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So today is International Women’s Day

So today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world and also a day to challenge expectations.

It’s also a day for everyone to take time to reflect, not just about the plight of women past and present but as an opportunity to celebrate and reconfirm the wider topics of equality, diversity and inclusion.

As someone who owns a business in a predominantly male-orientated environment, it may come as a surprise to you that I have never really felt any lesser because I am a woman. On the contrary, I have always felt I bring something special to the role, something that others find refreshing and different.

I’m immensely proud of the team we have at Senate and the diversity we have within it. I would like to think that everyone in my team can always bring their whole self to work and not be afraid or ashamed of doing so.

However, I want us all to get to a place where we aren’t spending hours discussing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – it just happens – it’s something that we all have the responsibility to push the envelope on. I don’t want to be sat in anymore meetings where we discuss ‘how we’re going to implement a policy’ or ‘how we’re benchmarking against our EDI targets’. We’re all diverse, we all want to be included and we certainly all want to be treated equally.

Please don’t get my statement wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t embrace and celebrate the journey we have made to address such topics and the shout about the achievements we have made and continue to make along the way – this is an important part of the process.

What I am asking for is the understanding that EDI isn’t something additional that needs to be added into a meeting as an agenda item, it is something that needs to be part of our life 24/7, 365 days a year.

I know we’re a long way off this being a reality, and I’m sure you’ll see posts across social media today from people asking, ‘when’s International Men’s Day’, or ‘why are we celebrating women, what have they ever done for us’ and this is to my point, we don’t like it when we’re not equal or we’re seen to be being overlooked for something or someone else.

So this International Women’s Day, I am going to be raising a glass to those around me who have helped campaign, challenge and change, whilst looking ahead to a time when Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is just something that happens.