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International Women’s Month at GoCardless: Embracing equity

Holly Smith
Written by

Last editedApr 20233 min read

Introducing International Women’s Month at GoCardless - think International Women’s Day (IWD), but bigger!

IWD is an annual celebration recognised globally on Wednesday 8th March, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. This year Inspiring, one of our five employee resources groups (ERGs) at GoCardless whose mission is to achieve gender equality, organised a series of engaging activities to raise awareness and encourage conversation on this year’s theme: embrace equity. We want to recognise that we don’t all start from the same place and to acknowledge and make adjustments for the imbalances. 

We had a packed agenda and wanted to share some of the fun and important things we got up to. 

A traditional women's clothing exhibition

[en-en] Traditional Clothing

Inspiring teamed up with BEAM, another ERG that aims to increase the opportunities of Black, Ethnic and Asian Minority communities. The collaboration started the month strong with a traditional women's clothing exhibition that brought together and showcased a collection of clothing items, jewellery and fabrics from our female GeeCees from 13 countries around the world - Palestine, Japan, India and Ghana to name a few. It was a great opportunity for GeeCees to share experiences and learn from others about different traditions from a variety of cultures.

IWD bake off  

[en-en] IWD 2023 Bake Off

We crowned a GoCardless IWD Baker in a sweet bake-off! GeeCee’s whipped up some tasty treats that represented women or gender equality for them. With seven fabulous entries, three judges and lots of hungry GeeCees we eagerly awaited the winner announcement. Feast your eyes on the winning chocolate cake with inspiration from the suffragette movement by Ana Martins, Sales Development Representative.

Let's talk about hormones and mental health

[en-en] Hormones and mental health

The women of GoCardless shared their experiences of hormonal changes and mental health in a panel discussion in collaboration with Mindful, our ERG whose goal is to ensure everyone can speak about mental health and be heard. GeeCee’s across our Business Operations & Strategy, Product Management, Engineering, People and Legal teams gave honest advice and perspectives on topics that are often overlooked, forgotten or not spoken about menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. We challenged stereotypes and discussed ideas for how others can be allies to support women. 

Cheers to raising awareness

[en-en] Women in Brewing

In collaboration with Pride (an ERG), we hosted a beer tasting to raise awareness and celebrate women and LGBTQIA+ communities. We were joined by Natalya Watson, award-winning beer educator and podcast host of 'Beer with Nat' in our London office with beers from Queer Brewing, a queer and trans-owned brewery whose aim is to increase visibility and representation for LGBTQ+ people through beer. We didn’t stop there, our Paris office also hosted a Women in Brewing event with one of our customers co-founded by a woman, Les Brasseurs de l'Estérel. And our office in Riga was joined by Katrīna Laganovska from Hypnos Brewery, one of the few female brewers in Latvia. 

Doing more to make a difference

We did lots more to celebrate and make a difference this International Women’s Month across all of our offices: 

  • We highlighted volunteering opportunities for GeeCee’s to use their three volunteering days to give back to the women in our communities. Opportunities to get involved ranged from mentoring and career coaching to shopping for professional attire for women in need. 

  • We raised awareness with our ERG, Access, on ADHD in women, a commonly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed condition in women. Boys are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than girls, and symptoms are often more subtle in women and, as a result, harder to identify. Educating on the difference in traits between girls and boys can help diagnose at an earlier stage, setting girls and women up to strive better in life, equipped with the tools to succeed.

  • We took over Book Club at GoCardless with Circe by Madeline Miller, a contemporary retelling of the Greek story of the Odyssey from the perspective of a woman, Circe. 

  • We shared experiences of not being able to relate to those around us and being an only. Maybe you've been the only person in the room that looks like you? Perhaps you are the only one of a certain gender or race? But with the help of allies, we can all help lessen that burden and so we also spoke to an ally to share practical things to support women in the workplace. 

Everyone has a responsibility

That’s a wrap for International Women’s Month at GoCardless in 2023 and it has been a  huge collaborative effort with all of our ERGs. We’ve encouraged positive conversations and raised awareness of the imbalances that women face in the workplace. We know that we are all responsible for creating an equitable environment for women at GoCardless. It's initiatives like this where we can create a safe space for experiences to be shared, ideas to be discussed and stereotypes to be broken down with both women and allies that will get us closer to the goal. 

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