International Women's Day, now celebrated on 8 March, has been around for longer than you might think.  As early as 1909, a National Women's Day was being held in the US, to promote equal rights and women's suffrage.

Fast forward to 1977, and the United Nations invited its member states to proclaim 8 March as an official UN holiday for women's rights - the day has been celebrated ever since, with each year focussing on a specific theme or issue.

In 2021, this was #ChoosetoChallenge, encouraging people to call out gender bias and inequalities, helping to create a more inclusive world.  2022's theme is #BreakTheBias, promoting a world free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

IWD Banbury will be running a day of speed mentoring sessions, aiming to change perceptions of careers open to women. Having taken part in 2020, just prior to the first Covid lockdown, I am thrilled to be participating again this year, albeit virtually.  

It is a real privilege to be able meet young people, talk to them about your career as a patent attorney and hopefully inspire them to look beyond the traditional job market. I am particularly looking forward to discussing #stemcareers, where creativity and innovation are always in demand.

How do we #BreakTheBias and inspire girls and young women to pursue rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing? One way is to engage them with relevant role models, through mentoring, speaking and support. 

#WomenInSTEM, we are all role models - in honour of IWD 2022, reach out to your local secondary (or even primary) school and offer to talk about your career. You WILL make a difference.

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