International Women’s Day 2021 and why we choose to challenge

26th Feb

by Ruby Edwards

International Women’s Day 2021 continues its mission to celebrate women’s achievements by increasing visibility, while calling out inequality.

That’s why, this year, International Women’s Day celebrate under the headline of: Choose to Challenge and women from around Worcestershire embrace this proactive approach to equality.

“Challenge what doesn’t feel right” says Detective Inspector Liz Warner from West Mercia Police and Chair of the women’s network Women of West Mercia (WOW).  

Liz confirms: “West Mercia Police’s women’s network are using the theme of International Women’s Day to encourage colleagues to challenge three aspects – the organisation, themselves and wider society… by increasing female representation in all ranks and posts, and supporting female colleagues throughout their career, West Mercia can ultimately better support the public they serve by being a fairer representation of the community, understand the issues disproportionately facing women such as sexual assault and domestic abuse, and get involved in challenging perceptions of the public on their role, as can be seen in West Mercia’s 2019 education and social media project Uncover Your Potential.

This sentiment is shared by Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Sharon says: “I’m pleased and proud to be asked to write a short piece for International Women’s Day and #ChooseToChallenge. Diversity in any group brings many rewards. A combination of different styles, ideas and approaches can reap greater rewards and results. Using this collective energy can also drive change and this in turn can be a major contributor to new ideas, increased innovation and improved motivation for all those involved.”

Sharon heads up the 8th largest Chamber in the UK, having joined as director of finance and corporate services in 2007, which supports over 4000 businesses a year across the two counties. The Chamber of Commerce itself is a great example of the vast strides women have made to change as a business society over the years. In 1832, only business men would have started the local Chamber, working together for the benefit of their businesses collectively. But now, they are a vibrant organisation, with many of their leadership team being female and their staff made up of many age and ethnic groups.

Sharon continues: “We will continue to support all types of equality and encourage businesses and individuals to #ChooseToChallenge.”

Charlotte Perry is a partner at QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright and president of the Worcestershire Law Society. Charlotte says it’s important to:

“Uplift one another. Other’s success is not your failure. We all have our own journeys – focus and believe in you!”

Charlotte continues: “With 15 out of 24 Partners at QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright being women, we are able to talk openly with young people, about how women can not only enter the profession now, but can reach partnership level. I use my platform as president of Worcestershire Law Society to interact with members, school, college and university students to share my personal journey and to offer advice and support to those embarking on their journey into law.

Personally, I am surrounded by the most amazing women in all manner of professions and at different stages of their journeys; motherhood, students,  care workers, dentistry, PR, physical trainers, big and small business owners, solicitors, barristers, employment, charity workers, marketing and those enjoying a well-deserved retirement!  

There is no limit to what we can all achieve when we believe in ourselves and be supportive and kind to those around us along the way!”

To read the full article go to:

BusinessWorks West Midlands Issue 08

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