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  • Writer's pictureLucy Boreham

Inspiring Inclusion



As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme Inspiring Inclusion – I can’t help but reflect on my career path and what drove me / motivated me to where I am today.  


As a female led business, Lucy and I are passionate about what we do but more importantly supporting others to achieve their potential. Having both worked in industries marked by a lack of inclusivity, we took a bold step over 5 years ago to go it alone. Our drive emerged from our own personal challenges but a greater desire for autonomy, freedom, and flexibility. Most importantly it was the ability to create and build something from the ground up which we are genuinely passionate about.


Throughout our careers, we have always been passionate about supporting others to achieve their potential but more importantly valuing and celebrating difference. Seeing people grow and thrive whether professionally or personally is extremely rewarding and I was lucky to work for a great boss called Bob Sayers at the beginning of my career who supported and helped me instil the values for who I am today. So last week, Lucy and I took some time out over a glass of wine to share our stories and actions of what we do to create a more equal world.  


Use the fire inside you to inspire others.

Having started our own business, we have used our platform to forge networks with other female entrepreneurs to share knowledge, network and support each other. In everything we do we try to positively influence and set an inspiring example for others. This year I will be a judge at the WICE awards for the 4th time. My category is Young Engineer. It is a time to celebrate the achievements of those forging their careers. I always find the day uplifting but frustrating. Despite the significant progress made in construction & engineering, I am still in disbelief at hearing the stories of our young female engineers incurring discrimination & harassment which affects their wellbeing. My fire is ignited!


Amplify your voice.

As women our voice has the potential to reshape narratives, drive positive change or call out unacceptable behaviours that happen to us or others. By using our voice for positive change, we bring new perspectives, break the traditional stereotypes, and catalyse change. We are still confronted by people in our working lives who think it is acceptable to bully or undermine us. The ESG/Sustainability profession is still a relatively new field and we often come up against clients who have limited experience or knowledge but try to tell us how to do our job! It makes for an interesting conversation. I often wonder if this would be the same if we were male Thankfully having that autonomy means we can walk away. By amplifying our voices for the betterment of the position of women in society, we can inspire many.


Be an amazing mentor.

We have both been incredibly fortunate in our careers to have some amazing mentors who have helped us be the people we are today. Over the last few years, we have used our knowledge and experience to support others. It’s been an incredibly fulfilling role to inspire others to pursue their dreams and aspirations without limitations. We have both also learnt so much. Whether it is engaging with young people, supporting female owned businesses or mentoring individuals, mentoring helps to bridge differences and to inspire inclusion.

 

Be mentored.

Running a business has been an incredible learning journey for us. That’s why we call on great minds to help challenge our own thinking. We seek out inspiring business leaders, those with different perspectives who can provide insights and context but importantly give us honest and direct feedback. Thank you Paul Drechsler, Neil Ashworth, Anita Hunt for your support.  


Never stopping learning

Inspiring inclusion is about learning. Whether it be lived experiences of others, listening, or reading resources or seeking out different perspectives, it helps us better understand to enable us to create meaningful change. In December I successfully completed my master’s in strategic leadership. Over the 2 years at Newcastle University, I met so many people from different backgrounds, learnt about inclusive styles of leadership, reflected on my own leadership style and listened to different perspectives which challenged my thinking. Exposing ourselves to different experiences means we grow and recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of everyone from all walks of life, including women.


So many of us this week will celebrate, host, or attend IWD events across the globe, the theme underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality. It calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. What stories or actions do you do to inspire inclusion?

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