Eurotherm support International Women’s Day and forging #BalanceforBetter

Schneider Electric, a Fortune Most Admired Company, sees great accomplishments from its women

March 8th – In support of International Women’s Day, we held a panel discussion at Eurotherm HQ at Worthing, where the focus was on career growth and mentoring. One of the main aims of these discussions was to identify the role we all play in addressing and supporting career growth across Schneider Electric whilst ensuring equal opportunities for men and women. 

The panel of 6 included Chris Ashworth, MD and VP Eurotherm, Rajiv Padhiar, Senior Financial Controller, Steve Burnand, General Manager, North America, Amber Watkin, Area Sales Engineer, Jess Broad, Global Business Systems Quality Leader and Charlotte Williams, European Executive Recruiter, HR Schneider Electric. They discussed and answered questions from the room on their career and the mentoring they had received which helped them to get to where they are today. 

“We received some really positive feedback from the discussions which left many of the participants feeling empowered, which was a great outcome” commented Emma Mitchison global HR Global Specialist. Gyrithe Schack-Bothmann, Senior Graphic Designer, added “the workshop showed how we all find, meet and encounter our mentors in life, sometimes, when we least expect it, whether it be in our professional careers or private lives. That very special person may come in a brilliant disguise, but once we realize he/she is there, they will nurture, encourage and cultivate us and we can become the very best version of ourselves. Mentors have incredible impact on the rest of our lives, sowing these little seeds early on in us, are often the very brightest lasting blooms.” 

Karen Page Global HR Director adds “As we celebrate International Women’s Day at Schneider Electric our thoughts turn to how we can make our organization the most inclusive company in the world.  This ambition will require each of us to be part of the solutions and play our part. I hope you will join our quest to become an “all inclusive” organization.”  If you have not already done so, you may like  to commit to gender inclusion by joining the HeForShe movement

During the week leading up to today, discussion turned to what this day really means and a reflection on our times, our work and who we are. 

Jurgita Valmante, Market Research Analyst emailed a group of us to say “thank you for all the hard work that you do at home and in your jobs. Thank you for looking after your kids, your parents, preparing meals for the whole family, doing shopping, cleaning, washing, ironing, tidying up.  For looking after your own, your family and friends’, your colleagues’ health. Statistically, you spend around 4 x more effort on this than men. Thank you again, for taking care of everything that is on your agenda, often without recognition and appreciation. Finally, thank you for speaking out about equal rights because we all deserve them! At work, in our family lives, within our society.” Penny Parker, Senior Technical Training Instructor, added, and we are the lucky ones. At least we’re allowed to go to school, drive, work, vote and decide who we marry. Let’s continue to campaign for those rights for all girls and women everywhere. Have a wonderful day.“ Penny recently did an interview with Where Women Work about her job at Eurotherm  and how working in a diverse, supportive environment has propelled her career. Read Penny’s story.

Gyrithe also shared an interesting BBC article about why more young women do not opt for apprenticeships in well paid, male dominated industries like construction?  Lois Holman Product Marketing Intern observed “Apprenticeships were not very common back when I was just finishing school 10 years ago, but there’s been a massive surge in popularity for engineering related apprenticeships just over the last few years, personally I think they are a much better option than going straight to university! On a note about construction, I have a few grad-level friends in the industry and while some companies are good and inclusive, there are many that my civil-engineering female friends wouldn’t even consider working for, because of the misogynistic environment that still exists.  However, we do need to continue to drive the message of equality as the BBC are doing. It’s great that Eurotherm and SE have such an inclusive policy.”

Talking with my colleagues we observed that the day is all about inclusivity equal rights, fairness. Right?  In fact, why isn’t the day called International Fairness Day? Perhaps that may resonate more with many men who may feel this ‘day’ doesn’t apply to them? Of course, we know that it is as much about men as it is women! They are a vital element in supporting equal rights.  “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality” Yoko Ono said and that just about sums it up for me. 

There is always more to be done and more voices especially male ones that need to join the call for equality, yet we have seen great improvements in recent years and I personally feel truly blessed with the globally diverse, fascinating and boundary pushing group of peers that I work with. 

Kate Merrick

Global Marketing Manager Eurotherm

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