Breaking the bias: International Women’s Day at essensys

3 min read
21/03/2022
By Connor Shugrue

At essensys, our ambition is to create a culture that is inclusive and equal – for everyone. We were thrilled to celebrate International Women’s Day across our business and to do our part to Break the Bias.

Our event on March 8th was centered around giving our female employees a voice. Kicked off by our CEO, Mark Furness, we hosted a lunch and invited both internal and external speakers to tell their stories. We invited our entire organization to take part, a demonstration of our commitment to build a strong allyship between male and female employees alike.

Seeing as many men attend the session as women was particularly impactful for us all to learn together. We all have a voice and story. For International Women’s Day we wanted to ponder how we can ensure we are encouraging all women to feel braver and to grow.

It’s important to encourage women to find their voice and more importantly to use it. Hearing the stories of essensys women was both humbling and empowering. Gaining external perspective helps us to look inside. The event was inspirational for us all to consider, Am I doing enough? Am I mentoring and encouraging others as best as I can?

Roisin Donnelly was invited to speak about her experience in diversity and inclusion, mentorship, and employee engagement. Roisin is currently a Non-Executive Director of Homeserve plc, a former Non-Executive Director of Bourne Leisure and Just Eat plc where she was Employee Engagement NED, and previously a Senior Executive at Proctor and Gamble. She is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace, transforming organisations, and developing human capital.

We are striving to not see barriers, but to see opportunities. With stronger self-awareness we can understand both conscious and unconscious bias. More importantly, we can turn words into actions and continue the conversation to see real change.

Below we share feedback from our employees about this year’s International Women’s Day:

The activity we had at essensys was empowering and gave valuable, actionable insights to take home and apply in our lives! It was refreshing to hear the stories the panelists shared – there is such power in being vulnerable. It inspired self-acceptance, ambition, and created a sense of belonging, which is really important.
– Rita Martinkute, Payroll and Benefits Manager

It was fab! It was great to see so many people in the room – including the men. It was very thought-provoking, and I came away thinking about lots of different things.
– Lily Bennett, Customer Marketing Manager

I enjoyed the agenda and knowing my teammates better through the speeches and communication. The spirit of the celebration was important for sharing life stories and all the difficulties people have gone through. It’s not always a story you would hear on a lunch break.
– Natalya Shpak, UI/UX Design

I really appreciated our staff sharing their own personal journeys, and what they’ve had to overcome. It was inspiring to see people achieve despite adversity. Their openness was refreshing and also brave. Well done to them all!
– Richard Daly, Software Consultant

With our celebration, we aimed to highlight women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action against inequality. However, we acknowledge that it’s not just about commemorating one day out of the year. We are committed to coming together as a company all year round for these great causes and to implement our learnings as we continue to support diversity. We want to ensure that we are nurturing an inclusive culture for all and creating an environment that we can all thrive in.

 

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