International Women’s Day 2023


Published 8th March 23

By Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, CEO of Ploughshare

To mark International Women’s Day – a day where we come together to celebrate the achievements, resilience and impact made by women across the world – our CEO, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, shares what #EmbracingEquity means to her…

“Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful. It doesn’t mean giving everyone the exact same thing and expecting it to make them equal, because this assumes that everyone started out at the exact same place, which is vastly inaccurate.

It’s about authenticity. If you want to be truly inclusive, then you must create a culture where women feel like they are able to be their real authentic selves, and I think this is something we must all consider and challenge ourselves on – day in and day out.

When driving diverse and inclusive recruitment, it’s not good enough to say the candidates are not out there. They absolutely are out there; you’re just not asking the right questions with the right audiences to find those people.

We need to encourage women to speak up. We need to be mindful to resist moulding young recruits into the set standard of the existing company culture, which will likely be gender biased.

For women who are already at relatively senior levels, you are role models. Please resist the temptation to effectively encourage young women to be more like men to succeed, because that does no favours to any of us, and it does not support young women in the way they need.

For men, you have got the biggest roles to play out of everybody. Please think about equitable work cultures, and what you can do to make women feel like it’s safe to speak up and actively encourage them to express their thoughts.

Equity is not a learned or conscious thought process for many. So, to make it more likely – and to make today’s International Women’s Day a real pivot point for all of us, in all parts of society, and in all parts of the work environment – please keep equity in the forefront of your mind, in everything you do.

I’d like to wish my wonderful colleagues at Ploughshare, and in my network, a Happy International Women’s Day – let’s keep striving for change, let’s keep up momentum, let’s use our voices. Together, we will achieve great things.”