International Women’s Day is a global recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Calling to action the acceleration of gender equality, the movement has been around for well over a century, and in reflection of the great women who have pioneered the changes we’re beginning to acknowledge as equality today, we’re celebrating the powerful women who have successfully driven One Agency to the place it is today.
In a world seemingly caught up in a struggle for gender power, we were curious to know what people considered ‘feminism’ to be. Thoughts ranged from the bra burning cliche, ‘it’s where women want to be more powerful than men’, to ‘it’s striving to live in a world where both genders are treated equally’.
As two successful, results-driven and let’s be clear, salt of the earth, mothers, we turned to our girl-boss directors, Vickie Butterworth and Nicola Orrell, for their thoughts on what feminism conveys to them and how it has impacted their careers.
Vickie Butterworth – Company Director
What does feminism mean to you?
That’s a tough question, as sometimes I think I’d actually describe myself as an anti-feminist feminist. I think, as a woman, you should be able to do whatever the hell makes you happy. If that’s running a multi-million pound business, or being a stay-at-home mum – the choice should be yours. Personally, I’ve chosen to be both because I’m at my happiest in both environments.
How do you manage life as a mother, whilst also being a full-time working woman?
It’s tough and there’s no doubt about that. It’s a battle trying to find the balance – I’ve had periods where I’ve been guilty of not giving Archie the time he deserves. What I’ve found, is that you need to separate the two… So, I do the school run in the morning, and that time between 6am and 9am is our time. No interruptions. I drop him at school and then my professional hat is on ready for the day. Weekends are the same. If I do have any work to do, I do it after 7pm when he’s in bed. The other major factor is my husband. He parents 50/50 with me, so he does school pick up, with the same rules around quality time with Archie – which means I can work as late as I need. It’s taken time, but I do feel like we’ve nailed it.
As this year marks the 100th year of the suffragette movement, how do you feel the rise of female empowerment has impacted women in the 21st Century?
It’s given us choice. In some societies and cultures, there is still some way to go, as some women still don’t have the power of choice and that makes me sad. I feel exceptionally lucky to be a women, in my 30’s, in the UK, in 2018. Choice and opportunity are frequent elements in my life and I feel so blessed and fortunate to even be sat here writing this.
What has been your biggest career ‘YES’ moment to date?
Nicola Orrell – Sales Director
What does feminism mean to you?
I actively believe in equality for all people, irrespective of gender, age or race. I like to treat people at face value.
How do you manage a work/life balance as a full-time working woman?
I’ve got an amazing support network that allows me to commit a large part of my time to work. It’s hard sometimes, and I don’t always get it right, but I have to take each day as it comes and make a rule that weekends are for family. My children are all supportive of my career and understand that the hours I put into my job will only benefit them.
Do you feel you have faced any challenges in your career, due to being a woman?
I’ve faced many challenges in my career, both personal and professional, but you have to remain focused at all times, and let the results speak for themselves. I always have and always will remain grounded, and the challenges faced help you develop broader life skills that you can carry through your journey.
What advice would you give to your daughter when it comes to starting her career?
You have to love what you do, you have to be passionate and most of all, always be happy. Life is too short and I will support her in whoever she wants to be in life.
With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings exposing that gender parity is an abysmal 200 years away, it’s imperative we keep motivated and support the #PressforProgress movement. Furthermore, with the growing trend of equality activism, fuelled by movements such as #PressForProgress, #MeToo, #TimesUp (and more), there’s a strong momentum striving for gender parity.
Words: Rebekah Spratt