Why International Women’s Day is Inspiring Inclusion Across Herefordshire

L-R: Sharon Smith (Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce), Chamber member Charlotte Webb (Castle Green Financial Planning, Associate Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management) and Julz Watson (Herefordshire Police) support the theme of #InspireInclusion for International Women’s Day 2024.

Business women across Herefordshire share their views on International Women’s Day (IWD) and what it means to them. The theme this year is Inspire Inclusion, with the aim of the campaign to collectively forge a more inclusive world for women.

Member Ruby Edwards, Owner of You Do Better PR, writes in a collaboration with Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Chamber member Charlotte Webb from Castle Green Financial Planning and Inspector Julz Watson from Herefordshire Police.

Sharon says: “This year for International Women’s Day, it’s time to #InspireInclusion. Everyday I’m inspired by the fantastic team of women who work alongside me at the Chamber of Commerce. Not only is inclusion at the top of my business agenda, but it’s also embedded in our organisation and has become crucial part of our core values. It’s important to remember that everyone can inspire inclusion and as a business leader I strive to lead by example and work to ensure diversity and inclusion is part of our communities’ ethos. I’m proud to support and embrace International Women’s Day 2024.”

Charlotte agrees: Personally, International Women’s Day serves as a reminder of the incredible women around me and the gratitude I hold to be both a business leader and a woman in finance. As a proud member of the 16% of Financial Planners that are women, I am excited to break down the barriers to make financial planning universally accessible and create an environment where people feel empowered to plan their financial future.”

Inspector Watson, Herefordshire Police, remarks: “‘You can only aspire to what you see’ is a quote that is very apt in the police service…”

Indeed, women make up only 34% of Officers in England and Wales, with female representation at Chief Constable rank at 30%.

Julz continues: “We work in an age where there is a drive to increase workforce diversity in all its forms – to provide a police service that is truly representative of the communities it serves; however, we are not yet at the point of gender parity. We too are working hard to stamp out sexism and misogyny – ensuring that workplaces are inclusive for all, providing everyone with a voice and the confidence to be an upstander to support their colleagues.”

Further information about inspiring inclusion, and the day itself, can be found online: www.internationalwomensday.com.

Author – Ruby Edwards, You Do Better PR | www.youdobetter.co.uk

2023: As heard live on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, and seen in the Bromsgrove Standard and online at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

2022: Our article, featuring Rachel Jenkins, MD at Curvy Kate, Pippa Mills the first female Chief Constable at West Mercia Police, Liz Warner, DI in West Mercia Police and Chair of the women’s network called ‘WOW’ – Women of West Mercia and Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, gained coverage in the Worcester ObserverHerefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and BusinessWorks Magazine Worcestershire and the Black Country. It can be read, in full, here.

Author – Ruby Edwards, You Do Better PR | www.youdobetter.co.uk