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International Women’s Day 2021 - #ChooseToChallenge

by Sellick Partnership | 8 March 2021

International Women’s Day is a day that recognises the importance of diversity within all aspects of business. Here at Sellick Partnership we are proud to have a strong female workforce and an inclusive culture that promotes success, giving everyone the same opportunities, no matter their sex, age, sexual orientation or race/ethnicity.

To celebrate this year, we asked our people what International Women’s Day means to them and their sector and why they think this day is just as important today as it was over 100 years ago!

Jo Sellick — Managing Director 

As a business leader with a strong female workforce I feel it is important to recognise the importance of International Women’s Day and why it remains as important today as when it was first celebrated on  February 28, 1909. Still today some women face barriers in their careers, and reports suggest that the gender gap is still rife within many industries.

I believe the problem lies in the retention and promotion of female role models, or lack of in many cases, and as a result organisations are losing some of their best talent. If a female candidate or employee has the desire to progress and is committed to the work they do then there should be absolutely no reason for them to fall behind.

If businesses work closely together to promote strong female role models I believe we could instil more women with the confidence to achieve their full potential and help reduce the gender gap once and for all across all industries and sectors.

Kiran Purewal — Principal Consultant

“Emmeline Pankhurst, Carol Ann Duffy, Elizabeth Gaskell, Caroline Aherne….Manchester, a city where women have done, and continue to do amazing and courageous things, it’s important to celebrate these and to inspire a new generation of women. One day we might not need to have a special day to highlight the achievements and importance of women in the workplace, home, life and society and there will be simply a celebration of ‘people’ and the value they bring. Until then, International Women’s day brings some balance and highlights the need for challenging gender bias inequality.”

Anna Williamson — Head of Marketing and Communications

Today I am proud to celebrate International Women’s Day and support this year’s theme #ChoosetoChallenge. This year, I choose to challenge gender inequality in leadership positions. Women should be able to have a family and a successful career and they should get the support they need to achieve this. Being a new mother myself, I know that the work/life balance can be really tricky, but I have the right support around me – both professionally and personally – to help me succeed. International Women’s Day is a celebration of all women and their achievements – however small or large they may be. It’s all about your contribution to society and how you are helping to pave the way to true gender equality. On Monday 8 March 2021, every single woman should celebrate and be proud of at least one thing they have achieved that is helping to shape future generations. So take a moment to celebrate being a mother, a leader, a business owner, a role model, or a wife this International Women’s Day and be proud of your achievements.  

Simon Briffa — Internal Talent & Wellbeing Manager


"Today I am celebrating International Women’s Day with all my colleagues at Sellick Partnership. This year’s theme is #ChoosetoChallenge, which means celebrating women's achievements and together helping to create an inclusive world. At Sellick Partnership, we have a large female workforce and they are all doing incredibly well within our business. Here is my #ChoosetoChallenge picture to show my commitment to celebrating women’s achievements and challenging gender bias and inequality.”


Laura Hayward — Associate Director

Today we are celebrating International Women's Day to not only recognise how far we have come, but to also raise awareness of the gender inequality that still occurs. Last year it was reported that the average woman effectively works for free for the last two months of the year compared to the average man; this is something we need to continue to challenge until we see change. The statistics show that the amount of women in leadership roles has grown over the past few years which is great, but we still have a long way to go and businesses need to continue to create opportunities for women to progress. I am extremely proud to be a female leader, especially in such a successful, inclusive business which is predominantly female! We need to shout more about our successes and inspire young females to achieve their aspirations.

Melissa Finch — Senior Marketing Executive 

“International Women's Day is an opportunity to reflect on how far women’s
rights have come, however it also highlights issues that women still face. It’s a chance to remember women who have fought for gender equality and also to acknowledge the women and men who are still striving for change. It's a chance to celebrate the achievements and great work that women do every day in a variety of different professions. Today I choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. From challenge comes change and together we can all work to create an inclusive world.” 

Hannah Cottam — Director

International Women's Day is important on so many levels. Luckily, in the recruitment industry, we have an excellent representation of women, exemplified in our own business, where we have a 60% female population. But it’s not as true in many industries. It’s important that we talk about it, try to work on rebalancing boardrooms up and down this country, as well as support each other to achieve this important change. It needs to be discussed every day though not just on International Women’s Day, we will continue to flag this important issue.

Nikki Kinsey — Director

“Today is International Women’s Day, and this year the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We must challenge and alter negative perceptions around gender equality and actively promote successful women, creating and showcasing opportunities for career growth. Last year the requirement for businesses to publish Gender Pay Gap reports was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender pay reporting is, however, back on the agenda for 2021 and we must urgently pay attention to the statistics and look to close the Gender Pay Gap once and for all. We must also strive to support women looking to achieve senior leadership roles by becoming more flexible, offering better maternity/paternity provisions, and promoting strong female role models that women can look up to. I am confident that if we do this and continue to encourage young women to reach their full potential we should be able to accomplish equality in leadership, and achieve gender balanced Boards within our lifetimes. Vice President Kamala Harris recently said “When we lift up women, we lift up families, we lift up communities and all of society benefits.”

Daniella Pye — Senior Manager

Today I am celebrating International Women’s Day. I want to challenge women to champion themselves as strong leaders in the workplace, to recognise how much value their voice can bring and to always strive for equality. Today I #ChoosetoChallenge for change, together we can all help create a gender-equal world