International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.  At Impact, we strive for a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

We are proud of our fabulous ladies and are taking the opportunity to share a Q&A with a few of them.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  

Carly:   It’s a great recognition of women across the world and to celebrate women in general!

Ellen:    To me, it means celebrating the amazing women in my life who have helped shape the person I am today. My beautiful mum and sister are all the good things in the world – I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the strongest, smartest and funniest women I know every day in the office.

Sarah:   IWD to me means celebrating the woman around you – supporting them and empowering them to continue to be the boss’ that we all are!

Erica:    It is an opportunity to acknowledge the strength and perseverance of our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers in succeeding to get us to this point of equality in the workplace that we may take for granted. Although as a society we are very far from perfect, conversations with key women in my life have shown me the struggles they faced, which we may not even consider now.

As a career woman yourself, do you feel you have had to fight harder to get where you are today?

Carly:    Absolutely! Working with a lot of CEOs/Hiring Managers that are male, I have often felt like I have to work twice as hard to gain respect and impress.

Ellen:    As I am still early (ish) in my career, I luckily started my career at Impact – where I genuinely feel all opportunities are equal when it comes to gender equality. Not many people can say this, so I feel very lucky!

Sarah:   Not fight harder… but fight differently for sure. I come from an acting background, so my gender has always been a big part of my career, that’s just what happens when your own body is your business – I have met so many people who have struggled to see me as more than “just a woman”. Navigating that has been exhausting at times, but it’s made me stronger and I am confident and secure in my ability because of it.

Erica:    I have felt that I have had to fight harder. Previously, I have been treated differently & sexualised, I’ve not been listened to for ideas and not been included in projects for them being a bit of a ‘boys club’. I am fortunate that at Impact I feel confident to put forward my ideas and I am treated as an equal. Now, I am on a bit of a mission to make sure that all of our candidates are treated this way too.

How do you feel the media and creative industry treat women? 

Carly:    12 years ago, working in the Business Support sector within creative & media it felt very much like an old boy’s club, where support staff were hired for all the wrong reasons.  Now working with senior HR professionals and driving the discussion around diversity and inclusivity, I’m proud to be part of the huge shift in the world for the better, where the industry feels much more inclusive.

Ellen:    I think it can be particularly difficult for women in the creative industry. Take advertising for example, from a recent study only 29% of the creative directors were female. With such a male dominant industry, this can be particularly daunting for women entering the industry and not seeing female representation in leadership roles. Saying this;  the figure was 3% not long ago. Although we have a long way to go, we need to keep pushing!

Sarah:   We still have a long way to go to make it perfect, but people are starting to wake up and take notice, so I have faith in the society we are building for future generations.

Erica:    I feel that the Media & Entertainment industry has come a long way and we are progressively seeing diversity and inclusion at the height of everyone’s agenda. I think the most important step now is to make sure that our attention is towards intersectional representation and having female representation at every level, bring on more female CEOs!

What would you like to see companies do to give more gender parity?

Carly:    Be more transparent and inclusive in their approach and recognise women’s value at the leadership level, despite potential career gaps to raise families.

Ellen:    I think leadership needs to own it- it has to come from the top! Having leaders with the right intentions and a clear view of gender parity will flow down naturally.

Sarah:   I think introducing more gender neutrality in their everyday practices is one of the best ways forward. By that, I mean gender-neutral toilets, gender-neutral terminology in communication. Not only is it more inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community, but it encourages people to not make automatic assumptions of who a person is, and will help break down barriers both personally and professionally.

Erica:    I would like to see companies open up the conversation around gender and work to support all gender identities, and that we are not forgetting the difficulties that our trans & non-binary communities face in the workplace. Creating an office culture where everyone feels they can show their true self is crucial and that’s when the best ideas and work can come to play.

What advice would you give to women ambitious for a great career?

Carly:    Know your worth and work hard – it’s a strong combination!

Ellen:    Be yourself and use your voice. It’s just as important as anyone else’s in the room.

Sarah:   Don’t be afraid to challenge and don’t be afraid to be proud of who you are. Stop enabling old-fashioned ways of thinking and operating, have a fierce approach to life, and – most importantly – stay kind.

Erica:    Don’t underestimate yourself! If you play yourself down so will other people. Always upsell your skillset and believe in yourself. You’re not being blunt or bossy, you’re doing your job and you’re not there solely to make others comfortable. Be you, and if they don’t love it someone else will!