What does #InspireInclusion mean to us?

This year’s International Women’s Day focuses on #InspireInclusion. The campaign theme seeks to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, because when we do, we forge a better world.

With this in mind, we’ve reached out to some of our employees who identify as female to ask them to draw on their own experiences diving into insights from their careers, playing sport through to everyday life, to share what #InspireInclusion means to them.

Megan, Account Manager

From a young age, I was encouraged to take up any sport I wanted to try – from being the only girl in my tag rugby team, to dancing around in a tutu at my ballet class – my gender never came into it. But this wasn’t the case for everyone. A lack of female role models in the world of sport, coupled with less opportunities and encouragement to get young girls into sport, meant that many never even gave it a go. So, what does #InspireInclusion mean to me when looking at it through the sporting lens? Female inclusivity in sport is about recognising and harnessing the immense talent, dedication, and potential of female athletes. By ensuring inclusion in sport, we not only empower women to pursue their athletic dreams but also inspire future generations of girls to believe in their capabilities.

Laura, Sales & Marketing Executive

Throughout my life I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by strong female role models who have instilled a belief that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Whether that was succeeding in school, getting involved in a variety of different activities, or pursuing my career. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case for all women and highlights the importance of this year’s theme #InspireInclusion.

To me, #InspireInclusion emphasises belonging and empowerment. It means fostering an environment and support system that encourages women to pursue their passions and goals, eliminating any doubt in their minds that it can’t be achieved.

 Sherin, SEO Account Director

Growing up, I was raised to know I could be anything I wanted to be, and I was lucky to be given a lot of chances. Though, when I first started in SEO, it was a male-dominated industry, and I was in a male-dominated company and struggled to find my feet. With the help of female role models and friends, I was able to get settled and grow over the years.

The industry has come a long way since then as it has become more inclusive and diverse. Being able to now lead a team of women has been humbling and I see much more empowerment in the industry. The support system for women has increased rapidly and seeing where the industry is going is very positive to see.

Beth, Senior Account Manager

Growing up in a family where rugby was so prominent, I was drawn to give it a go. Despite the lack of girls’ teams and minimal representation of women’s rugby in mainstream media, I was still determined to play.

Forming an U18s team at my local rugby club marked a pivotal moment. Though initially met with modest interest, the enthusiasm among the girl’s highlighted potential within our town. As I continued my rugby journey into university and beyond, the lack of female role models in the sport remained a reality.

Today, with 30 registered Ladies’ players and a thriving U16s girls’ team, the landscape of women’s rugby at my local club has undergone a remarkable transformation. The increased visibility of women’s rugby, both on television with the PWR Premiership and through initiatives like Inner Warrior, has shattered barriers and has definitely inspired a new generation of female athletes – highlighting the need for fair inclusion within male-dominated sports. Being able to witness England’s journey to the women’s World Cup final has 100% helped drive interest.

Reflecting on my journey, I am grateful for the progress we’ve made as a country in promoting women’s inclusion in rugby. While I may not have had female role models to look up to in my childhood, I am proud to be part of a movement that empowers girls to pursue their passion for rugby fearlessly, and now has players across the country inspiring young and old girls alike.

Eva, Account Manager

Having worked in the sport and fitness PR industry for over 5 years now, it’s amazing to see how it has evolved to be more accessible and inclusive for women everywhere. We’re no longer living in a time where the media turns a blind eye to discrimination against women in sports, as shown in the heightened media coverage around the abuse many women in sports like football have faced, such as former Manchester City player Joey Barton being held accountable for attacking professional footballers Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward via social media most recently.

Women are rightfully being given a platform to fight for inclusivity more than ever before, but there is always more to be done to create inclusive spaces for women and stop this abuse from happening in the first place. Creative campaigns that do not marginalise, reflect diverse audiences, and have relatable causes at the heart of them, genuinely representing women of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, are therefore more important than ever.

I strongly believe in encouraging women to move in whatever way works for them, and the work I find the most rewarding includes spotlighting inspiring campaigns and female leaders that champion this message, such as co-founders Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw of holistic health and wellness app Kic, who have created a powerfully inclusive community for women in the world of health and fitness, and Sport England’s award-winning This Girl Can campaign. Inspiring inclusivity to me means celebrating all forms of movement – whether that’s a 5-minute stretch or a morning stroll – it’s about whatever makes you feel good.

For more information on how we are committed to building and celebrating a team that reflects the society that we live in, and to nurturing an inclusive, welcoming, supportive working environment for all, head to our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion page.