To celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday 8th March I asked some of my female colleagues to think about what they would #ChooseToChallenge. A big thank you to Charlotte, Catherine, Åse & Gloria for your contributions.
Charlotte Armitage, Psychotherapist & Counsellor
What would you #ChooseToChallenge? I would choose to challenge approaches and attitudes towards mental health in an attempt to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.
What are your hopes for the year ahead in terms of the work that you do? I hope to facilitate a better understanding of mental health presentations, looking at mental illness from a trauma informed perspective rather than a diagnosis.
What will you be doing on International Women’s Day? I am doing a talk about my own experiences of growing up in a mixed race household, the challenges that posed and how it helped to define my success.
Catherine Hamilton, Inspire 2 Achieve
What would you #ChooseToChallenge? Speak out where I see unacceptable behaviours, stereotyping , labels or bias occurring based on assumptions and long held views. Raise awareness of the unfairness and these ill-founded beliefs.
What are your hopes for the year ahead in terms of the work that you do? I hope to win over more advocates for inclusion and inspire leaders to “get it” so they can lead inclusively. I hope to use my new book ‘The Rainbow’ to inspire parents and teachers to talk about inclusion and valuing difference with their children.
What will you be doing on International Women’s Day? Reflecting on the strong women in my life – in particular my Mum who is the best role model I could have, my 2 sisters who have continued to work and build their local communities, my 2 independent daughters who are strong passionate women and my girlfriends from school and university whom I still talk with regularly and have kept me going throughout lockdown.
Åse Greenacre, Mental Health Trainer & Coach
What would you #ChooseToChallenge? Too many people become parents and don’t think about what they are doing. The impact we have on our children is immense and the ability to understand and support them in the best way is not always easy.
In order for our kids to grow up to become resilient, caring, inclusive and empowered adults, we need to lead the way and start from home. We need to be their role models and guides, not their best friends. Our children need their parents to be active parts in their lives.
What are you hopes for the year ahead in terms of the work that you do? I hope that mental health & resilience training will become widely integrated into company culture. Long gone are the days where home and work are separate “leave your problems at the front door” attitudes are dated. Companies have to step up and support all year around, rather than a tick box exercise for the wellbeing week.
What will you be doing on International Women’s Day? My business partner Jenni and I are avid supporters of women and our fight for equality. I also have 2 daughters that are showing me what young women are still up against as far as equality, biases and sexual harassment goes. This is ongoing battle that has to be fought until it’s no longer needed. According to research this will take another 50 years! We will support women’s day by attending events, writing and showing what we stand for!
Gloria Cotton, inQUEST Consulting
What would you #ChooseToChallenge? Those of us committed to DEI to take care of ourselves as well as we take care of our clients and the people we work so hard to be sure they are welcomed, valued, respected, heard, understood and supported. Many times we forget to take care of ourselves. Let the measures of success for our work and apply those same and similar strategies to the physical, emotional, metal and psychological health of ourselves. That’s creating the best and most impactful win-win for all.
What are you hopes for the year ahead in terms of the work that you do? I hope that DEI and social justice will remain top of mind for corporations, individuals and our government. That the interest and commitment will not fade and disappear after Covid has been controlled or that will search for a new cause to champion, tossing DEI aside.
What will you be doing on International Women’s Day? I’m orchestrating a Zoom celebration. I’ve invited 10 women to come together for “Cyber Chat & Coffee/Champagne (CCC).” I’ve asked them to: identify 1 woman in their life who has made powerful impacts on who they are and what they do personally and professionally. If those women are available, they should invite them and let them know, using whatever vehicle works for them (singing, drawing, poetry, etc.) what they did and the difference they have made in their lives and those of others. And I’ve asked them to invite 1 women whose life they have touch in a profound way and ask that those women prepare to do the same thing they did for their role models. Why? (1) We do not celebrate women and the powerful impact we have/are making on individuals and the world enough. I hope this will plant seeds and habits of celebrating and allowing ourselves to be celebrated.
And for me I would challenge the need for every employer to place employee wellbeing higher up their agenda – physical, mental and overall wellbeing – after all a positive employee is a productive employee! Read the full article here.