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International Women’s Day is a celebration of women and the achievements of women globally, providing an important opportunity to both reflect on successes and to champion those who have effectively implemented policies to address imbalances.

WE LEAD took part in several important events to mark International Women’s Day. Collaborating with HMRC, our Centre Director Kiran Trehan, took part in a panel debate where both industry experts and the future generation gave their thoughts on developing a balanced workforce.

The research is clear that organisations with diverse leadership perform better, so it makes economic and social sense to push for gender balance in the workforce. It is important to put this research in to practice to address the leadership gap. Reverse mentoring has been successful in developing inclusive leadership, however not many people utilise it because it is a brave thing to do. Peer to peer networks are also an important tool in creating an inclusive environment, but it is important that these networks themselves are not exclusive and include a diverse range of people.

The University’s BAME network organised a fantastic panel debate ‘amazing women and where to find them.’ This debate, chaired by Kiran, bought together a diverse panel to discuss women in mental health, parenthood, business and healthcare. It is important to use collective action and responsibility in order to make changes within organisations and to challenge our own perceptions.

Kiran Trehan said ‘International Women’s Day is both an opportunity and a challenge. Building a balanced workforce is not just an issue for International Women’s Day and success depends on the collective work of all employees and leaders throughout the year.’