Happy International Women’s Day 2022

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Company News

In February, Gray & Sons Builders Ltd committed to the principles of the #WomenInConstruction road map, as we strongly believe women should be able thrive within our industry and succeed without bias. However, these principles do not begin and end within the construction industry – we want to continue to challenge inequality in every area of life.

This International Women’s Day, we have challenged the Gray & Sons Team to think about this year’s theme #BreakTheBias. As well as celebrating the women at Gray & Sons, we want to involve people of all genders to be involved in the conversation and become equal advocates for gender parity.

Below are some interviews we’ve held with members of the team, to discuss what #IWD2022 means to them, how women have inspired their lives and ideas about how other genders can contribute to women’s empowerment and breaking the bias.

It’s important to remember that celebrating women and working towards gender equality is beyond just one day, its 365 days a year.

International Women's Day Q&A with Dulcie Owen ✍️

Name: Dulcie Owen
Job Title: Administrator
Start date at Gray’s: August 2021

1. Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day and support #BreakTheBias?

I think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day to remember the achievements that women have made throughout history and raise awareness for women’s equality.

2.  Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

I am still quite early in my career and being 22 years old. I feel fortunate that I have not yet faced the barriers I know so many other women before me have. I am also lucky to have women in my life and workplace who I know can help and advise me if I was to face any of those barriers.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

You can only develop your own vision of a better future by constantly asking questions and challenging your current situation.

4. What is the most important message you want to send out to young girls thinking about starting their careers?

It’s important to be yourself. Don’t try and change to fit in.

5. If you could have dinner with one woman who inspires you (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

I would choose to have dinner with my mum. My mum is a beautiful woman. She is strong, resilient and would not let anything stand in her way. She goes above and beyond to look after the ones she loves.

(Picture Ref: Dulcie & Her Mum, Jacky)

International Women's Day Q&A with Jonathan Duggan ✍️

Name: Jonathan Duggan
Job Title: Buyer

Start date at Gray’s: July 2022

1. What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

Being brought up in a family with older sisters, many aunties and an amazing mother I’ve always seen women as strong, brave, smart & courageous people but more importantly as equals. In the wider world it’s clear to see some progress has been made, certain sports have raised or even equalled prize money between women and men. You see more and more female politicians and business leaders but there is clearly more that can be done. In terms of work I’ve been fortunate to work in a few companies that really do treat staff as equals, offering training to female staff and not just giving them roles which many years ago would be assumed to be ‘womens’ jobs

2. How do you feel can men contribute more to women’s empowerment and #BreakTheBias?

God where to start! We need to try and educate the few Neanderthals that are left into realising women are equal to men, their place in the home and in careers is not up to them but up to women themselves. I think deep down it’s not as much sexism (although for some it probably is) but more a fear of change that makes certain men not want to embrace female empowerment, probably worried their ‘spot’ will be taken. But the truth is women aren’t out to get men, they just want a fair chance at every aspect of life like men have. I think the sooner all men realise that the better for society.

3. Why do we need more women in leadership?

To give a different perspective, men and women’s life experiences differ so much that it’s crucial to have both on any successful leadership team in my opinion, having new ideas and the ‘norm’ being challenged and scrutinised in a constructive way is the only way to move forward in any aspect of life.

4. What is the most important message you want to send out to young girls thinking about starting their careers?
 
There isn’t any set job you should feel like you have to go into, it sounds cliché but women can be whatever they choose to be, yes certain jobs will be harder than others and there will be ignorant people who may try and block your path but if you really want something you can achieve it. Barriers and obstacles are only there to be broken through.

5. If you could have dinner with one woman who inspires you (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

I’ve been racking my brain thinking whether to say The Queen or Serena Williams or maybe Victoria wood as they all are inspiring figures, but the honest answer would be my mother, I don’t find anyone on the planet as inspiring as her.

(Picture Ref: Jonathan with his Mother Liz, Sister Mary-Elizabeth & Sister Mechelle)

International Women's Day Q&A with Paul Green ✍️

Name: Paul Green
Job Title: Operations Manager

Start date at Gray’s: July 1985

1. What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

I would suggest there has been huge progress made throughout the Western World with regard to gender equality. So far in my lifetime the progress has been extensive and gender inequality is less prevalent than it was say, 20 years ago. When I was a lot younger, there was definitely “a woman’s place was in the home” attitude, however, this attitude has changed dramatically and is welcomed as far as I am concerned. In the construction workplace there is still a great deal of inequality, but this is improving slowly and long may it continue.

2. How do you feel can men contribute more to women’s empowerment and #BreakTheBias?

Men can contribute more to women’s empowerment with robust support, promotion of equality values and encouragement in both the home and the workplace.

3. Why do we need more women in leadership?

To obtain a balanced view and balanced approach in the home or workplace you need to have a full cross section of society contributing. If there are more women in leadership roles, we will all gain and benefit from this.

4. What is the most important message you want to send out to young girls thinking about starting their careers?

Never think negatively about any role you aspire to even in what you perceive to be a male dominated industry. Believe in yourself, work hard and achieve what you believe to be out of reach.

5. If you could have dinner with one woman who inspires you (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

 

In recent history I suppose I am most inspired by is Malala Yousafzai. In the UK, we take it for granted that everybody of school age will get an education and be treated and educated equally. At the age of 11 Malala started to blog for the BBC about the education of girls in total defiance of the Taliban in Pakistan. She built herself a huge reputation as an activist for a girl’s basic right to an education in Pakistan, so much so that a Taliban gunmen walked on to a bus she was on at the age of 15 and shot her in the head leaving her in a critical condition in hospital. She was brought to England and treated here and she survived. At the age of 17 in 2014 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts, beliefs and commitment after surviving the assassination attempt and still today, she continues to fight for the basic rights of young girls across the planet to gain an education. Even now in 2022 she is still seen as a threat by the Taliban and others and is still a target for assassination, yet she is still fully committed to her cause.

(Picture Ref: Paul with his wife, Debbie)

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