Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and its members are celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) #IWD2019 taking place today, 8th March 2019.

This national, and international, awareness day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  

With this, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce caught up with some of its members, Board of Directors and Chamber Assembly members to discuss what this day means to them, in line with the theme of this year; #BalanceforBetter which focuses on gender equality.

 

Danielle Lister, Partner at Chattertons and Chamber Board of Director, said: “International Women’s Day celebrates the brave women who have fought hard throughout history to have their voices heard and to be counted equally against their male counter-parts, whether in terms of the right to vote, the right to work, the right to equal pay, the right to an education and the right to be treated equally in all aspects of daily life.

“This is such an important cause, and there is still much to be done to achieve true gender equality. As a mother of an 18-month-old girl, this principle is ever more important to me and to my daughter’s future.

Danielle continued: “I am grateful that as a result of other women’s hard work and determination that I have had the opportunities in life that until relatively recently many women did not get, and indeed, many women across the world are still fighting for. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she can dream big and be anything she wants to be. Her gender should never be a barrier to anything she wants to achieve.”

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long, it doesn’t end on International Women’s Day and collectively we can all play a part for driving forward a gender-balance world.

 

Chamber Assembly member and owner of Maureen O’Callaghan Training and Mentoring, Maureen O’Callaghan, said: “To me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect upon the great strides women have made over my lifetime and to acknowledge the contribution women, past and present, who challenge the attitudes and behaviours that limit women.”

International Women’s Day has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

 

Left to right: Dr Caroline Johnson MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham; Justine Greening MP, former Secretary of State for Education; Matt Cook, Managing Director of Butlers and Kate Cook, Company Secretary for Butlers.

Kate Cook of Butlers and Chamber Assembly member, said: “International Women’s Day is hugely important to me, especially as it highlights important issues such as gender quality.

“As an employer in the traditional “male” industry of electrical contracting, I would like to see more female electricians. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%.

“This starts with schools who need to promote construction trades as suitable careers for women. In 2015/16 women accounted for only 6.8% of Engineering apprenticeships.

“Also, females are under-represented in politics and as a District and County Councillor, I would like to see more women represented in councils and at the Houses of Parliament. Approximately, only a third of all MP’s and Councillors are women.”

Although, this is an awareness day, the campaign #BalanceforBetter runs all year long……the future is exciting, let’s build a gender-balanced world together.