INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – KEY THEMES, AMAZING TAKEAWAYS & REFLECTIONS
I had a deeply moving and interesting time celebrating International Women’s Day with the Cambridge Women in Business society! We started the day with superb mutual mentoring with the world’s future leaders, a LinkedIn live Q&A, with Sharena Shiv, Milly Cox, Danielle Wright, and Leah Mclaine, where we delved into the importance of International Women’s Day for an audience ranging across 10 countries! We then took an open Q&A, which was important in the breadth and depth of the world in which we live.
Here are a few main reflections and takeaways:
1. Our support goes out to the women in Ukraine who are having to give up on their lives and flees the horrors of war. I was privileged to meet the wonderful Oksana Hetman, President of the Ukrainian Society at Cambridge. We must continue to raise money and support the Ukrainian community across the world!
2. Young women nowadays need safe, respectful and trusting environments to innovate, create and break biases. This was discussed during our panel, as we took apart the issue of unconscious biases, and laid out solutions to counter them.
3. Young women want to determine what success looks like for them, create the right conditions for success, and remove the obstacles they find. They are in need of mentors, supporters, and developers, and feel they cannot rush into big brand jobs and careers. They must take the time to figure out what sort of life and career they want to build!
4. The University of Cambridge is changing every aspect of college life to reflect the importance of gender equality, and actively support the female community. I was so impressed with President of St John’s College Heather Hancock’s brilliant leadership, and insights into making the university as supportive, inclusive, and diverse as possible.
5. Young women are dealing with a lot of uncertainty, self-doubt, and fear. However, they are also driven, and determined to build meaningful careers, and apply their brilliance to a sector they feel passionate about. They are in need of guidance to fulfill this, and I will strive to accompany them as they figure out exactly 1. What their dream is, and 2. How to achieve it.
I am so grateful to the cambridge women in business for their invitation to speak to an audience of hundreds of inspiring women. I was also impressed with the outstanding work that the FemSoc at St John’s College, Cambridge is achieving, as well at the fantastic women of CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education, an NGO whose mission is to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education of girls!
As we reflect on what we learned yesterday, the central celebration of individuals because of their age, sex, color, creed, sexuality, physical and cognitive abilities, plus gender identity is very much alive and kicking! Do watch the live Q&A below, and share your thoughts!