8th March 2021
Given the issues that still surround gender equality in the workplace, the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021, which is held annually on 8th March, is #ChooseToChallenge. This truly resonates with us here at 6CATS International.
We have worked extremely hard over the years to improve the lot of women in our business, as ours is a heavily male dominated industry. We strive to ensure that our female colleagues aspire to the highest echelons of our organisation.
As a people-centric business, 6CATS International’s mantra has always been to allow each individual to flourish so that they can fulfil their unique potential. It’s part of the company’s ethos, DNA and culture to challenge and be challenged. And particularly where our female talent and women in leadership are concerned, we have always strived to lead the way on gender diversity and develop more women who can be ready to step into senior executive positions.
This is not surprising given who is at the helm of our business. “What inspires me most now that I am CEO of my own company is being able to create opportunities for others and build a successful team of people who can work together to create a brilliant environment and deliver the service that I envisaged prior to being a CEO,” our own Chief Executive, Michelle Reilly, said in an interview with The Recruitment Network.
You would expect nothing less from a global organisation headed by Reilly, who was the first Female Business Leader of the Year, at the highly prestigious Telegraph Trade Awards, in 2018. In another interview with online gender-based news portal WeAreTheCity, Reilly remarked that “as it stands, women are in a better position than ever to thrive in the workplace”.
She is a prime example of a woman who has succeeded and excelled in a predominantly male dominated industry, which she is at pains to point out has never held her back. In a career that has spanned over 20 years, Reilly firmly believes that anyone can be successful as long as they follow certain principles, namely hard work, perseverance, determination and a thick skin! She is a big believer in the power of networking and building relationships, learning and, above all, listening.
Developing female talent
Gender diversity and equality in the workplace is important to Michelle and she vehemently believes that with the right attitude and mindset, anyone can go as far as they want. “For those bright, dedicated and assertive enough, the opportunities will be there and you’ll be able to take your career to the highest levels of your ability,” she told WeAreTheCity.
Reilly has always encouraged her female colleagues to believe in themselves, aim high and ‘to choose to challenge’. The 2021 message of International Women’s Day is very close to her heart, “throughout my life and career, I have been around strong women, who have proved to me that anything is possible with hard work and determination. I’ve taken inspiration from that,” she revealed to The Recruitment Network.
6CATS International has been blazing a trail for women and their career development, always pushing to challenge gender bias and inequality, develop female leaders and increase the numbers of women in the organisation. In fact, at the start of 2021 we were pleased to announce several high-profile female promotions: Stefanie Cook who led the firm’s business development efforts is now the company’s Sales Director while Kirsty Henning, who joined as Finance & Operations Manager in 2014, and became Finance Director in 2016, has stepped up to Group CFO. Amy Dunn, who joined 6CATS International at 16 straight out of school, who has been with the company for over a decade working her way up, now takes on a new challenge as Operations Director.
These are all examples of high-flying female leaders who have embraced everything that 6CATS International stands for and have been rewarded with a platform to show what they’re capable of. As Amy recognises, “I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned is the fantastic career progression opportunities that are available for everyone here at 6CATS International. There’s always the chance to do and learn more…I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the opportunities that Michelle and 6CATS offered me.”
And what better way to mark International Women’s Day than by celebrating the achievements of some of our most prominent and prolific women leaders, who have chosen to challenge and be challenged by a company that has wholeheartedly encouraged and supported them on their career journeys.
If you want to progress your career and become one of our leaders, get in touch now.