With the dawning of this new decade we are enjoying a refreshed and positive outlook to take us through the next ten years. Yet within many businesses and communities across the globe, the right and ability for BOTH genders to stand equal is an ongoing battle. Enabling women to “take a seat at the table” is not simply the issue; far too many are entirely unable to even enter the room.

As I watch the revamped HBD settle into 2020 with a new-found confidence and driving ambition, it is vital that we continue to drive to achieve equality and diversity. I know that HBD is proud of its people. Without them the developments that have made it what it is would not exist and it’s great to see that women sit at the table at every level. HBD as a whole achieves a 1:3 ratio – some might say this is surprisingly high for a company of its size and sector.

So how does a company such as HBD continue its trajectory whilst retaining its solid reputation and respected heritage?  It is about balance, fairness and equality without being critical of men. We need partnership and collaboration between the genders, both within and outside of this organisation and that will be the route, I believe, for continuing progress and innovation.

HBD, and the Group as a whole, supports and encourages flexible working, shared parental leave and pay based on worth rather than gender, to list but a few. However, many others outside of this organisation and across the UK, indeed across the world, are still fighting for these rights.

Statistics show that seventy-five per cent of the world’s workforce is female and yet only ten per cent of the world’s income is from females. Two-thirds of all children denied school are girls, and well over half a billion of the world’s illiterate adults are women*. I passionately believe that it is possible to change this narrative so women, of any age or background, can grow up in a world where their value and right to succeed is recognised, rather than disregarded or diminished, due to gender.

As women and men across the globe take a stand for International Women’s Day, I personally felt a need to reflect. I brainstormed questions and asked the women of HBD their views on the changing roles of females in the corporate workplace – how far they’ve come and how far there is to go. The video can be found in our Journal section.

IWD 2020 is full of positives, a celebration of the successes and achievements of women. We have to continue to strive for a fairer and more equal world and workplace – one where doors are opened no matter of gender.

So please join me, and all of us at HBD, in supporting International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March – keep an eye out on our social channels for some #EachforEqual content.

Amy, Manchester