International Women's Day | Marieke Flament, CEO

This International Women's Day I look back on an inspirational woman from my life, the #choosetochallenge theme and what we can do to get more women into STEM careers.

3 min read

I’ve always wondered why we needed an ‘International Women’s Day’. Isn’t every day supposed to be Women’s day? 

Sadly, every day is not Women’s day and although progress has been made over the last century, we still have a long way to go to make things equal. Having a day, a week and a month to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also raise awareness on what is left to be done, remains fundamental. 

Recently, I found myself reflecting on my life and the women that have come in and out of it over the years. My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago, just a few days before turning 98 years old. She lived in Calais (France) where she raised 3 wonderful girls, one of them, my mother. She was a 4-time grandmother and a 9-time great grandmother. 

In her lifetime she lived through a global war, and through a global pandemic. Her life as a woman was anything but easy, and yet in her lifetime there is no question that the condition of women improved. 

She saw women awarded the right to vote (1944), the right to sign their own cheques and have their own bank account (1966), the right to abortion (1975) and a law on equality at work between men and women (2001).

#ChooseToChallenge

Today women are still only paid 80 cents to the dollar compared to men. And, if anything, COVID has turned the clock backwards with nursery closures, job losses and homeschooling disproportionately affecting women. 

Creating an inclusive world starts with each and every one of us recognising that while we’ve made progress, there is more work to do. Recognising and acknowledging but also calling out unconscious bias and wanting to make the world of tomorrow a better and more inclusive place, together.

At Mettle, we’ve recently started to work with diversity and inclusion architect Toby Mildon to help further develop and implement our diversity and inclusion strategy. 

We want Mettle to be an outstanding place to work where everybody feels respected and able to thrive. We believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce that mirrors our society, and a culture where you can belong and thrive are fundamental to the future success of our business and to serving our clients. If we feel respected and able to thrive, so will our customers.

And while our recent internal survey shows that an outstanding 93.8% of Mettlers believe we are an inclusive company, we still have work to do. Only 22% of our team are women, and the lack of available data makes it difficult to know how we are doing on any other dimensions of diversity and inclusion. 

Currently, there aren't enough women in STEM. And not that long ago, women were at the forefront of it. It's time to get back on track. I want technology and digital innovation to sound appealing and inclusive – and for younger generations to understand the impact they can have on shaping and building the products that we use. The younger generation has a fundamental role to play, and with technology, they can do a lot of good for the world. We've come a long way but much more work needs to be done.

Today we celebrate our female customers, our female employees and all women in our lives — each and every one of them wonderful role models in their own right. Role models are a fundamental part of the equation: you can’t be what you can’t see. 

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