Posted: by Jo Tuesday, 8 February 2022 @ 11:28
I have talked before about being very
fortunate in my education and working life, with regards to gender equality.
Surrounded by strong female role models, I have never doubted that women can
achieve whatever they want - and certainly, just as much as men.
'I was always surrounded by strong women'
From an all-girls’ school, with a powerful group
of female teachers and a terrifying headmistress; to a career in book retail
and then marketing, where many of the top jobs were held by women - I was
always surrounded by strong women.
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But, setting up my jewellery business,
Fabulous, in 2005, 10 years before I launched Mantra - I was appalled by how
few women held top jobs in the jewellery industry.
Every major brand in the UK was run by a team
of men. Leading European brands - designing and creating jewellery for women -
were led by men. Most salespeople calling on our stores with new collections
were men. Not much of this changed, over the next fifteen years. And yet, the
vast majority of our
customers, were women.
This simply does not make good sense from a
brand, marketing, communication or customer experience point of view, let alone
from a parity and equality point of view!
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But the world has much bigger issues than
gender parity at work. Violence against women remains the single biggest blight
on our society. From Sarah Everard to Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, to
Sabina Nessa, to Ashling Murphy – to name only the high profile cases that made
the news recently – there is a huge problem with male violence against women.
Does it start with a culture of disrespect
for women? And are gender parity and pay equality part of this? Yes, they
International Women's Day (March 8) is a
global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political
achievements of women. But is also marks a call to action for accelerating
So let’s use IWD to celebrate the
achievements of all the women we know or admire; but let’s also use it as a
catalyst and rallying point for change.
Individually, we're all
responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can break
the bias in our communities, our workplaces, our schools.
Together, we can
all break the bias - on International Women's Day (IWD) and
It starts with our own
thoughts and actions; and those of our friends, family and colleagues. Collectively,
we can all #BreakTheBias.