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International Women's Day: A Brief History
The call for women to demand better positions in society began in the 1900s. In 1908 about 15,000 women marched through New York City to demand shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. The following year, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated across the United States. Later, in 1910, a conference led by Clara Zetkin was held in Copenhagen. In this conference she proposed that every country should celebrate a women’s day every year. Thereafter, following further discussions, March 8th was set aside for Women to celebrate their achievements in their cultural, social, economic, and political platforms. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Although endorsed by the United Nations in 1975. The UN’s activities promoting Women’s Day had slowed down by 2001. It was in the same year when an International Women’s Day (IWD) platform was launched to energize the movement. IWD has now become an internationally celebrated event. Countries and organisations celebrate IWD in various ways. Whilst some countries have gone as far as to declare IWD a national event, others choose to celebrate the lives of women in smaller ways; by giving women gifts and flowers to mark the day as a celebration of womanhood. Regarding discussion topics: IWD has mapped its missions to include topics such as women in creatives, women in technology, women in sports, women’s health women at work and women’s empowerment.
Women at Work in Amoria Bond
The IWD’s Women at Work mission statement, which highlights the need to forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive, and achievements are celebrated, resonates with the Amoria Bond Group’s own purpose of ‘Progressing Lives Everywhere’, and their commitments as Founding Partner Signatories of the Diversity and Inclusion Charter to take action led change to ensure they are providing a truly inclusive workplace where all employees feel they belong and have the same equity of opportunity to progress in their lives and careers.
Already active members of Women in Recruitment, since signing the Charter, Amoria Bond has taken numerous steps to ensure their words translate into reality, including: founding their companywide Inclusion Advocates Employee Resource Group, empowering employees to shape the company’s inclusion agenda; introducing religious bank holiday swaps; companywide unconscious bias training; and launching ASCEND, an internal network-based initiative for females across the company’s global offices with the clear objective of attracting, retaining and progressing more women in the business through providing access to inspiring internal and external female role models and opportunities for connection and empowerment that transcends location, function, seniority and team.
Amoria Bond ASCEND
ASCEND was co-founded by Amy Steel - Associate Director Natasha Crump – ESG Director and Group Diversity and Inclusion Lead, and Leah Brown – Global L&D Manager, and Chair of the D&I Steering Committee. The ASCEND initiative provides a platform where all women in Amoria Bond meet virtually to share experiences that help and fellow women to achieve their full potential. With the full support of the Founders and Executive Board, ASCEND reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring that female employees have access to the resources and the support they need to enable them to progress. As an extension of the ASCEND program, Lisanne Beck - Senior Consultant, leads Amoria Bond’s Lean in Circle, a multinational initiative founded by Cheryl Sanderburg, which facilitates smaller group sessions in which women can can share, grow and learn together. A mentoring and buddying scheme is soon to be introduced for women who wish to offer or obtain support from colleagues in the business.
At present, women of diverse backgrounds are represented at all levels and in all departments of the company, including 2 female Board Directors. Women In Recruitment’s industry benchmarking confirms that the Amoria Bond Group are ahead of most recruitment companies in terms of female representation across the business, and amongst the 26% minority of recruitment firms with specific initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining women workers.
As a way forward, and in tune with this year’s theme, Amoria Bond ‘s challenge is to continue to look for ways to attract, recruit, retain and progress more female recruiters across all their international offices so that a more proportionate gender balance is achieved across the business.
As a female in the business, it is refreshing to be part of a company that is honest about where they are now, passionate about where they want to be, and taking real action to get there! The Amoria Bond Group is truly pursuing what is a genuine commitment to progress lives everywhere!
Written by Pat Mserembo, Group Services
Amoria Bond Group D&I Committee, Manchester