This Wednesday, 8th March is International Women's Day - a day celebrating women around the globe. And you better believe there's a lot to celebrate!
In the last year, the first black woman justice was sworn into the US Supreme Court (Ketanji Brown Jackson), the first Native woman went into space (Nicole Mann), and the first openly queer woman of colour won an Academy Award (Ariana DeBose).
And then the youngest woman to fly solo around the world did it at just 19 years old (Zara Rutherford), and Honduras saw their first female president (Xiomara Castro). Maya Angelou also became the first black woman to appear on an American quarter (Maya Angelou).
The strength, dedication and sheer grit behind these achievements is nothing short of inspiring. If we're looking for inspiration, though, we don't have to look that far.
It's something that new starters always comment on when they first join the team - just how many women work here. Classically our industry has been very male dominated, though things are changing. Today, 55% of our team at Paramount are women. Strong women at that - I don't mind saying. Every single woman on this team is a powerhouse in her own right.
So how did we get here? It actually has a lot to do with the theme of 2023's International Women's Day: embracing equity.
First, just a background on why equity is the focus this year.
The theme #EmbraceEquity aims to highlight how equality - true equality - can't be achieved with a blanket approach.
How do 'equality' and 'equity' differ? An 'equality' focussed approach essentially aims to give everyone the exact same resources and opportunities. While it's on the right track, it doesn't take into account that people don't all start off in the same place.
People have different circumstances - in resources, family situations, and physical abilities for example - which can make it more difficult for some to reach the same goal.
An 'equity' focussed approach recognises these differing circumstances and aims to give people what they need to achieve the same success.
I think this image from the official International Women's Day website sums it up well:
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
At Paramount, equity is a part of our culture and our values.
Reagan, our Operations Director, comments:
"There are health, medical and circumstantial factors which, like it or not, only affect women. We have been determined for those types of things to not hold anyone back here and create an environment where you can talk openly and request flexibility based on this without fear of it impacting your progression negatively. It also helps to have accessible, female members of your senior team to encourage dialogue around this."
I asked our team what their thoughts were around this.
"It's the flexibility for sure! I have never felt that having a child has been a disadvantage to me. I agree that having senior females helps make the possibly awkward conversations a lot easier." says Amber, our Compliance specialist.
"I feel Paramount has created a safe place for women. When situations arise they allow flexibility and support in times of need." says Kait, half of our extraordinary Tenancy Specialist department.
Janki, the other half of that department says "The flexible approach and being around fellow females in the team is empowering and relatable."
Rhian, our resident Digital Marketer says it well: "I think we all have a shared vision of gender equity and equality, and if someone doesn't align with that culture they wouldn't be for us."
With equity we achieve the true meaning of equality.
In the spirit of International Women's Day, I asked a few colleagues to tell me about someone at Paramount that inspires them. We often think these things to ourselves, but rarely does the person get to hear our thoughts!
We challenge you to reach out to a woman in your life that inspires you and let her know today!
I'll end with a quote from our Director of Lettings, Spencer Lawrence: "We create an environment where every individual can excel by being themselves. The collective force of each person propels us forward to essentially serve the customer better."