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  • Writer's pictureRichard Kadri-Langford

What Does International Women's Day Mean to Us

2024 sees Occuity once again celebrate the achievements of women around the world – past, present and of course, the future. This year, Occuity's Head of HR & Recruitment, Beverley Thomson gives us her view on this important event, and I give my view to.





Beverley Thomson - HR & Recruitment Manager


Each year, International Women’s Day aims to raise the profile of women around the world and acknowledge the immeasurable contribution that they make - and the impact that they have - on every aspect of everyday life. This year, we reflect on the incredible work that has been done so far to improve the lives of women and to give them access to opportunities that years ago, would have seemed all but impossible. However equally, we recognise that there is still a very long way to go before women everywhere can consider that playing field well and truly levelled.  

 

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Inspiring Inclusion”. Amongst many things, inclusivity breaks down the barriers that result in societal challenges and promotes cultural understanding and empathy towards different customs and traditions. In short, it is progress. At Occuity, we pride ourselves on an environment in which everyone – regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic or educational background – is equally valued, respected and empowered to excel in what they do. We believe the vast array of experience, perspectives and ideas that each and every Occuity team member brings to the table only serves to further enrich our culture and working environment.

 

Here at Occuity, we like to think that we celebrate the amazing women that we have working here, every single day. We believe that women should be celebrated for being women, rather than feeling disadvantaged by it, and we aim to appreciate the unique needs of all the women across our organisation. We celebrate the fact that women hold key roles across all areas of our firm including operations; quality; engineering; production; HR; finance, administration and grant writing. Furthermore, Occuity’s team of women come from a rich and varied ethical, racial and sociological background, helping to further enrich our already diverse company demographic.

 

So what does being a woman at Occuity mean to me? Firstly, it is a privilege working for a company that fosters an attitude of complete inclusivity within its workforce. I can honestly say it is a level playing field. Occuity is hugely supportive of its entire team and recognises that sometimes, flexibility is needed. This is particular true for myself. As a single mother to a young child - and who works full-time -  sometimes it seems impossible to keep all those balls in the air. Occuity have been so understanding with me on occasions when work and family life conflict. Our ethos of committing to a degree of both flexible and hybrid working helps enormously. This isn’t just true for myself. Many of our team juggle equally hectic work and family lives and Occuity prides itself on actively helping each and every person strike that manageable work:life balance. I have worked for many organisations in my career and I am proud to say that Occuity is the one place that stands out in its pursuit of achieving this often-elusive balance.

 

So, as the world strives towards the removal of all barriers to success for women from all backgrounds – and of course continues its drive towards the goal of inclusivity for all, Occuity would personally like to thank its brilliant and inspiring women for the amazing contribution that they make to its success - and we look forward to welcoming many more incredible women to our team in the near future.


Richard Kadri-Langford - Head of Marketing


Celebrating International Women's Day: A Personal Reflection

 

As we mark International Women's Day, it's a moment for reflection on the journey towards gender equality and the vital role women play across all sectors of life, including in the workplace. Working alongside incredibly talented women in HR, research, engineering, QMS, and marketing has profoundly shaped my understanding of the strength diversity brings to any team. Imagining our company without the contribution of these smart, intelligent, and committed individuals is unthinkable.

 

One of the core beliefs I hold dear (and to be honest struggle to understand why others may not) is that everyone deserves encouragement and support, regardless of gender or race, which simply shouldn't enter the equation. Our individual circumstances—whether we are male or female, have children, or no children, are younger, or more seasoned—shouldn't pigeonhole us or label our capabilities such as 'weaker', 'inexperienced' or 'incapable'. Instead, our knowledge, skill, attitude, our deliverables, and our commitment are what truly matter. It's about being fair and equal, offering flexibility, and receiving flexibility in return to accomplish our goals.

 

On a personal note, my life is a testament to shared responsibilities. From cooking and cleaning to helping the kids with their homework, walking the dog, engaging in DIY projects, and dedicating myself to a company I believe in—my role is multifaceted. And my wife mirrors this commitment in her profession as a teacher. Her dedication to her college and students is nothing short of inspiring. Together, we juggle our responsibilities, supporting each other in our professional and personal lives.

 

The support I receive from Occuity, enabling me to balance these aspects of my life, is invaluable. In a world where working from home is being challenged, the flexibility afforded to me is crucial. It's a recognition of the whole picture, an understanding that to foster true inclusion and support, companies must look beyond the conventional work model, that many of us grew up with, that supported a more rigid system. If I look at my parents, my Father would have been unable to work in the way he did (was required to) without the support of my Mother, looking after us as a “stay at home Mum”. Changing this dynamic, has, of course, opened up all the benefits I previously mentioned. It is still a challenge, but personally, I think progress has been made, even if more still needs to be done.

 

As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's commit to looking at the bigger picture—recognising and supporting the varied contributions of everyone in our workforce. Let's challenge ourselves to think about the whole picture, ensuring that our work environments are as inclusive and supportive as possible. This isn't just about one day; it's about setting a precedent for every day. 

 

 

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