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#EachforEqual – International Women’s Day at SUEZ

9th March 2020 Posted by

Posted by Dr Tracey Leghorn, Chief Human Resources Officer at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK

This past year has seen great progress for women and girls around the globe. From Jessica Meir and Christina Koch being the first all-female team to step into space from US space agency NASA to Roula Khalaf being appointed the next editor of the Financial Times, the first woman to do so since it was founded in 1888. In 2019, women had their voices heard while the spotlight was on creating gender balance in boardrooms. On 08 March 2020, the world turns its attention to women and girls to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

Female role models

A year and a half ago, when I started my role as Chief Human Resources Officer at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK,
I asked the members of our SUEZ UK Women’s Network who their role models were. There were no rules – it could be anyone they wished. A couple spoke of high profile or famous figureheads from the world of business, politics or history. All notable and inspirational women. All incredible role models to have.

However, the vast majority of my colleagues spoke of women close to them. Their grandmother who had been the first in the family to go to university. Their mother who had loved her family and her work. Their sister who had overcome real challenges balancing family and work life. Their friend who had struggled with mental health. Their colleague who had built a career they admired.

 

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, recognising all of the actions that we take as individuals to fight prejudice, challenge stereotypes and celebrate women’s achievements. Just like my colleagues at SUEZ, I do not believe that role models need to be famous. For me, the best role models are regular women, being their authentic selves and standing up for what they believe in and the life they want to live. In both my professional and private life, I have been surrounded by amazing women from all walks of life, all of whom have become role models to me in one way or another. The most important thing for me is that women should have the right to choose and not be judged or feel guilty about the choice they make.

Celebrating women’s achievements

I am proud of our accomplishments as a company over the last year in the area of inclusion and diversity. Some notable highlights include the creation of our Wellness Charter for all staff, our robust gender pay position, our focus on recruitment, development and succession planning and the increase of women working at all levels of the company. We still much more to do, but these are great first steps.

One of the achievements that really stands out for me is that we have created a passionate and highly engaged women’s network of more than 1,000 in our company.
I see these women support and inspire each other every day as role models to each other by sharing advice, experiences and giving their time, all in the spirit of mutual encouragement and support.
I have always been passionate about promoting women and women’s issues and have the privilege of being able to do so in my role in an organisation that is passionate about this issue as I am.

Each for equal

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to recognise all the positive role models within SUEZ who I have the enormous privilege of working alongside.

Collectively we create a gender equal world.

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