create great change. 

  1. On IWD, what message would you like to send out to young women who are starting on their own career path?

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t achieve, aim high and maintain focus, and you can achieve anything.

 

Sukhraj Gill – Director of Service Delivery

 

  1. Which woman has most inspired you professionally?

My Mother has been a monumental influence in my life and has greatly inspired me in my professional life.

To this day she continues to keep me driven to maintain focus on what I want to achieve and to not be afraid of taking risks. By breaking down those barriers of fear of failure from a young age, her wise advice and influence upon my professional life has supported my growth as a human being.

  1. Which woman has most inspired you personally?

My Wife recently gave birth to my precious Son- which certainly felt like one of those truly special, life-changing moments. I have found it very inspiring and very eye-opening to see how she made that immediate biological and physical transition from the structured environment of industry to the intuitive, unpredictable reality of being a great Mother to our child! I certainly now have an enhanced appreciation of the challenges and pressures that women in business face in being both great businesswomen and great Mums!

  1. Why do you think that diversity in the workplace is so important?

Diversity drives the creativity of approaching and doing things differently. Creativity inevitably fuels positive, value-driven change, which is what every team strives for. So, I have no doubt that diversity is the key enabler in driving continuous improvement.

The world has changed- so organisations must harness and embrace diversity to not be left behind, commercially, and institutionally. An example of what women consider important in the workplace today, is captured in a survey carried out by PWC, whereby 85% of millennial females stated that they heavily considered prospective employers’ policies on diversity, equality and inclusion before accepting a job.

The female millennial: A new era of talent – PwC Channel Islands

 

Rafael Chagas – Procurement Analyst

 

  1. Which woman has most inspired you, professionally or personally?

As a lover of running, it’s hard to imagine that in the recent past some events were only allowed for men. This reminds me of Kathrine Switzer who in 1967 was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, one of the most famous marathons in the world. But life was not easy for her as she had to register as “male” and run in disguise. Even so, when she was noticed, she suffered physical aggression from the organisers who wanted to avoid – with no success – her from finishing the race. Kathrine is an inspiration to me because:

  • She understood that, to change the rules, she would first have to accept to play the game.
  • She knew she wouldn’t be heard if she only complained about the unfair rules, so she went to action.
  • She wasn’t knocked down by those who didn’t want her in the race, as she knew her fight – and mission – represented something much bigger than the 26.2 miles of a marathon.

Kathrine was an inspiration by example and strength. She is still inspiring women today, and men too!

  1. Why do you think that diversity in the workplace is so important?

Despite being a person who works predominantly with numbers, I have had several experiences where the best decisions were not possible by purely analysing the data, but by understanding perceptions and experiences.

An environment rich in diversity provides a plethora of experience, unique to each individual. The richness of diversity is in creating the sum of our individual stories, to create a new story for everyone.

 

Jess Powell – Marketing Executive

 

  1. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If yes, how did you overcome these?

I am fortunate enough to have not experienced any barriers in my career due to being a woman and I would probably put this down to being at the very early stages of my career, having only graduated from University just under a year ago. However, with the focus that is now being bought to equality in the workplace, I would like to think that any potential challenges would be greatly reduced in the future.

  1. Is there a woman who inspires you, professionally or personally?

Both professionally and personally, my Mum inspires me. I have never met someone so strong and hard-working, always putting others first. She will take on any challenge she is faced with, always excelling past expectations in the workplace and putting herself out of her comfort zone and pushing her boundaries in both her work life and personal life. Her energy is next level and always pushes me to be the best version of myself that I can be, I can only hope that I can be such a role model for someone else in the future. 

  1. Why do you think that diversity in the workplace is so important?

Diversity in the workplace is and will continue to be critical. I believe it allows for increased innovation, bringing together individuals with different characteristics, skills and experiences to help develop a more well-rounded and knowledgeable team. From a stakeholder perspective, representing all genders and societies is a selling point, not only to prospective clients but also to prospective employees. 

  1. On IWD, what message would you like to send out to young women who are starting on their own career path?

As a young woman myself, only just starting out on my career path, I guess it is difficult to compose such a message. However here is a quote I find particularly inspiring:

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”

~ Michelle Obama

 

United Nations

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