Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day in the Global Connects office. We are, of course, doing so at an appropriate social distance – not that we can do anything else as we’re still WFH!  However, that doesn’t dissipate the camaraderie we feel for our colleagues, nor temper the enthusiasm that we all (men and women) feel about this increasingly important day in the business calendar.

Choose to challenge is this year’s International Women’s Day theme, with the emphasis on seeking out women’s achievements. It’s interesting to reflect that the languages industry is one where women’s achievements are very much to the fore. The vast majority of people employed as interpreters and sign-language specialists are female, with the most recent US study of the latter showing that 87% are women.  That said, other studies show that there is no evidence that either sex is better at translation/interpretation than the other, so we are always happy to hear from men and women with the necessary skills to work at Global Connects.

Coping with the aggravation and disruption caused by the pandemic has been a real challenge, especially for those with young children (take a look at my Vlogs from last year). I’ll make an exemption for my husband, who has been great, but research has shown that women have generally taken on the role of home schooling and childcare, resulting in their careers being more affected by the pandemic than men’s  A study by McKinsey has also shown women’s jobs have been 1.8 times more vulnerable during this crisis than their male counterparts, so we need to look at ways to ensure that this gender regressive scenario does not become a permanent fixture.

Almost 90% of the Global Connects team is female coming from countries as diverse as Scotland, Hungary and Malaysia, so today here’s a big shout out to them and thanks for all your hard work over the last year.  I choose to challenge you to shout out to an amazing woman on today’s International Women’s Day.

Fiona Woodford, Head of Languages, Global Connects