International Women's Day 2024

Today, we mark International Women’s Day by placing a spotlight on women & girls around the world and join the open forum by “speaking up” about current gender inclusion matters and the challenges faced by women in our modern world.

International Women’s Day – A Day to Commemorate, Celebrate, and Raise Awareness

Embracing the Legacy of International Women’s Day

Recognising Progress and Acknowledging Challenges

Today, we mark International Women’s Day by placing a spotlight on women & girls around the world and join the open forum by “speaking up” about current gender inclusion matters and the challenges faced by women in our modern world. We also come together to pay tribute to the many brave and selfless women who have made sacrifices, broken barriers, and spoken out against gender inequality over the past century. It is distressing to see how many women and girls globally continue to face cultural, professional, and independent gender discrimination, but we look to today’s population and tomorrow’s generations to inspire gender equity and empowerment to unlock brilliance and provide a sense of belonging.

Tracing the Roots: International Women’s Day through the Decades

International Women’s Day is deep-rooted in its origins with the foundations of this historic day established in an unsettled America during the early 1900s. Throughout this significant decade, it started with a few, then grew to many. As a result of countless protests and unprecedented revolutions around the world, influential countries began realizing and acknowledging the unfair gaps between genders and enormous biases placed against women and slowly but surely started making changes that have carried on into what we see and experience today. Women’s rights have come a long way since the 20th century, but there is much work still to be done to carry on this important legacy and acknowledge the significance women have in building a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Flare’s Commitment to Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

Today, this occasion is observed all over the world in many different ways. At Flare, we are proud to commemorate our diverse and dynamic female team, a number of whom have courageously immigrated from countries such as Poland, Canada, and Hungary to live in the United Kingdom. We are pleased to be part of a community that is working hard to establish a balanced life for everyone and taking steps towards a greater, more equitable future. To do this, we must respect everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or any other aspect. We must see people for their individuality and without bias. At Flare, we feel it’s imperative to promote equality across the board and ensure women have a safe and unbiased space to voice their opinions, develop their careers, and be respected by their colleagues. We provide open access to key training & development opportunities, mentorship programmes, and flexible working arrangements to accommodate everyone.

Fostering Awareness

We recently launched an internal survey to receive feedback from our team about International Women’s Day. When we asked, “Do you know what International Women’s Day is about?” we received a 50/50 split on yes/no answers. This was an interesting result which has inspired future projects and workshops to better enhance our teams’ understanding of this important day and explore what we can do more as a business to promote women in the working world.

Flare Cares

As part of our Flare Cares campaign, we have launched our first Coffee Morning to bring the team together and raise awareness about gender equity, sitting down together over a hot cuppa and some bakery delights while discussing and sharing stories about the women in our lives and the challenges still faced in the Energy industry. We plan to use this as a forum to explore ways we can continue to improve our company practices and make an impact in our own lives and local communities.

Voices of Inspiration

The 50% of staff who did know what this day is about were able to effectively illuminate the importance of recognising the achievements of women and identify the work still to be done for greater gender equality. When asked to share a story about women in their lives who have been a source of inspiration, we were overwhelmed by the responses that were provided. It was enlightening and uplifting to hear about Mothers who are respected in large communities, Grandmothers who overcame domestic violence while raising a family and coping with tragedies, Sisters who have battled cancer more than once in a lifetime while being a Mother to her children and upholding a respected career, a Friend who has become a leading engineer and role model in a male-dominant industry, while progressing her education in her spare time and the many women that make a difference each and every day, without recognition, having made an impact in some small but important way. It was especially inspirational to see Flare team members acknowledging and praising the professional females they work alongside, who hold vital roles within the organisation, and create a positive impact in the culture and evolution of the business.

Advocating Change

Support networks such as “Women In New Energy” are fantastic new forums that promote and publicise the critical role women have in shaping the future. This same philosophy is embodied at Flare through our core values and fair practices. While we’re proud to have 50% of our leadership team represented by females, we would like to encourage more women to apply for technical and offshore positions when they become available. It’s vitally important to have a clear balance of genders in the workplace which not only benefits the organization but sets a benchmark for other companies to work towards. Statistics show, when there is a fair balance of genders in the workplace, this improves overall commercial efficiency and boosts returns on all fronts.

Influential Voices

It is also vitally important to have prominent female role models and industry leaders who speak up and speak out about challenges and seek to make positive change for women through networking, mentoring, and collaborative interventions. Melinda French Gates, is just one of many leading spokespeople doing important work for gender equality. She is a renowned philanthropist and recognised ambassador for the female population working particularly with minority groups and underprivileged girls and women and calling to action those in power to protect their basic rights and freedoms. There are many ordinary woman making significant impact on their local communities every day by petitioning for better representation at leadership tables, speaking to local schools and educational forums to foster confidence in our younger generations and inspire change from within.

A Vision for Equality

For me, as a businesswoman working in the energy sector, I have seen some encouraging progress for women over the past decade, particularly in a predominantly male-led industry, and it’s encouraging to see women in leadership positions now, more than ever. I do feel more work needs to be done to bridge the gender gap. Girls need to be taught the same bravery, courage, and resilience as boys are from a young age, educational forums need to apply equal academic expectations on both boys and girls and take a more proactive stance on promoting girls’ enrollment in courses such as science, technology, and mathematics to give them the tools and preparation for higher education opportunities and eventual career establishment. These principles need to be knit into our own family dynamics where boys and girls are encouraged to do the same things without the apprehension of being bullied or chastised. To quote UN advocate and celebrity Emma Watson, “Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.”

Towards an Equal Gender World

Ideally, we want an equal gender world where women are taken seriously without prejudice, voices are heard without judgment, and prosperous futures become a reality no matter the country, religion, or ethnicity of their backgrounds. We need fair access to education, training, and development resources as well as the basics of freedoms, rights, and platforms to be heard and fairly represented.

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