The 8th of March marks the annual International Women’s Day (IWD), and this year’s theme #EmbraceEquity spotlights true inclusion and equity. This refers to how individuals have different circumstances, and therefore, require different resources and opportunities in order to reach an equal outcome. The IWD organisers are calling on everyone to fully #EmbraceEquity, today and beyond.
To celebrate this year’s IWD, we spoke to women from across the business about equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), career development, and more.
Can you share more about your career path?
“In terms of my career path, I figured out what I didn’t like before I found what I do like – working in law firms and property management before realising that finance is what I wanted to do. It’s still not what I expected to be doing after I graduated from university with a degree in history, but if you fancy a conversation spanning renaissance Florentine art and IFRS accounting standards then I’m your woman!” – Rachel Scholes, Finance & Facilities Manager
“I didn’t take the traditional career path. I didn’t study at university or take a course. I had seen my friend coding and was confused but intrigued by it. I wanted to try it for myself so made the most out of Google to learn how. I then stumbled across UI/UX design which I hadn’t heard of at the time but loved the idea of it so dived headfirst into learning about that. Over time, I built my portfolio up with designs I’d made for family and friends and then 3Squared offered me my first full-time role and my UI/UX career kicked off from there.
“My advice is that if you’re thinking about this career path, just do it. And if you can’t find a path to follow, make your own.” – Nikita Campbell-Smith, UI/UX Designer
Do you have any advice to offer women who want to follow a similar career path and/or join this sector?
“Though it can be cliché, the advice that I would share with women wanting to embark on a similar career path is to be authentic and find an organisation and a boss that values the person you are. It’s not sustainable or enjoyable to try to fit into a culture that is not right for you, and you will not do your best work. Once you find your fit, you will produce your best work and opportunities will inevitably follow.” – Martine Dodwell-Bennett, Divisional Director
“In terms of advice, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has different learning styles. Studying whilst gaining experience at the same time really worked for me, but you have to discover what works best for you. There is lots of variety in marketing, and developing a transferable skill set also enables you to work in different industries – so there are lots of opportunities available.” –
Marie Hanby, Marketing Manager
“My main advice is never to stop learning and always be willing to listen and absorb information from everyone you meet – no matter where they sit within an organisation.” –
Claire Booth, Head of Customer Support
Can you speak on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)?
“This sector is already generally inclusive for women. However, I think it’s important to learn how to challenge constructively. Asking questions ensures you design the right solution for your people based on relevant insights.
“Importantly, in an inclusive culture, people feel that their contributions are valued, and their voices are listened to and respected. As a business creating an inclusive culture, hiring diverse talent, and supporting individuals to develop and champion talent mobility, we are supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.” – Emily Wilde, HR Manager
“In regards to EDI, I think it is crucial to have a range of people and voices within any organisation. The more different voices involved leads to a variety of viewpoints and ideas as well as innovative problem-solving concepts. I have found that that the more diverse the group is, the more open the teams are to new ideas and potential improvements which can only be a good thing!” – Noni Bryson, Project Manager
“I strongly believe in diversity should be a building block of everything tech companies do. Diverse workplaces increase the likelihood of uncovering issues in the development process as different perspectives and experiences can be taken to account. By having a diverse team of testers, companies can ensure that their products are tested by individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds.” – Priya Jana, Quality Assurance Engineer
Is there a woman in particular who inspires you?
“The woman who has most inspired me is my grandmother Lady Isobel Mary (Molly) Wood. She was one of the first women to go to Bristol University early in the 20th Century. In 2009, already aged 100, she returned to the university (with all of the family in tow) as the guest of honour at Bristol University’s own centenary celebrations, where she was awarded an honorary degree and warmly welcomed as their oldest living student. She lived to be 105, dying in 2014 and saw so many changes – she said the most amazing thing was women in Britain getting the vote.” – Claire Booth, Head of Customer Support
Thanks to the team for sharing some wonderful advice and insights!
You can read our other blogs on similar topics, including Working as a woman in the rail technology industry and Diversity and inclusion at 3Squared.