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An interview with CPiO’s Commercial Director on International Women’s Day

An interview with CPiO’s Commercial Director on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally. It celebrates the lives and successes of all women as well as recognising women as gender equals and reducing gender bias.

At CPiO, we value gender equality. Currently, 47% of all employees are female which has increased by 6% over the previous 12 months and 62% of our women are aged over 45, therefore it is important to empower our female employees for the benefit of themselves, the organisation and the wider economy.

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we interviewed our Commercial Director, Rebecca Bradley to discuss inspiring women, career achievements and #EmbracingEquity.

1.What has been your greatest achievement at CPiO?

In my long history with CPiO I’ve been fortunate enough to play a part in so many great professional achievements; many of which have been forged by great team work, great leadership and a shared sense of purpose. As a woman in a leadership role I would say the thing I am proudest of is the balance I have been able to create for myself as a mother, as a homemaker, as a friend and as a colleague. It has not been easy and I don’t believe that a woman ‘can have it all’. I think that is a notion that implies perfection in every facet of your life which just adds more pressure. Now I am in my late 40’s, I have decided to be a little kinder to myself and just be happy with ‘balance’. Some days I am ahead in life and easily covering the demands of work and home, and some days I am behind. I am proud of getting to a point where I am more accepting of my capabilities and more forgiving when I drop a ball or two.

2. Which women inspire you the most?

Ah, there are so many inspiring women in history and current pop culture that you can draw inspiration from. Of course I am drawn to strong women in positions of responsibility but I love reading about how they handle the struggles that most women do. I look at someone like Jacinda Adern and how she coped with returning to office whilst raising a baby. I was fascinated to read about Michelle Obama’s account of life holding down a big job, raising two girls and running a house whilst her husband was half way across the country before he even considered running for president, way before the support and trappings of the White House. But most of all I take inspiration from my friends and colleagues who show up, day in, day out. When we catch up I see just how common the struggle is and it is comforting to know I’m not alone. Having a girls’ catch up is good for the soul.

3. How do you influence your colleagues and the wider business?

There are three things that are important to me. Kindness, leading by example and showing up every day with energy, no matter how tough the day before was. I hope that people see that and can feed off me. Other than that I tend to be myself, get my head down and get on with my job.

4.  What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Why is it important to recognise/celebrate the day?

There seems to be a day for everything in the calendar. But International Women’s Day is really about representation. Half of the world’s population is female and there is still so much injustice and inequality that it needs our attention and intention if it is going to change. A single date in a calendar won’t do that, but it does give us the opportunity to review progress and then reset for the progress still to be made. And IWD is a celebration of all the good that comes from women that we should be celebrating. I love working with other women because I value the empathy they bring to an environment. They create a balance and as a team of men and women we are much stronger.

5.  What message would you tell your 21 year old self if you could go back in time?

I would tell her that she is strong enough, good enough and not to push so hard to get approval. I would also tell her to set herself up with healthier routines early so that it’s not as much hard work when you’re older! Skincare, exercise, good nutrition, self-love….all things that I prioritise now I wish I had practiced more back then.

6. This year’s International women’s day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

I like to see people as individuals who share some common goals or common needs. For me embracing equity means giving the individual the care and support they need at that time. There is so much that we share as women but to say we all have the same needs is to minimalise them.

Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn or contact her on 0344 880 6140.

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