22 Mar 14:00 by Safron Huntly



As you know I blog regularly about gender inequality in the workplace.  I was pleasantly surprised to see women’s issues being given a central stage in this budget.

  • New funding totalling £20m to support the campaign against violence against women and girls

  • Funding of £5m to support women returning to work after a career break

    I personally feel that these figures are incredibly small change in the whole scheme of things, however I am particularly encouraged by the £5 million committed to celebrate the centenary of women first getting the vote and to educate young people about it’s significance.   I have always been very inspired about the bravery and the tenacity of the suffragettes – can there be any better exponents of #beboldforchange   And they were doing it 100 years ago!   Teaching young women today about the struggles the suffragettes faced could inspire another generation. 

    The 8th March was International Womens Day. This is an event that I feel particularly passionate about, not just because I myself am of course a woman, but because I am actively involved in highlighting gender inequality in the workplace.

    I attended a IWD event at Polycom in London hosted by the International Special Interest Group of the BIFM.   What an event it was.   There were so many inspiring women on the panel based all over the word (Dubai, South Africa, Johannesburg and London).  It was great opportunity to hear a wider perspective on women’s issues.

    These four ladies were asked about their experiences as women and how they have reached their position in their career so far.  A common response was tenacity, determination and not backing down, regardless of the barriers they overcome.  They have come across a lot of women who have taken NO as an answer and didn’t feel they could push against the status quo, but not these ladies! I found one discussion particularly inspiring.  Javiera Malik from Action Aid was talking about how finds young people so very inspiring.  “There is never anything that stops them, they can always think of a solution and a way around things.”  For instance, she asked her 11 year old niece how to get in front of these ‘big important men’ and her reply was – ‘stop making it boring, take them on a picnic’.   Now of course Javiera wasn’t going to take them on a picnic, but she took the spirit of the words of her niece, made her pitch far more interesting and appealing and she got the business.  

    As we know, millennials are the future! Let’s hope their creativity and boldness and ideas for change are still with them by the time they enter the workplace.

    I really must emphasise how great an event this was.   I left feeling very inspired and confident and excited for the future of Women in the workplace.  I do hope that you also had the opportunity to participate in another inspiring event.  I’d love to hear about it.

    I believe that women should help other women in the workplace.  Did you know that Women In FM special interest Group has a mentoring and coaching scheme? Would you like to be a coach or a mentor?   (Find out who is currently running this and add their details in here)   What other coaching or mentoring schemes does your business offer?  If there is nothing currently could you be an agent for change and set one up?