International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This International Women’s Day the theme was #ChooseToChallenge and so that is exactly what we did here at MVF!
Last year, International Women’s Day saw nearly 200 MVFers packed into the top floor of our office to hear personal stories, panel discussions and guest speakers on the topic of Women in the Workplace. It was a momentous occasion that has sparked great debates and drive for change. The MVFers in attendance left determined to achieve an environment of equality. It was also one of the last days a lot of us saw each other in person before Covid-19 took hold.
This year was different. We have all experienced a very different world over the last 12 months and inclusion has been on the tip of everyone’s tongues. We’ve seen a global pandemic, environmental catastrophes and a social movement that has had the world discussing and challenging like never before! This year International Women’s Day gave a platform for MVFers to talk about gender inequality with so much more context.
Nearly 250 MVFers logged into a zoom call to hear stories from MVFers. Amy Catlow, Director of Publishing, gave us insight into the struggles faced by working mothers through a year of lockdowns. Next Jess Brown, Head of Legal, stressed the importance of intersectionality and her experiences of being a Black woman. Finally Katie Johnson, Head of Data & Analytics, challenged the idea of women in business “leaning in” and questioned whether we as a society should start to value feminine characteristics as leadership traits. The chat feature was flooded with MVFers sharing their appreciation for the speakers’ bravery and with agreement and applause!
Then it was time for the main event, MVF was blessed with an “Own your Story” workshop delivered by Tiwa Ogunlesi, a globally recognised Life Coach, International Speaker, Positive Psychology Specialist and founder of Confident and Killing It! Tiwa provided an exceptional end to an exceptional event and everyone left feeling energised, educated and ready to continue contributing towards a world of gender parity and equality.
And the conversation doesn’t stop here, MVF’s other Networks (LGBTQ+ and Lived Experiences of Ethnic People) have been so supportive behind the scenes of this event and have big plans for getting everyone within and outside of MVF involved in their own events. MVF will continue to take all the actions necessary to grow and maintain an inclusive workplace.