International Women’s Day 2024: 5 reasons for optimism

Posted on Thursday 07 March 2024

We asked members of our Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Group to share what they’re feeling optimistic about when it comes to gender equity

This International Women’s Day - with the theme all about inspiring inclusion - we wanted to serve up some reasons to be optimistic. Members of our IDE Group recently contributed to an article in The Drum sharing the resources that help them tackle gender inequity. Here, they discuss what drives them, where they’re seeing progress and - ultimately - why the future really is female*.

*Well, 50%.

Ridhi Radia, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Immediate Media Co:

“Firstly, workplaces, including our own company, have shown a visible commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion with a series of programmes promoting gender equality and creating an environment where women feel valued and empowered. Secondly, social media and other platforms have increased dialogue around gender issues. This openness promotes awareness and fosters a culture of accountability and change. Thirdly, the visible rise of female role models across various sectors breaks down stereotypes and challenges the status quo. Although we need to see more women of colour represented. Lastly, legal and policy reforms aimed at creating more equitable workplaces and societies give me hope. Although challenges remain, the momentum is undeniable.”

Sarah Coften, Head of Innovation & Digital Strategy, Smithfield:

“My optimism for gender equality stems from witnessing the tangible impact of diverse leadership styles within my own career. Embracing varied perspectives has not only enriched my creative and strategic thinking but also given me the vision to lead and foster a culture where everyone feels valued and empowered. The increasing visibility and success of women in digital media and marketing signal a positive shift towards more equitable representation. Moreover, the growing support for gender diversity initiatives and the younger generation's demand for inclusivity makes me hopeful that we are moving towards a more balanced and fair industry.”

Alison Filkin, Co-founder & Chief People Officer, Responsible Resourcing Agency:

“I am optimistic when I think about my two sons and the difference in their attitudes to the role of girls and women in everything from sport, politics and work. I also love how their attitude to all genders and supporting and including differences is a world away from what I experienced at the same age. It makes me hopeful for the future. In my work role in HR, I think we are also finally waking up to the fact that diversity in general is not just the right thing to do but a commercial imperative for businesses. About time!”

Lucie Cave, Chief Creative Officer Podcasts & Commercial Content,Bauer Media:

“Work by women is creative, innovative and inclusive and is slowly but surely shouting for itself and making its mark. Figureheads like Reese Witherspoon are a shining example of leading the standard and setting the industry bar, with her production company Hello Sunshine. I’m chuffed to say that my work leading podcasts for Bauer is already having an impact with the launch of two number-one podcasts hosted by women in six months: Gemma Atkinson’s The Overshare and Olivia Attwood’s So Wrong, It’s Right. This is all the more incredible because pretty much the whole team behind it are women – from commissioning to marketing, PR, production and the talent agency.”

Lucy Spain, Global Marketing & Operations, SMB Segment Lead, Microsoft:

“The rise of women supporting women through actions over words makes me optimistic about our quest for gender parity. Time is our most valuable asset and women are generously giving theirs to uplift one another through mentorship and career development programs. As a woman who has always worked in male-dominated industries (entertainment, tech, wine), I have been drawn to opportunities that build community among women because we are each other’s fiercest advocates. To succeed we must do what women do best, form community, lift each other up, and mentor/sponsor/coach one another.”

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