Image: Norwegian Sami musician artist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen
International Women's Day is a day not only to look back and celebrate the progress that has been made on equality, but more importantly to re-double all our efforts to break the biases - conscious and especially unconscious.
We reached out to employees across Xynteo about capture contributions on material to continue the conversation, unlock important perspectives, raise awareness of a challenge or highlight an example of a woman to celebrate.
See the fantastic responses below.
Marketing Communications Manager
I had zero experience of being a mother. But motherhood taught me things I never learnt at any school, college or on my job.
It taught me to be fearless and take risks
It taught me to be curious and try new things
It taught me to ask questions no matter who was in front of me
And most importantly, It taught me to be kind even when I was angry or in a crisis
With zero experience, I created a human being and nurtured that being. We all are on a journey and learn on this journey. All you require is love, kindness and passion for achieving it. Experience is just a by-product.
This picture is powerful to me on IWD because these women’s physical demonstration takes the abstract “next generation” and brings it to life, right in front of your eyes. It also shows how humans are part of nature – we are animal too and we are affected by climate change – and so the human/nature divide is broken down. It also references the unfortunate fact that women are more likely to be affected by climate change and to consider it a serious problem.
Senior Insights Advisor
In breaking down the gender binary, I have found the concept of feminine and masculine energies helpful - not least because it returns us to the elemental. In her TED talk, bioengineer and social entrepreneur Rinat Sherzer talks about how the systems in which we operate in are a lot like sperm - fast, scale-driven, goal-oriented, and fiercely competitive.
And yet, nature has given us a clear metaphor for an alternative way of living - the egg. Its cyclical rhythm, receptiveness, and selectiveness reveals what the biological and essential feminine can teach us - a more expansive framework for building a thriving, sustainable society.
In order to tackle institutionalized gender inequalities that persist in the modern world, we need to focus on de-biasing environments rather than individuals. In What Works: Gender Equality by Design, Iris Bohnet describes how unconscious biases hold us back, but explains how traditional diversity training programs have had limited success and how individual efforts alone often result in backlash.
Instead, she draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments from across the world to show ‘what works’. She advocates for taking a behavioral design approach – often called ‘nudging’ – and shares dozens of evidence-based, systemic interventions that could be adopted quickly and at low cost right now to make smart changes with significant impact, in order to move the needle more rapidly towards gender equality.
My understanding of social media has gone through a considerable amount of change. From using the platform to connect with friends to losing them because of expressing my opinions on various issues- I have seen it all!
When I created my first intersectional feminist handle on Facebook, I received mixed reactions from all genders. People were inherently angry at my posts, some were empathetic, and some showed solidarity. My content was subjected to threats. I had to even give my handle up for some time. But I always bounced back. Because feminism is something that’s always filled me with hope and energy. Through my page, I formed friendships that I know will last forever. I was able to create a safe haven for people who otherwise were closeted. It’s not just a page for me; it’s a community where I feel that I belong.
And today, I can proudly say that social media is where my evolution as a feminist began.
It may be 2022, but there is still a long way to go! Changing underlying attitudes towards women (and other sexual minorities) is necessary for a gender-equal world. I am trying my best to do that in whichever little way possible. But if there are more hands-on deck and they all come together, I would definitely get to see full gender equality in my lifetime.
The world has come a long way when it comes to gender equality, yet there's still a way to go and when it all gets a bit depressing, I find myself checking in on a satirical account called ‘The Man Who Has It All’ for a laugh - it's satire, but it wouldn't be so 'testerical' if there wasn't any truth to it!
Saya Snow Kitasei
So many of our narratives about growth centre humans, with the rest of the planet relegated to the status of scenery and non-player characters. Cal Flyn’s Islands of Abandonment explores places that humans have left, from the mining regions of Scotland to Chernobyl. As critical as it is to keep building awareness of the impact human intervention can have on the environment, this book illustrates what can happen if we just stop intervening. And is there any better occasion than International Women’s Day for a book on no-man’s lands?