Why is International Women's Day still important in 2019?
On Saturday (March 2), I was honoured to be a part of Bristol Women’s Voice celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) this year. Taking part in their ‘Women in Power’ panel alongside other influential women was a delight; I’m always pleased to support events that empower women. The panel generated some really interesting discussions, from the representation of women in power to the impact of social media. It was fantastic to hear the other women’s stories about their achievements and challenges they have faced. We need to also think about how we can continue to make organisations more equal, diverse and balanced places. From listening to our discussion, I hope that women went away from the day thinking that if we can overcome the challenges we have faced, then they can too.
I always feel privileged to meet with great women across our communities and talk about bringing greater equality to public life. Gender should not be something that makes a person feel they can’t achieve or hold a certain position in the workplace.
I really embrace this year’s theme, #BalanceIsBetter, which hopes to encourage gender balance in the workplace. At times, our fear of failure overshadows our ambition and holds us back in the workplace; we need to continue to push forward to reach our fullest potential and to achieve our dreams.
When thinking about the policing service specifically, representation of women in the police is improving with women making up 47% of the Constabulary and over 80% of my team in the PCC office are women. At the most senior level, two of the current members of the Chief Officer group in the Constabulary are women, holding positions of Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable. The police service continues to work hard to make improvements and there is always more that can be done to ensure all workforces are more gender representative.
As a woman, I seek equality and not priority in both society and the workplace. IWD is a time when both women and men from all around the world come together to drive change and showcase the struggles women still face. Let’s not forget, it’s also a time for celebration. Often, I think we are our own worst enemies, lacking confidence during times we should believe in ourselves. Many ordinary women do extraordinary things every day and IWD lets us take a moment to recognise the social, cultural and economic achievements women have accomplished so far; it’s a chance to say thank you to all the women who make a real difference.
Listen to Sue share her thoughts on why #BalanceForBetter is important:
Following her work with Integrate on forced marriage, we spoke to student Amaleehah on why she thinks everyone needs to speak about the issues and challenges that women face. Her university dissertation is focusing on the importance of education school children about forced marriage and she hopes her work can inform government policy in the future.
Posted on Friday 8th March 2019