Continuing our week-long celebration of International Women’s Day, we speak to our Researcher, Katie Vrylandt about what the days mean to her.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating equality. It’s a great excuse to read and learn about the fantastic achievements of women around the world. We should use the celebrations to inspire men, women, girls and boys globally, to respect each other and ensure that equal opportunities are available for all.
Have you experienced any negative gender-related issues in your career?
I’ve been working for two years now in the field of sustainability, so I’m in a progressive space, where this would be deemed unacceptable. Having not experienced any workplace gender-related issues personally, I do see the need for greater equality in certain areas. It is really encouraging to see that there is a global movement around equal pay, which will hopefully lead to greater transparency and change. However, there is still work to be done in areas such as maternity and paternity leave and promoting women in leadership positions.
What advice would you give your younger self as you started to navigate your career?
I’m still early on in my career…but I would say, do what feels right. If you’re applying for a job and finding yourself truly unmotivated – it’s probably not for you. Similarly, don’t worry if your opinions or career direction changes. You might realise that you want more challenging work, or less responsibility, or to move departments, or move countries. It’s all fine, don’t feel bad about asking for what you want. Find or create a job you enjoy and build a life you love.
What would your hopes be for Women and specifically around the theme of #PressforProgress?
My hope is that every woman feels empowered to make her own choices, whatever these choices may be. At Chime we have a women’s networking group. My favourite speakers have talked about the different types of success, whether in their career or personal life, and how they have achieved it through hard work, ambition, support from others and by being themselves.