Embracing Equity With International Women’s Day

International Women's Day 2023 WedPro WeddingDates Team News

International Women’s Day is an annual event that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout the world. This year’s International Women’s Day global campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. 

“Imagine a gender-equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.

Celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all International Women’s Day action is valid.” – Official Website For International Women’s Day

A Message From WeddingDates

Our team echoes the same statement for women/our sisters; be your authentic self, support other women, and celebrate their accomplishments. As a role model for women in business Ciara Crossan, CEO and Founder of WeddingDates wants to share the following: 

“In order to move to a more equal society, we need all minorities to have a seat at the table. Women, people of colour, disabled people, elderly people – all voices are important. Women in leadership have a strong track record of being more inclusive when in leadership roles.

I find it both amusing and annoying that the word feminism is still to this day sometimes considered a dirty word, that if you are a feminist you are pro-women and anti-men. Men are not the enemy, it is the systematic oppression of women that leads to the imbalance we see in positions of power. 

There is a significant level of toxic masculinity in the world right now which is leading to a mental health crisis among young males and high rates of male suicide. As a mother of two young boys, this concerns me greatly. I fundamentally believe it is also in men’s interest to distribute power more evenly and dismantle the patriarchy. I am raising feminist sons and want to summon all men to become allies for women and fight for gender equality.”

International Women's Day 2023 Ciara Crossan WeddingDates WedPro
Women and The Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is still very much male-dominated at a leadership level. It is within the power of those men to champion and actively promote women in their organisation. We call on hospitality leadership to be an ally for those around you and work to #EmbraceEquity in your team.

To the women working in the industry we have the following advice; understand your worth, find your voice and use it! 

“I speak regularly to women working in hotels or wedding venues and am always encouraging them to shout about their expertise. Couples want to feel secure when they book their wedding and an experienced, confident, expert is going to reassure them and help secure the booking,” says Ciara. 

“Bring that authentic self to each and every situation,” says Sarah O’Farrell, WeddingDates Head of Operations, “whether it’s an internal meeting or a showround. Trust yourself, you are doing a great job.”

Women can be the worst with imposter syndrome but managing a wedding is a super skill. You coordinate with the couple and every department in your venue to ensure their needs are met at every single wedding. How many weddings have you managed, how many couples have had their dream day because of you? You are a superhero! Celebrate the successes both internally and own that to the outside world because you’ve earned it!” says Carys Duckworth, Sales Manager at WeddingDates, and we couldn’t agree more!

International Women's Day 2023 Carys Duckworth WeddingDates WedPro

A Day For Reflection 

In honour of this special day, the women at WeddingDates have opened up and shared their perception of International Women’s Day (which is to say, almost all of us!)

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Ciara: International Women’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year! It is an opportunity for me to speak to my boys about the reason for the day, why it is needed, how society is ever-evolving and what the future could look like. I am a huge believer in ending gender stereotypes so I relish any opportunity to challenge the status quo and highlight women’s achievements against the odds.

Carys: A day to celebrate my female role models, to recognise their fight and the opportunities they have given me and the continued work we all must do for equality for our future generations. 

Mizan: For me, it is a day to reflect on how far women have come in their fight for equality but to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go. It is also a time for me to think about my own life, career and journey and everything I want to achieve. 

Sarah: We need days like International Women’s Day to pause, reflect, and celebrate our own achievements and those of our sisters. And, to encourage our brothers to do the same.

Linda: It’s a time to reflect on what women have achieved for equality so far and to look ahead to the future. Also to think about the female role models that have influenced me in my life in recent years.

Alix: A day to celebrate the achievements that have been made so far in gender equality but also a time to learn and discover new ways to stand up for women’s rights and challenge the patriarchy. 

Jasmin: It’s time to celebrate what women have achieved so far in terms of equality and to think about my own goals and what I can achieve. 

International Women's Day 2023 Mizan Potgieter WeddingDates WedPro

2. If you had any advice for your 10-year-old self – what would you say?

Alix: Don’t always try to fit in, whatever it is you enjoy – do that!

Jasmin: Just be yourself, you are amazing as you are and don’t need to change. 

Mizan: Don’t listen to anyone that says you can’t pursue a certain career because of your gender. You 100% can be anything you want to be. 

Ciara: Always be yourself. Never conform. Don’t listen to the negative voices in your head and trust yourself to make the right decision. 

Carys: It’s ok to love wearing dresses – being feminine you can still be confident, assertive, knowledgeable and a total badass. 

Linda: Lose the imposter syndrome – you are as good and amazing as everyone else.

Sarah: It’s always going to feel a bit hard, but you are stronger than you think and braver than you feel. You are loved and worthy. You are perfect just as you are.

International Women's Day 2023 Alix WedPro WeddingDates

3. Which women inspire you the most?

Mizan: I look up most to women who support other women, who celebrate their wins as their own and that encourage them along the way. I also admire women that speak out honestly about the struggles they face as it helps normalise everyday things we might feel ashamed of.

Ciara: I have many strong female role models in my life and I am particularly lucky to be part of a community of global change-makers through the Vital Voices alumni. I was honoured to be chosen as one of 11 female entrepreneurs for the Vital Voices Global Ambassadors Programme back in 2018, the goal of which is to accelerate women’s leadership and economic empowerment throughout the world. Through that programme, I met a cohort of women who embody the word “inspiring” and are working across all sectors to change the world for good. Being around them makes me want to be a better person and lead with empathy and compassion. 

Sarah: Most women inspire me. When I look around at my peers, colleagues and family, often it’s the women who are at the centre holding it all together. The glue. They are nurturing, aspiring, planning, caring, and working full-time in a career or at home (or both). Women are amazing. I particularly admire the women who quietly press ahead towards their own idea of success, despite not conforming to expectations or ideals.

Alix: I come from a family with a lot of aunties and female cousins and growing up we were all very close. There has always been a sense of strong female attitude in my family.

My mum is an inspiration because, despite being widowed at a young age, she continues to have a positive outlook on life. She is always the first to step up and offer help to someone else. Outside of my immediate family, I admire a number of female content creators who use their voices/platforms to evoke change. In particular, those who are working to dismantle the patriarchy for young girls and working mothers.

International Women's Day 2023 Jasmin Waller WeddingDates

This post is dedicated to all the inspirational women that have crossed our paths and whom we have the pleasure of working with. Keep on fighting to break the glass ceiling and know we are there to support you every step of the way. 

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