This International Women’s Week, Central Co-op joined in with the aim of #EmbraceEquity. While equality is all about treating people the same, equity is about treating people differently to treat them fairly, giving everyone the same opportunities and chances, as Equity and Equality are two values at the heart of all co-operatives.
All week the Society has encouraged ‘thank you’ cards to be sent to women within Central Co-op as a part of its digital Recognition Wall, encouraging colleagues to recognise and appreciate their fellow colleagues and the work that they do. Members and colleagues got together in person at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for an International Women’s Day event on Wednesday, 8th March, bringing together communities of inspirational women to talk about important topics.
Speaking at the event was Dame Margaret Beckett, Britain’s first female Foreign Secretary who also holds the record for the female MP with the longest service overall. Dame Pauline Green also addressed attendees, having made history as the first female Chief Executive of Co-operatives UK.
Various workshops were hosted to discuss important topics for women worldwide, including Co-operative work in Malawi, as a part of Central Co-op’s celebration of women internationally. This included a video from Portia Chirwa, who’s part of the project for Our Malawi Partnership, talking about her career journey, the co-operative movement in Malawi, and challenges women in Malawi face.
The other workshops were about embracing equity and the conversations around menopause, with an additional floristry demonstration available to enjoy too, conducted by members of Central Co-op’s own floristry team.
Webinars have been held throughout the week, inviting all women to learn about topics like imposter syndrome and embracing your inner lioness, empowering women to use superpowers of empathy, passion, intuition, and resilience to lead with authenticity. A discussion on personal development was also hosted, featuring female panellists across the Society, and Chief Executive Debbie Robinson shared her experiences of being a woman in business via a fireside chat from Diversity in Retail.