Today, 8th of March, is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
International Women’s Day began in 1908 when 15,000 intrepid women marched through the streets of New York City to demand shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. In 1975, the United Nations gave official recognition to International Women’s Day, and it is now an official holiday in 27 countries. It is also a day of global awareness for the millions of women who face a myriad of hurdles in accessing economic security, education, safety and health services. Although women’s equality has made positive gains, the world is still unequal.
Over the last year, countless women continued to defy their odds. Despite great adversity and suffering, women such as Emma Gonzalez and Nadia Murad - to name only a couple - accomplished something seemingly impossible. They were able to turn tragedy into a triumph and demonstrate their capacity for positive growth and change. They found value, meaning and purpose in times of major life crises.Above all, they were able to share their knowledge, spirit, and incredible strength, thereby giving other women and girls the words of wisdom and heroic inspirations that have helped them along the way.
At Working Chance, we are continually inspired by the thousands of courageous women that we have worked with over the last decade. Their enduring strength and resilience is astonishing.It is an honour and a privilege to play a part in changing their, and their children’s, lives for the better. The women we work with provide proof that it is not only possible to merely survive, but to thrive and triumph in life. As Working Chance marks International Women’s Day and celebrates its 10 year anniversary, there has never been a better time to invest in women and girls. Every single one of us has a role to play in helping girls get the education that is their right, and women to get the jobs they deserve – whether they have a criminal conviction or not. International Women’s Day is the perfect time to make that commitment.
As the UK's only recruitment consultancy for women leaving the criminal justice and care systems, we know only too well how much of a difference a job can make to a woman’s life.For a woman coming out of prison, a job is a boost of self-assurance, a stabilising force and a means of supporting herself as she works to re-enter the outside world and support her children. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, 100 years since the start of women’s suffrage, let us not forget about the many capable women who are undervalued and go unrecognised today. This is especially true for those women with criminal convictions.
We hope that in 2019, a greater number of employers will change their hiring practices and create social value by hiring women with convictions. They will be blown away by their courage, tenacity, and the common thread of strength.
So, Happy International Women’s Day from Working Chance!