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At Aspire HQ we’re proud supporters of International Women’s Day. Here’s what #BalanceforBetter means to each of us:

Layla Smith – MD

I feel very fortunate that my gender has never noticeably held me back in my life so far. Lack of self-confidence definitely has, but I don’t think this is related to my gender. I’m in a relationship where we work as a team and everything is split 50/50, including cooking and other household chores. At work, I really enjoy working with men and women and have role models of both genders that inspire me.

It’s difficult to keep a gender balance at Aspire, with PR historically dominated by women, but I do feel this is very important in a business.

I recently had a daughter and I’ve made a real effort so far not to make her gender too obvious to her (avoiding too much pink, fairies and glitter). I don’t want her to think too much about being a girl, just develop her own way as a strong-minded, confident person in this world. However, having her has made me more proud to be a woman in every way and appreciate how hard it is to maintain a career as a mother. I have a new found respect for women that I just didn’t see before.

Kate Gordon – PR Lead

To me #BalanceforBetter is a step forwards for gender equality everywhere. We’ll know it’s worked when we no longer need initiatives like this, until then, we all need to work together.

Becky Hepworth – Marketing Manager

Living in a very male dominated household it is important to me to make sure that everyone (young and old) around me understands the importance of gender equality; what is means, what it brings and how it can make our society much fairer. My mantra has always been a person should be judged by his or her ability and talents not by gender. To me #BalanceforBetter is about educating and inspiring the next generation so that they can play their part in helping to achieve gender equality.

Tom Alderton – Intern

International women’s day celebrates the hard work and determination of women worldwide, who have challenged social norms of inequality. Now more than ever, women are at the forefront for social change in business, politics and society. There is still a hill to climb though. In 2017 a report by the World Economic Forum stated that it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely. This gap however is being bridged. Aspire, is led and staffed by a team made up of mostly women and the agency has well and truly cemented it’s name in the UK sports marketing industry. Being the only guy in the office most of the time, it’s awesome (if not a little daunting!) to be surrounded by such an inspirational group of female team members.

Kate Allan – PR Lead

Being a woman has never held me back in any capacity, and I am proud to be motivated to achieve in life; as a mummy, in my career and as an athlete.

In the household, my husband and I work together as a unit – with no defined duties and a mutual respect for one another. We raise our children (a boy and a girl) with the hope that they will develop a strong sense of ‘self’ – not confined to gender stereotypes, or to what is considered to be the social norm.

Professionally – I have been fortunate enough to have never felt as if my gender held me back, thinking right back to my days at school. If anything, being a woman makes me even more driven to succeed; I believe that being a working mum has a positive impact on both myself and my children, enabling them to be more independent and for me to enjoy a better sense of emotional wellbeing.

In sport I am proud to be a part of a strong women’s cycling team, and we enjoy a respectful, friendly relationship with our male team mates.

Sport is perhaps one of the only ways in which I have seen a gender divide, with different courses, prize monies and sponsorship opportunities being rife throughout. As an amateur sports woman I do not experience these first hand, but I have many friends who are athletes and have been subjected to such inequalities.

We hope that our small contribution to International Women’s Day can help make a positive difference for women everywhere.