International womens day graphic
Fashion

International Women’s Day (8th March 2022)

International Women’s day is a global event that encourages the celebration of the challenges women have faced, alongside their achievements.

We are 100% devoted to diversity and fair treatment for all colleagues, in the workplace. The yearly celebration shows the progress that has been made towards gender equality but, importantly, also shows the progress that is still left to be made.

We asked 2 of our female colleagues questions about International Women’s Day and what it means to them

Hala - Area Manager North

Hala - Area Manager

Q. Why do you think it’s important to celebrate National Women’s Day?

I think it’s really important to support and celebrate women’s rights all year round. For years and even today women have been affected both at home and in the workplace. Career sacrifice often falls to women.

I come from a strict controlling background where women marry young, give up their future because they have to marry, look after their husband and kids. That’s their role in life! I’ve seen my mum work 2 jobs, look after us while my Dad was studying and have dinner ready on the table for him. To this day that mentality still exists. So IWD gives awareness and empowerment for all women that we are just as important, work just as hard and deserve to be respected equally.

Q. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? How did you overcome them?

Yes. I guess it all started when I was 16. I can be very competitive and any negativity such as “you’ll never be able to do it” because “you’re not clever”. I was told that I would never achieve a degree. This got me fired up. But I did it – BSc Hons in Biochemistry and have the certificate to prove it! But my passion was with Watch repairs and it’s a very male dominated industry.

When you hear the words “watch repair” you imagine an old man sat on a bench with an eye glass. You don’t picture a bubbly, smiley, bright blue haired girl, with an eyeglass. It has not been easy though –  I have had times where I was doing my job and have been questioned about it several times, being told: “stop being emotional”.

Q. What important message would you like to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Don’t let anything get in your way! Nothing! Work hard for yourself. Don’t listen to negativity from other people. That’s just people trying to get in your head.
It starts to make you doubt any decision you make and can also make you worry and think the worst. Go and do what you want to do to be happy and successful.

Q. Is there a person, during your career, who has inspired you?

I don’t think there is anyone that has inspired me to be where I am today. I knew what I wanted and I was going to achieve it. I would say that I have met amazing people throughout my career. I think the one person I always remember that gave me that boost of support and confidence and to be proud of how far I have come with all the things I have gone through at a young age was Clive; who took me on in my first watch technician job.

It’s what has opened a whole new world in the industry. Now I am at In-Time I have progressed and pushed to achieve more.

Q. Why is diversity in the workplace important to you?

The meaning has become more complex. It’s true that most people think a diverse workplace as a working environment includes employees of different genders, ethnicities and racial background.

The workplace includes a number of different categories. When you put a variety of different people in a room you’ll have different opinions and perspectives that can benefit the business. If you have like minded people they will have similar ideas. So yes it’s very important.

Q. Are there any women who have impacted your career positively? What is a lesson they taught you?

I don’t have one woman that has impacted my career but a mixture of women and men at work. Things have changed massively and for the better. More praises, more support and we share ideas and listen to each other.

This might be a small thing for some people but one woman changed my life by showing me how to organise my diary on outlook. Although it’s a small thing, for me it has been a life changer!

Chloe - Level 3 Watch Repair Assistant

Q. Why do you think it’s important to celebrate National Women’s Day?

I believe it is very important to celebrate International Women’s Day because it is a brilliant reminder of how far we have come in terms of being recognised as equals. It’s very much a day that celebrates breaking down that stigma.

Q. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? How did you overcome them?

I have definitely faced barriers in this job. I’ve had customers who have refused to leave items for repair with me when I’ve told them that it is just me on my own and that ‘the man who used to be here’ isn’t there anymore.

It can get to you because you know you’re more than capable and you get frustrated at the fact this shouldn’t be an issue, but it is for some. I always reassure those who question me, I’ve had the exact same training as everyone else and I’ve been doing this for over 3 years. It’s still not enough for some unfortunately.

Q. What important message would you like to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

The message I really want young girls and women to understand is that, you can do whatever you want to do in life. If you really have the passion and energy, then there is no reason why you will not be successful. Believing in yourself is what matters the most and no one should take that from you.

Q. Is there a person, during your career, who has inspired you?

I think definitely the women in this company. Most, if not all of us have probably had to deal with someone who has been sexist towards us but we know that for every one person that doesn’t believe in us, there’s 50 more that do. Our industry is still often seen as quite a male dominated industry so I give thanks to all the women I work with for being themselves, knowing that they are just as capable.

Q. Why is diversity in the workplace important to you?

Diversity in the workplace is important. Again, it is promoting equality and breaking down stereotypes. I think a diverse work place also sends that message across to younger people that, for instance, women are accepted in an industry such as this, just like men are accepted in the beauty industry. We need to stop putting people in boxes.

Q. Are there any women who have impacted your career positively? What is a lesson they taught you?

It’s going to sound quite cheesy, but definitely my Mum. She definitely guides me to be the best that I can be and if I’ve had a stressful day at work, she’s always there for me.

She is beyond supportive of me in my career and in life as well. I think the best lesson she has ever instilled in me is that I am the best version of me there is. I am more than able to go anywhere I want in life and the only thing that will ever stop me is myself. I have her to thank for everything.

We are thankful to both Hala and Chloe for their open and honest responses and their willingness to participate and add their voices to the celebration.

We are actively working to #BreakTheBias, celebrate women’s achievement and taking action for equality within our business and beyond.