Concluding our week long celebration of International Women’s Day, we feature our consultant Cathy Moscardini.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
IWD is a celebration of the progress women have made over the last 100 years, and a recognition of the way we have to go. It’s obviously amazing to see schools, organisations and companies putting on events and raising awareness for IWD, but let this be a spark for people to take action after today.
Have you experienced any negative gender-related issues in your career?
If you’ve ever been in an admin role, you’ve probably experienced people thinking that because you are a young woman in an admin role, that you aren’t bright and you are below them. This needs to change!
I also personally hate it when people address one or more women as ‘girls’ in the workplace. You wouldn’t say ‘boys’ to a group of men at work so why should we put up with it the other way round.
I’ve also been in situations in recruiting new employees where I see that characteristics that are traditionally seen as male are favoured over ‘female characteristics’. This is something that we can easily remedy by checking our self and our own biases.
What advice would you give your younger self as you started to navigate your career?
Persevere when making your voice heard. We’ve all been in situations where there’s someone that keeps speaking and doesn’t say anything, but also doesn’t give anyone else a chance to speak (more often than not it’s a man, just saying). If you have a point to make, don’t give up. People will be glad you spoke up.
What would your hopes be for Women and specifically around the theme of #PressforProgress?
My hopes for women in the workplace and #PressforProgress include all the normal things we talk about like more senior women, no gender pay gap, and a culture of equality in the workplace. One thing that is often overlooked is a culture of equality also means breaking male stereotypes in the workplace as well. It’s no wonder we aren’t seeing progress at the rate we want when we aren’t creating a culture where it’s okay for men to care for children and work flexibly. Creating policies is all very well and good, but creating a culture where this is the norm is much more difficult. We need to see more examples of both senior men and women in society and in the workplace with diverse work-home-life experiences. When we stop hearing comments about how great it is when a man takes paternity leave or works flexibly, that’s when we’ll know it’s the norm.