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Celebrating International Women's Day: Create Gender Diversity in the Workplace

March 2024


On International Women’s Day it is vital that we reflect on and reaffirm our steadfast commitments to fostering gender equality in the workplace. Although the overall number of women in health and safety has grown in recent years, there is still a long way to go. Only 22 per cent of IOSH members were female in 2023, which has shown only two per cent of growth since 2018.

More young women are seeing health and safety as a viable career path, but further action needs to be taken to rectify this large disparity. At Astutis, we believe women have a critical role to play in health and safety. We promote equality at every turn and recognise the need for more women to pursue health and safety as a career. This will bring a more diverse range of opinions into the workplace and will help inspire the next generation of female health and safety professionals to pursue the career. In turn, the industry will develop, and workplaces will benefit from an increase in different voices.

Unfortunately, despite their incredible contributions to the industry, many women face difficult challenges in the workplace, such as gender bias (conscious or unconscious) and a lack of representation and recognition for their hard work.

Astutis’ Head of Finance, Heather Thomas, shared how she had been impacted by unconscious bias in the earlier stages of her career:

“After I qualified as an accountant, I left practice and moved into industry. I was the youngest finance manager in the group and also only one of a handful of females. I definitely felt that I was treated by my peers as a young girl who couldn’t possibly know what she was doing! I had to let my work speak for itself and I did. I made use of the skills around me from the parent company to improve mine and then put it into practice. You never stop learning in Finance and if you’re humble enough to understand this and continually improve your knowledge, you can make a positive impact.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Ruth Williams, Astutis’ Marketing Director:

“One challenge that stands out is navigating stereotypes associated with gender roles in leadership. Early in my career, there were instances where my assertiveness was misconstrued. Overcoming this required a delicate balance of standing my ground while fostering open communication. I addressed misconceptions by consistently delivering results, building strong relationships, and demonstrating that leadership qualities are not gender specific. At Astutis, we have an exceptional culture of inclusion and diversity, and its here I believe that I’ve made the most significant contribution in my career.”

We are lucky to have many incredible women working here, and we strive to continue to provide everyone with equal opportunity to succeed. Ruth and Heather are a prime example of the incredible contributions that women make in the workplace, which is why they were most recently promoted to Astutis’ board of directors.

The promotion of Ruth and Heather not only recognises their contributions to the business but also serves as a message of inclusivity. As the company celebrates International Women's Day on March 8th, the appointments of Ruth and Heather are a testament to the commitment to gender equality in Wilmington, an inclusive environment where diverse voices are not only heard but actively embraced. Once again, we commit ourselves to promoting gender equality and continuing to build a workplace that merits success no matter who it comes from. Find out more about our vision as a business below.

  

 

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