International Women's Day takes place annually on 8 March to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.
This year's theme was Choose to Challenge, with an emphasis that a challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change. With this in mind, we spoke to five people from across the Ocorian family to dig a little deeper into what International Women's Day means to them.
What does this year's International Women's Day theme, #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?
"The word Choose is key for me. Having a choice and an opinion is an incredible privilege, especially if you are a woman. We should use that privilege to make choices wisely, to have courage to go against the mainstream, to speak up for our rights, to help other women do the same, and to challenge the status quo, whether it is about professional choices, or life choices in general."
- Conducting Officer - Head of Client and Portfolio Services, Yulia Martin from our Luxembourg team
What are you most proud of achieving within your career?
"Building a positive team culture and working environment that puts people first. I wasn't able to find an existing working environment that reflected my values until I had the ability to build my own team at Ocorian Law. We put people and their individual needs at the centre of our goals."
- Managing Partner, Kendra Foster from our Cayman Islands law team
Have you encountered gender-based barriers during your career and how have you overcome them?
"When acting as chairperson on a board where the other members of the board are all men, it can be difficult asserting your authority. Working hard and remaining professional will demonstrate that a woman can do the job just as well as a man. The results will speak for themselves."
- Managing Director of our UAE office, Nina Auchoybur.
What role do men play in championing women's rights in the workplace?
"Each of us, irrespective of gender, has a role to play in making our values real - if you are not seeing them role modelled you have a responsibility to call it out.
In terms of growth and development, each of us has a responsibility to do the best job we can and leadership has the critical role of supporting you and providing clarity and direction to helping our colleagues grow. Men play an important role in the development of female talent, and so do women."
- Chief People Officer, Paul McAvoy.
On International Women's Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
"Set goals within reasonable time frames and work on a route to achieving them. Hard work without a goal cannot be relied upon for career growth. And speak up! Far too often I see women knowing what they want to say, thinking about saying it but not actually saying anything - life's too short for silence!"
- Regional Head APAC and Middle East, Tania Mohacs.
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