International Women’s Day – not just a day in your diary!

International Womens Day

International Women’s Day, on 8th of March every year, is a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women right across the globe.

It remains an important day as gender equality and equity is still out of reach for so many women. 

In the corporate world, this is typically a day for taking stock of gender equality within your organisation, recognising progress and the journey ahead, bringing all employees along on that journey.  And this year’s theme is one that is close to Zonal’s heart: Invest in Women – Accelerate Progress. We’re proud of our record on career development, already just two months into the year we’ve promoted 11 people into new roles and more than 50% of them were women.

As a family-owned business, where individuality is encouraged, at Zonal we are focused on improving diversity and creating a space that is both inclusive and representative of our diverse society.  We want to create an environment that allows every individual to flourish and progress without prejudice and by removing any barriers to enable our employees to achieve their potential and career goals.

Our four diversity groups – Abled, BAME, Proud and Women – are there to challenge our unconscious bias and make sure we don’t just talk but take meaningful action to create a thriving, diverse, authentic and cohesive workplace.

In the tech space, International Women’s Day is a stark reminder of how far we still have to go.  It is widely reported that just 26% of the tech workforce is female.  Here we talk to three representatives from our Women’s group who give their bitesize opinions about the advice they’d give to their younger selves and other women starting their career in tech, plus the best thing about being a woman at Zonal.

International Womens Day

Harriet Jolley, Account Manager

My advice to any woman wishing to carve out a career in tech would be simply to take every opportunity – you never know where it may lead you.  Anything is possible!  My younger self could have done with knowing that it’s okay to make changes if things are not making you happy.  Life is too short to be miserable.  I am very fortunate that at Zonal I have found my happy place where I feel valued and part of the family.

Nicola Hair, Customer Success Consultant

Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, is my advice to any woman starting out.  That’s the message I would tell my younger self, as well as to not waste time in a job where you are not valued and makes you feel bad.  I’d say you are great and there are better jobs out there that will challenge you and make you feel like the best version of yourself.  I can’t think of any part of the Zonal business that is male dominated, you are recognised based on merit not gender.

Kate Groombridge, Senior Account Manager

My top piece of advice to any woman starting out in their career is to be good at your job.  It may sound simple, but to progress you don’t need to know everything.  Focus on knowing what’s important to do a good job and use the rest of your time to build relationships that will help you succeed.  This approach has helped me progress at Zonal and get promoted to senior account manager.  It’s a great place to work where you feel part of something big and anything is possible.

For any organisation International Women’s Day should not just be a brief moment in the calendar to take stock.  It must be authentic and truly representative of your corporate culture, where important conversations are being had and continue to shape your vision and values. 

Not only is it the right thing to do but when employees “think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel included”, innovation revenue increases by 83%, according to Deloitte.

An inclusive organisation is twice as likely to exceed financial targets, 3 x as likely to be high-performing, 6 x more likely to be agile and innovative, and 8 x more likely to achieve better business outcomes, also reported by Deloitte.

In summary, investing in women and accelerating progress isn’t just your moral duty it’s your commercial duty too. 

If you are interested in a career at Zonal please click here.

Picture of Catriona Dick

Catriona Dick

Head of Human Resources