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IWD 2021 – ‘Choose to Challenge’ sets the tone for progress

Each year, International Women’s Day communicates the pressing need for gender equality in just a few words. This year’s theme is particularly apt. #ChooseToChallenge sets the mission for us all to analyse, question and adapt. The key here is ‘choose’ – every single one of us needs to consciously assess and act upon the imbalances we still see each day.

#ChooseToChallenge is a collective mission statement. Whether that’s becoming the youngest female CEO to take a company public with a majority-female board or the men sharing the responsibilities to help address the work/life balance issues that have been exacerbated by remote working. It is the platform that reminds us of the need for education and action.

But we must also challenge the right areas to lay the groundwork for women to prosper socially, economically, culturally and politically.

Challenge the idea that change is happening organically

We need to acknowledge the need for conscious change. International Women’s Day arrives a year after we experienced huge shifts towards remote working practices. Many have pointed to the opportunities offered by remote working – particularly that more flexible working patterns will help women overcome the barriers to entering fields such as technology and provide a simpler return to work after career breaks.

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