blog, by cristina lanz azcarate
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“Help women and girls achieve their ambitions” #PledgeForParity

Today is International Women’s Day, #IWD2017 , and like every year, I use the opportunity to renew my pledge and commitment to fellow women.

Since I was a child my paternal mother, a railway engineer, inspired the family to pursue a professional career through her example; my maternal grandmother through her compassion and creativity and my mum through her sheer determination. Now, it is my turn to inspire my nieces.

As regional Chair for #NAWICUK & Ireland, in London and the South East, I volunteer side by side with a fantastic team of committed individuals to redefine the future of the industry we feel so passionate about. And today, (with them) I will aim to inspire the girls at Preston Manor, London, to look beyond the role models presented to them by the media into a wider range of opportunities which can literally shape the future of our cities.

If you wonder, what is it that you could do to support the same pledge, I would like to share some suggestions for there are many things we can do as individuals and as a collective yet we often think that our individual power is much more limited than it really is.

As Individuals we can:

  • Go to schools and speak about the significance that the work we do has in those kids’ every day.
  • Become ambassadors of our profession or trade
  • Join/Volunteer in associations such as NAWIC to develop projects which can affect change and inspire
  • Support those peers who may be considering to leave the industry.
  • Demystify linear career paths by sharing our experiences

As companies we could:

  • Use clear language and contextual images in our websites
  • Participate in careers days like those NAWIC (and others) organise (LINK)
  • Be open and fair in regard to the criteria for promotions and opportunities (Avoiding biased behaviours.)
  • Embrace (rather than fear) Diversity
  • Review employment policies and working practices to make sure they account for everyone
  • Create formalised networking opportunities
  • Recognise and reward talent: Apprenticeships, Graduate schemes, In-house development programs etc…

If this article gave you a few ideas you are ready to pursue… take the pledge. It is the right thing (for everyone)

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