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International Women's Day - doing something positive to promote equality in the workplace

View profile for Karen Piontek
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It’s 100 years since some women first got the vote and 48 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force.  Nevertheless, many women in the workplace are still discriminated against in the workplace. It’s estimated that it will be a long time - some say 200 years - before the UK can finally boast gender equality. We took a stand on International Women's Day. Read about how you too can take positive action.

International Women's Day, 2018

Last Thursday, 8 March 2018, Pearson Solicitors’ staff took International Women’s Day (IWD) to heart and stood up – literally – to give their support. We challenged both male and female staff to do something positive in the workplace to make a difference.

Using the #PressForProgress hashtag, many of our staff highlighted their personal commitments such as:

  • “We will challenge stereotypes and bias”
  • “I will celebrate women’s achievements”

We’ll post photos of more of our team pressing for change over the next week on Twitter. For now, here are a few of the inspirational views that came out of the day.

“I hope I see a day when people look back and ask how could there be discrimination of women related to childcare. 

Men and women make children, men and women are parents, men and women both love children so shouldn't childcare be a joint responsibility?  

If men as well as women were responsible for child care, and this was seen as the norm by parents themselves, society in general and the workplace, this would help to reduce - and in time eradicate - discrimination linked to childcare issues.”

(Susan Mayall, Employment Law Solicitor and Head of our Employment Team)

"We will influence the beliefs and actions of others"

(Chris Burke, Head of Commercial Litigation)

“Having studied History at University, there has been considerable progress in women's rights over the last century. However, the movement is still arguably in its infancy. The importance of continuing to press for progress therefore is paramount in order to achieve the ultimate goal of global equality.

I do believe however that the momentum of International Women's Day and the women's rights movement is gaining through the enforcement of legislation and the effect of women's rights issues being brought into the public eye such as with the heavily reported Time's Up movement.”

(Kate Hunter, Employment Law Solicitor)

“Don’t forget that Oldham has its very own, local Suffragette heroine. Annie Kenney, who was a leading figure in the Suffragette movement and was imprisoned with Christabel Pankhurst for heckling a political rally in Manchester, actually came from Springhead, Oldham.”

(Suzanne Wright, PR Manager)

Make a difference - help progress towards gender equality in the workplace 

These issues should be on the agenda all year around – and not just on IWD! Even if you didn’t get involved on 8 March, you can do something positive this week and from now on to make a difference.

Help us raise awareness of the issues – and get the businesses we all know in Oldham, Tameside and the wider North West Regions involved.

Follow us on @Pearson_SFB and our private client team on @PearsonSFA and join in with the on-going campaign for progress towards equality in the workplace.

Take action! What can you do?

There’s plenty you can do in your own workplace and from home.

Working to help effect gender equality should not be restricted to IWD. It’s a year-round, full-time initiative. As IWD organisers say: “Collectively, we can all play a part”.

  • Call out discrimination of any kind if it happens in front of you. Challenge discriminatory behaviour – the individuals involved might not even realise what they’ve been doing.  
  • Help to educate those in your workplace about the issues of gender pay equality, equal pay and discrimination on the grounds of sex. It’s not just the older generation with an out-dated approach to the workplace!
  • Have a look at the IWD website and look at the campaigns to make change.
  • Build-up the confidence of your daughters and nieces and their friends in their schoolwork or work. Point them in the direction of the IWD website and encourage them to get involved. Teach your sons and nephews about gender equality issues.
  • Look at what others in our community did on IWD, such as:
  • Follow some of the IWD hashtags on social media to see what others are doing and get some inspiration: #CodelikeaGirl, #PressforProgress, #BeBoldForChange (amongst others).

Let’s do Boards – Event at Pearson’s on 15 March 2018

At Pearson’s Hollinwood offices, we will also be hosting the “Let’s do Boards” event from 10 until 12 midday on 15 March. The event is aimed at women in business who are looking for business solutions and a confidential environment in which to make contacts and learn.

For more information, and to book, click here


Karen Piontek is head of Pearson’s Commercial Property team and can be contacted on 0161 684 6951 or by email

If you want more information about dealing with discrimination in the workplace, contact Susan Mayall on 0161 684 6948 or email or make an enquiry.




Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.