International Women’s Day 2018

On 8 March this year, women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

For over 100 years, this day has marked a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In the years since IWD began, there have been significant changes to the rights, roles and responsibilities of women, however, the fight to achieve gender parity continues.

This year, the business chambers and business councils of International Chamber House (ICH) will be hosting an IWD event, featuring guest speakers Holly Ransom, CEO, Emergent; Lydia Khalil, Research Fellow, West Asia Program, the Lowy Institute and Sarah Chibnall, Group Director of Communications, the H&H Group. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Entrepreneurial spirit in international business’ and the speakers will be sharing their experiences as women in executive positions, as well as discussing the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Holly Ransom, CEO, Emergent; Lydia Khalil, Research Fellow, West Asia Program, Lowy Institute; Sarah Chibnall, Group Director of Communications, H&H Group

We spoke with H&H Group’s Sarah Chibnall to discuss her thoughts on International Women’s Day.

With the popularisation of movements like #MeToo and the recent first anniversary of the American women’s rights march, 2018 has begun with a revitalised focus on feminism activism and women’s rights. The power of women using their voice to denounce sexual harassment has seen the birth of large scale, anti-harassment initiatives like Times Up.

For Sarah, IWD is a time to reflect and celebrate the achievements of women and to motivate and excite women about the future.

“Times are changing, and I would like to think that one day International Women’s Day is much more about enjoying each other’s company than about the need to drive an agenda. But in the short term, there are still challenges for women, particularly when we talk about the workplace with career progression for example,” she said.

Sarah adds that the importance of diversity in the workplace goes beyond basic fairness and equality, because diversity also impacts the ideas that are created and the voices that are heard. Sarah says that those in senior positions need to make a deliberate effort to ensure that there are always a variety of perspectives being heard.

“If gender equity is set as an example from the top down and by those with decision making power, then that notion will be positively re-enforced by most team members within the organisation. Being conscious of everything from who is in a meeting and who in included in conversations, to the number of people who are represented on executive leadership teams and on senior leadership teams,” she said.

Join Sarah and our guest speakers on the day to hear more insights from their experiences and thoughts on the way forward for women in international business. To purchase tickets to this IWD event or to learn more about guest speakers, click here