Today is International Women’s Day with the theme #EmbraceEquity which aims to to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough and how true inclusion requires equitable action.
We feel incredibly lucky that Voice is made up of strong, powerful women and men who are passionate about creating a more diverse and inclusive world, as well as an inspirational leader in our founder Nichola who is committed towards encouraging others to be kind and compassionate so that we can break down judgement and barriers.
We spoke to Nichola about her experience of being a strong woman and a female leader and what has inspired her.
“I was lucky enough to grow up around a dad who empowered me as a female and never treated me differently to my brother. I was taught to never limit myself and believe that I could do anything that I put my mind to which is an ethos I bring to Voice and the team.
“Although I grew up in a more traditional setting where my dad had his own business and my mum took great pride in looking after the home and our family, being a female was never something that should limit us. It was something that was celebrated. There was never pressure to achieve more than our best as long as we were happy and following our dreams.
“My dad taught me strength and the importance of having a can-do attitude whilst my mum taught me to believe in myself and be kind and compassionate. These female traits that allow us to be more nurturing are an asset to a business – it allows us to have a strong balance between our male and female energies so that we can truly encourage others to be the best versions of themselves.
“As we talk about equality and breaking the bias, I think it’s also important that we are also celebrating the opportunities that are available by being a mum and wanting to undertake a role which is seen as more traditionally female. I learnt so much from my own mum, as she remained an inspirational figure and strong role model within my home environment, and I was also inspired and empowered as a leader by my Auntie who was a head teacher at a primary school after working her way up. Despite their different career paths, their successes are equal. Happiness in your role is ultimately the most important thing and this led me to undertake a wellbeing coaching course last year so that I could help female clients, and the Voice team, push through barriers to believe in themselves and step into that leadership space and take on roles that fulfil us is super important.
“It’s also very much about raising awareness of what it’s like to be a woman. At Voice, we have recently put policies in place to recognise symptoms of the menopause and menstruation and how this can impact the day to day lives of females and we have created a menstruation and menopause workshop to continue to educate businesses because 90% of women say their work place offer no support for menopausal workers. Knowledge is power and we believe this conversation needs to be had in order to reduce stigma and support those going through it. You can sign up for a Talk.Period workshop from the Voice team (either online or in person) by dropping us an email.
“We also have the support in place for pregnancy loss and maternity. It is really important that we create a conversation on these topics so that we ensure Voice is based on honesty and openness, moving away from them being seen as taboo.
“This sense of education allows the team to learn and build knowledge on being female so that gender bias continues to not be a thing within our business.
“I think we still have some way to go in terms of reducing gender bias and I would very much like to see businesses and the community develop values that are in line with our B Corp ethos to balance people, planet and profit – all business should have to focus on the triple bottom line so that we create a more supportive and compassionate world.”