Tag Archives: iwd2018

Have I forgotten IWD already?

It’s been just over a month since International Women’s Day and already I’ve neglected at least one of the pledges I made for progress.  So, I thought I’d take a look back at the notes I took from the event I ran for the BCSWomen and Scotland Women in Technology networks, featuring some inspirational women who had been nominated for the SWIT Awards 2017.


Some of the pledges made in Edinburgh by BCSWomen and SWIT attendees

First up was Talat Yaqoob, Director of Equate Scotland.  Her CV for the advancement of diversity is impressive.  She talked about action that she and Equate are taking to press for progress, and the need for industry and education to come together.  She stressed that a 45 minute session does not “cure” unconscious bias and shared that positive gender stereotypes are crucial.

We then heard from Jude McCorry, Head of Business Development at The Data Lab.  She described herself as mother, manager, employee, daughter.  She has been identified by us as a role model, but we all play many roles at different times and in different contexts.  She was keen to impress upon us the support that she has received from men, and that male role models can be equally as valid.  And men – we *do* need your support.

Last, but by no means least, was Ilana Munckton, Director, Growth at Skyscanner.  She gave us an honest account of her experience of imposter syndrome, describing reactions such as “I’m not as impressive as any of these other women”.  Boy do we know these: “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve to be heard”, “my skills are not as good as yours”…   We tell ourselves this all the time.  This still happens in a nurturing environment.  And it’s not just women, men suffer from this too, although I suspect men are better at faking the confidence.  So how do we shut out those voices?  As Ilana put it, “we need to champion intelligent, hard working women relentlessly and passionately”.  A positive action I learned from Ilana, then pledged to do and have almost immediately failed upon doing, is #HighFiveFriday.  Every Friday she recognises someone (or some people) for being awesome.  If I remember correctly she tells their manager.  But just doing it is great.  We may find it hard to build ourselves up, but it’s a lot easier to build up others.  So that was my pledge and I have two days to get started again….

(I also pledged to nominate someone for this year’s Scotland Women in Technology awards, but as they are not ready for nominations I don’t feel I’ve slipped up on that yet!)

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What the travel industry did to celebrate #IWD2018

A tweet about this was the first thing I noticed about travel and IWD: Trainline partners with Code First:Girls to train 20,000 women in coding by 2020. The plan is to deliver a training programme with their staff acting as mentors for women, and Trainline will also provide financial support. Together they will campaign to raise between £0.5M and £1.5M each year for three years.


As the DailyEdge put it, “Aer Lingus offered women priority boarding for International Women’s Day and it caused a LOT of controversy”.  Apparently a few were calling for the same to happen on International Men’s Day, and there was some rather unhelpful dialogue on Twitter, but overall this was well received by both men and women.

If you travelled on a Gatwick Express train you would have been inspired by quotes from famous women shared on the passenger information displays.

Go Ahead Group’s Morebus shared a video of three female bus drivers, discussing what it’s like when there are so many more male bus drivers.

At Emirates an all-women team made flight EK 225 from Dubai to San Francisco happen. This included a fully female flight crew, and only women working on all the ‘above wing’ and ‘below wing’ activities to enable the flight to depart. This was a team of over 75 women, with over 25 nationalities between them, so there may not have been gender diversity that day, but it was certainly a diverse team.


But it wasn’t just Emirates, on Monday 5th British Airways claimed a record for the most women involved in a single flight – crew, baggage handlers, check-in staff and security. (But Emirates seem to have smashed that on the Thursday, see above.) This was flight BA1484 from London Heathrow to Glasgow. easyJet had six all-female crews operating 16 easyJet flights on #IWD2018 and Virgin Atlantic had three all-female crews on flights out of Manchester, London Gatwick and London Heathrow.


One of Virgin Trains East Coast’s business travel professionals spent time at Northern Ballet to share thoughts on women in leadership.

Several airports also had all-women teams on shift, including Bengaluru and Kempegowda


Maersk partnered with ITC for an IWD event, #SheTrades, and shared this video:

I’m proud to be a woman working in travel and transportation, and IT.

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