International Women’s Day: Why it is more important than ever for women to have a voice

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day by recognising the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women all over the world.

We continue the piece we started on the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK last month by asking more members of our Women in Luxury network why it is more important than ever for women to have a voice:

 

We are the equal partners of men. In a rapidly evolving global society, rich in diversity and ethnicity, cultural nuance, gender fluidity, technology and innovation – we bring a voice, perspective, approach and outlook that is of equal importance and value… the voice of the whole population, men & women, is always greater than the individual voice of men or women

– Kirsty Carey, Managing Director, Cole & Son

I have been fortunate to encounter many strong, independent and powerful women in both my personal and professional life, as well as work in businesses that provide supportive and flexible working environments. Thanks to the empowerment facilitated by previous generations, today women are able to have a successful career alongside raising a family. Employers now actively seek and recognise the empathetic skills of women; we must embrace these opportunities presented to us and continue to pave the way for future generations.

– Emma Rickett, Global Lifestyle Communications Manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Women have so much to offer and our skills are often very different to male skills.  Its vital to have both female and male voices and opinions heard equally –  the ‘ying’ and the ‘yang’ are both so important.  My husband  Ian and I founded Studiofibre together.  We compliment each other and it is the combination of our very different skills and viewpoints that allow us to create and design schemes that work so well for both male and female users of the spaces we create.

– Fiona Livingston, Co-Founder, Studiofibre

As a mother of daughters (and of a son), I don’t want my children, and indeed one day my grandchildren to ever to feel undervalued because of their gender and to be judged less able because they were born a girl. We should all be measured on the results of our endeavours and our abilities.  The huge sadness is that when you scratch the surface of humanity, we have travelled such a short distance in our journey for equality, fairness and liberty.

– Angela Day, Head of PR, Iconic Luxury Hotels

It’s difficult to believe that it has only been 100 years since some women in the UK were granted the right to vote, the result of a tireless battle by countless brave campaigners. Today we still have a struggle with gender equality despite the talent and contribution of so many women.  It has never been more important for women to participate in society, to share their stories, Raise their voices and to support one and other. As a working mother of three girls living the pressures of modern day society it is so important that I am heard together with all other women for the present, past and future and also for ourselves. It is also vital to look at where women can have influence on others. Truth be told, women’s voices need to be heard more than ever, because equality still seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

– Katie Goldblatt, Executive Director, Rapport

Because we haven’t yet achieved equality. Because women innately engender the qualities of empathy and  care.

– Sophie Harber, Marketing Director, David Harber

Because in this country we still have a democratic deficit: women make up more than half the population but fewer than a third of MPs. Because there is still workplace harassment and discrimination. Because there is still not enough being done to ensure gender diversity in the boardroom, and despite it being more than 40 years since the ban on sex discrimination in pay came into force, there are still gender pay gaps. I am watching with interest the new law that comes into force this April that compels firms employing more than 250 people to publish details of their gender pay gap. Perhaps by having to produce these figures we may start to see change happening. To close that gap we need to make strides in nurturing female talent, get more women into senior roles and make sure they stay there. Because of the whole self-declaration trans-trap, such as women who identify as men will NOT be offered routine NHS breast cancer screening… but men who identify as women WILL be offered smear tests. Because we need to rid the world of FGM and arranged marriages.

– Pauline Hudson-Evans, Co-Founder, Hudson Walker International

Because it’s thrilling that a fair society may finally be reality for our children.

– Caroline Jennings, Head of Marketing & Communication, Cadogan Estates

When we create homes for clients, I have been impressed by how collaborative the husband and wife partnership is.  The woman’s voice is very much at the forefront of the conversation about the home and the way the family will live and enjoy their home.  Women play a huge part in the success of a project whether it is the involvement of my female clients or my team across architecture, interior design and construction.  I have an equal number of male and female professionals working together in the company; they work collaboratively and productively to bring a home to fruition and it is that balanced approach that is most satisfactory and produces the very best outcomes.On a personal note, I work in close partnership with my husband, Gideon Stone who is the Managing Director of the firm; our decisions are a shared vision for the business, and we work to create and foster that culture throughout the company encouraging equal endeavour from both female and male colleagues. It is good too that we are now seeing greater recognition in society across all areas of life and the work-place where women are increasingly recognised and respected for their contribution.

– Janine Stone, Co-Founder, Janine Stone