Search

International Women’s Day 2022: Meet our inspiring female employees breaking the gender bias

— 8 Mar 2022, 15:00 by Tashia Cameron


Happy International Women’s Day!

The time has finally come to celebrate one of our favourite days of the year. IWD is a holiday celebrated and recognised annually across the globe to empower women and their hard-earned achievements. 

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, calling on people to “imagine a gender equal world” which is free of biases, stereotypes and discrimination against women. 

After recovering from a global pandemic and now a devastating war and refugee crisis in Ukraine, there is a lot to be sad and angry about in the world. But the one thing we can do is to celebrate the amazing women who are working incredibly hard to make the world a kinder, happier and better place. 

We invited our female employees across the company to share their views on IWD and talk about tackling some of the biggest stereotypes. Let’s hear what they had to say….

Agee Rose: Head of Retail & Community

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

IWD is all about celebrating and supporting the achievements of women in general and remembering the historic struggles we have faced and still continue to face. Whether it be through leadership, motherhood or politics it’s something that resonates through us all and needs amplifying because we still have a way to go to getting 100% equality. Pioneering, spotlighting, championing and empowering women is how we should celebrate this. Being reminded and thankful for the fact that WE bore every human being on this planet.

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

That women cannot do a "man’s job", women are too emotional, that black and brown women are not seen differently and we should not expect more. I always push against these stereotypes by speaking up, confronting and challenging them by doing everything I can to the best of my abilities to prove people wrong. Having grown up with 3 younger brothers, I have always held my own and being surrounded by a majority of men throughout my career and life I’ve learnt that I can do it on my own and I am bloody strong. I can achieve anything I want if I put my mind to it. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

Not 100% but it’s going in the right direction. It’s not just about women but about equality across LGTBQ  communities too. We need to be inclusive and accept everyone and anyone (men too) , regardless of how they identify in terms of gender, race or ethnicity.

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

Raising awareness, through education and employment, getting more women into power and leadership as well as empowering women. We need to recognise that women leaders are just as strong as men and should be paid and respected equally. I also think a lot more needs to be done to support both women and men that have careers but are also parents too

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

  • Through commitment, hardwork and dedication I have been instrumental in Boxpark’s success as one of the core founding members. I never gave up, overcame all obstacles and my passion and drive for the business continues 12 years later
  • Being a mother (and wife) and constantly trying to juggle the work/life balance. The pressure around being able to dedicate and share yourself to both is incredibly hard and a constant daily achievement.
  • Believing in myself, driving myself to strive and achieve more but also being grateful for everything that I have done in my life so far.

Tashia Cameron: PR & Communications Manager

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

A day for everyone (both men, women and anything in between) to recognise and behold the power, value and strength that women have. Women are vital to the prosperity of the world, and we should be treated that way all year round! Together, we should demonstrate our support for women making a difference in the world, read inspirational stories about overcoming challenges, make a purchase from a female-owned business, or even just showing affection to our fellow females. Mwah!

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

Unfortunately due to society and propaganda, women are often seen as weak and emotional when in reality, history has proven the unbelievable strength of women time and time again. Not only that - in many professional environments, women are not taken seriously for their views especially when it comes to decision-making. There is an overwhelming bias around women who are attractive or dress/look a certain way; that they are less intelligent. Beauty and brains should be observed and praised equally - not one above the other! We have to work together to break these stereotypes by proving people wrong, over and over again. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

I really do. Probably not in my lifetime, but within the next millennium for sure. Look at how far we’ve come since pre-1930s when women couldn’t vote or only worked as servants, tailors and washerwomen. Can you believe there was a time when we were expected to be mothers, housekeepers and have no ambition or dreams?! With so many gender quality-led platforms, enterprises and projects, I believe that one day society will create a place where women will be viewed and treated equally to men. 

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

Better education and awareness of the important role women play in the economy. A wider acceptance of women in power. For our voices and views to be heard. Employers should ensure equal access to opportunities, career progression and empowerment with training, the ability to learn new skills and even support them in pursuing their personal goals/projects outside of the workplace to make them healthier and happier. 

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything! 

  • Choreographed for a UK music festival and various gigs, dance shows and events!
  • Achieved a senior management role in my career without going to university 
  • Finding and keeping an amazing man who has stuck by my side for the past 12+ years. Poor soul, I really do feel sorry for him…

Bhav Hirani: Financial Controller

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

International Women’s Day celebrates every single woman, with no boundaries.

Regardless of your ethnicity, age, race or social background today is a day to celebrate every woman's achievements, big or small and to keep promoting Gender equality across the world.

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

​​Within my Indian heritage, the cultural gender roles have been very traditional & stereotypical. Over hundreds of years, Women managed the house & the family whilst men would go to work. Being raised in the UK I was always encouraged by my parents to do what I love, whether it was playing sports, going to University, or even going for the promotion I wasn't sure was a good fit - they have always encouraged me to push myself further and have been my motivation to overcome norms & push the boundaries.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

I do, although I think we are still a long way off, I feel that workplaces are improving and we're headed in the right direction. I love seeing women around me succeed in their careers and develop in their roles, and I encourage this within my peer group. 

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

By giving everyone an equal chance and ultimately closing the gender pay gap. We need to remove any gender bias and give everyone a fair shot in the workplace to progress themselves and keep raising awareness.

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

  • Progressing myself in a career in Finance - whilst still early into it, I feel that hard work and determination has allowed me to get to where I am today. Having started as an Accounts Assistant I am incredibly proud to have worked up into a Senior FC role at BOXPARK.
  • Graduating University and completing ACCA (accountancy qualification) - I have always been a Maths nerd but completely underestimated the challenges of doing a degree and then 15 exams whilst working a full time job. It was an incredibly rewarding moment when I finally passed my exams
  • Not specifically an achievement but I am super excited to be a mum for the first time and then facing the challenges of being a working mum!

Izzy Grant: PA & Office Manager

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how you think it should be celebrated?

I think international Women’s Day is a really important day in the calendar to keep the topic of gender equality at the forefront of conversations, especially on social media and in the press. It is also a great way to celebrate all the achievements women have made each year and the amazing women in my life!  

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how you have overcome these?

I think some of the main stereotypes women still face is that they are passive, can’t do the same jobs and won’t cause a fuss compared to men. To overcome this I think we just have to push a little bit harder to show our worth and what we can do and always champion the women around us. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

I think we are moving in the right direction but don’t think we will see a huge shift to gender-equality for a long time. I like to think that as millennials and Gen Z generations grow up we may see more women owned businesses and women in high paid exec roles but still don’t think we will see a fully gender equal world in our lifetime. 

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

I think companies need to be more transparent so that people in similar roles know they are not being paid differently based on whether they are male or female. Businesses also need to make more conscious decisions when hiring for the top paid roles so that there are more females on company boards. 

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

  • Graduating from Manchester Met University with a 1st Class degree despite not particularly enjoying my course and getting a placement year at Burberry having made it down from 850 applications. 
  • Travelling around Asia and Australia, meeting amazing friends all over the world whilst pushing myself out of my comfort zone
  • Building a happy life for myself in London with amazing work friends at BOXPARK, really enjoying my job and a great work life balance!

Candy Willans: Sales Manager

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

It means a day to truly celebrate women, the many powerful and amazing women in my life who have inspired and supported me. Also a day to celebrate the important women through history who have paved the way for women’s rights and pushed for equality.

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

I think there is more pressure for women to look and present themselves in a certain way. Once you stop caring about what society thinks and says you should do and who you should become, it is so liberating. Be true to yourself and authentic.  

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

This depends on what you define as gender-equal. It’s important to realise that men and women will always be different but that doesn’t mean to say our treatment should ever be inferior to that of men. It needs to be an ongoing discussion, we should all be moving with the times, progressing and learning.

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

We need to listen to each other, it’s important not to be stuck in your own views. Always be willing to learn and grow. I’ve learnt a lot from others through podcasts, books, and following empowering women on Instagram. Surround yourself with that positive energy. Also pay should be equal for men and women which I’m sure is not the case still even in 2022 in lots of workplaces.

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

  • Travelling the world. I’m lucky enough to have lived abroad, visited lots of incredible countries, met amazing people. Even jumped out of a plane once.
  • Working for BOXPARK! It’s been a complete life changing experience for me to find a job I love and I feel very lucky. 
  • Graduating University. I remember a time I didn’t think I would get through my A-Levels. But I did and it was an amazing experience living in Liverpool and ended up with a 2:1 in my BA Hons degree.

Siobhan Buckely: Assistant General Manager at BOXPARK Wembley

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

To have a day to recognise all the Goddesses of the world, means the world to me. I think it should actually be made into a public Bank Holiday! 

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

Thinking we are not capable of doing the same jobs as men, being overseen and underestimated constantly. I have overcome this by doing a better job period, without having to shout about it. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

I think anything is possible, look how far we have come in general, yes I do.  

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

Keep talking about it, hold people accountable for not allowing it to be fulfilled. Keep highlighting until we succeed. 

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

  • Realising I create my own reality 
  • Not using other people to fulfil my happiness 
  • Making time to work on myself, so I can be a better human for others and the world!! 

Jade Smith: Bar Manager at BOXPARK Wembley

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

IWD to me is the coming together of not just women but men too, to celebrate all women. I believe that women are powerful and make impacts on people's lives that should be celebrated all throughout the year! We should come together and share stories, experiences and times that women have made a positive impact on our lives and these are something we should be proud to talk about.

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

For me, I find that the most common stereotype against women is that they are not strong enough, whether it be physically or mentally. The way in which I have overcome situations in the past is by speaking to women in the industry and also my amazing mum and two older sisters, learning about others' experiences can not only help you understand certain situations but the ways in which people also work. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

I do believe that the world could one day become gender-equal. In order for that to happen us females have to keep pushing harder, whether it's for that job we want that we think is not very female-like or a job we feel underqualified for. We have to push ourselves in these situations and continue to not be afraid. If we continue to show we are not afraid we can show the world that there should be equality all round. 

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

Within the workplace if you want to achieve gender equality you need to have a strong support system around you who can keep you level headed, this is extremely important. You have to be prepared that not everyone you meet will be supportive of who or where you are as an individual. Keep taking up those opportunities even if you may be afraid! 

Give us your top achievement in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

Becoming a Bar Manager in my early twenties is something I could have never imagined! Stepping into a management role at such a young age has helped me boost my confidence and has also helped me believe that all goals can be achieved. 

Melissa Edgerton: Duty Manager at BOXPARK Croydon

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

A celebration of all strong women who empower each other and inspire others. 

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

That women are second to men!! Overcome this by working hard and not being afraid to have a strong work ethic.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

That’s tough- can it be? Yes! Is it likely to happen any time soon? Not as long as we continue to strive it will one day so we shouldn’t give up.

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

By having businesses that acknowledge there is a problem and ensuring they talk about it and address it with their colleagues.

Give us your top achievement in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

I've travelled independently and explored 30 countries at the age of 27.

Sara Muller: Bar Manager at BOXPARK Shoreditch

Tell us what #IWD means to you and how do you think it should be celebrated?

International Women's Day is important to me. It is a great day to celebrate achievements of women around the world, that unfortunately gets forgotten normally. It is also an opportunity to reflect on how women are being treated: both in our own environment, and around the world. What can we do better? 

What do you think are the most common stereotypes against women and how have you overcome these?

That we can't do certain things. We can do exactly what we want to do, if you just give us the opportunities. 

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Do you believe the world can ever be truly gender-equal?

Of course I do, I have to. But I think we have a long way to go. We need to start off by making sure that all girls around the world get the same opportunities as boys. It has to start early.

How do you think gender equality can be achieved in the workplace?

We need to normalise having women in management roles, and make sure that we encourage more women to be brave enough to go for these roles (if they want to). For men it is important to listen to us and support us at work. Many times, unfortunately our opinions don't matter. 

Give us your top 3 achievements in life so far – it can be in your career, personal life or anything!

For me, one of my biggest achievements is to have moved from my small town home to a new country. And going for this role! Before moving here I had never worked in this industry but it was love at first sight. On a more personal level, I have learnt to believe in myself, I can do anything I set my mind to! 

Recent posts

Browse the archive

Browse by category

Scroll up

Register for our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, events and offers.