By Sam Bland. The 2023 International Women’s Day theme #EmbraceEquity perfectly encapsulates the necessary action that the world needs to take regarding the conversation of fairness in a world that is stacked against certain demographics, with particular attention to women.
With more light being shone recently on crimes against women, a lot of which appallingly tied to police violence, there is a need for the world to take a step back and reflect on how it treats those most vulnerable to its atrocities. The 2023 IWD campaign theme is an excellent place to start, to encourage people to consider how equal opportunities aren't enough; people start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
In order to call out inequality, increasing the visibility of women’s achievements and celebrating them is key. Our all-female team is something that I take great pride in being a part of, and we have received numerous industry awards, not only for the business but for individual team members. Our team have been nominated, finalists and winners of awards for diversity and power. Every member of our small team brings individual skills and qualities to make fds a powerful, diverse and welcoming environment to work in. Because of this, I’d like to spotlight the achievements of my colleagues, particularly founder Jo and CEO Poonam.
Jo is a real trailblazer in the corporate finance industry, and right from fds’ creation in her back bedroom, she has displayed the courage, tenacity and grit necessary to carve her own journey in an overwhelmingly male industry. And she has done so, very successfully, as her career has comprised of decades-worth of leadership responsibilities in corporate finance, board support and director-level training.
Poonam’s career journey is equally impressive. A qualified account, Poonam was promoted to Managing Director just three years after joining fds, and now occupies the role of CEO. She manages this role with unwavering passion whilst being a committed and dedicated mother of four. Poonam is a true example of women having the best of both worlds, in terms of the strength of their capabilities when juggling multiple priorities.
In order to accelerate women’s equality and further female empowerment, it must first be recognised that the lack of privilege can considerably impact and hinder the road to success. While a lot of men in this day and age are professionally backing women in business, there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage and recognise women in leadership positions. Women have a lot to offer the world, and under-utilising or refusing to recognise their successes or potential would be a mistake for everyone.