‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’
This week, we mark International Women’s Day, a time to showcase the achievements and legacies of women across the world and throughout history. Women like Zaha Hadid, the British-Iraqi architect who inspired one of the key pieces in my Concrete London collection.
In the fashion industry, where I have worked for over 25 years, there have been few and far between female leaders. This is an industry where womenswear and accessories dominate sales revenue, but there is a marked inequality, particularly within the C-suite.
Why is that? In my experience, there have been a number of challenges. There have been disparities when it comes to salaries on offer when compared to men in similar/identical roles, intimidation in board meetings when I was the only female in the room and unethical questions asked regarding childcare during final-stage interviews (even though my career profile had proven success of building brands, at a time when my children were already very much a part of my juggling act).
These personal experiences have been echoed and shared in conversations with female colleagues at networking events. And yet we still continue to energise and drive the industry that we work in as we are so passionate about our roles and our industry. There has never been a better time to celebrate our resilience and determination to create a non-gender biased world of equality.
Founder Angela Blundell visiting the factories to ensure the Shima Seiki knitting machines produce to the high standards expected.
Many companies have been making impressive progress towards genuine equality when it comes to both pay and ways of working, especially at the C-suite and board level, and that can only be applauded.
But should we really, in 2022, be congratulating organisations for seeking to create a fairer, unbiased environment? Should it not be an absolute given by now that women are able to think just as creatively, or manage just as effectively, or sell, connect, inform, inspire and lead just as well if not, dare we say it, occasionally better than anyone else?
As ever, there is much to celebrate this coming International Women’s Day. Equally though, there is much to ponder and discuss, to pick out as areas for improvement and opportunity, not just for women but for all of us, everywhere.
Join us at the Platform pop-up store at 28-32 St Christopher's Place, London W1U 1NU on Thursday 10 March, from 5.30pm – 8.30pm for a special evening of drinks, conversation and connection to celebrate this year's International Women's Day.
Concrete London will be at the Platform pop up until 20th March