International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.

 It began in the early 1900’s and is now recognised each year on the 8th of March. The day isn’t simply a celebration — it’s a call to action for everyone to continue to push for complete gender equality.

Women have a come a long way since the early 1900’s with many people believing most the battles have already been won for women but is not the case. According to the IWD website, women are still not getting equal pay, there are lower proportions of women to men in government positions, and women’s education is still being withheld across the world.

Battles have been won, but the battles aren’t over yet.

To celebrate International Women’s Day here at The Women’s Organisation we held a special panel event with two inspirational women who are breaking the boundaries in business, celebrating the fact that #WomanCan because we believe that there are no limits to what #WomenCan achieve.

Sue Grindrod who is responsible for the strategic development and management of The Royal Albert Docks and is leading its next phase of evolution was first up on our panel

Also joining us was Marnie Millard who joined Nichols PLC in 2012 and was appointed her current role in just over a year of being with the company with a group turnover of over £130m. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to International Trade and Businesses in North West England.

The Women’s Organisation’s CEO Maggie O’Carroll started the morning off with a few words, she asked to audience to “think about what you can do to promote the next generation of women” as the audience was full of potential future business leaders and women already in business. She then went on to reiterate the fact that 100 years on we can’t give up the fight and there are still many battles to be won.

“We haven’t achieved everything we need to, there’s still a gender pay gap and we need to make sure there’s the same opportunities for all.” 

There are still many women who face huge challenges and they need our help.

Next, we welcomed Sue to talk, after working at Tate Liverpool and then volunteering as a member of the board for The Albert Docks she spoke about how she had to be “brave and know her worth.” She told the board she was going to leave then they offered her the job as CEO because of the incredible work she had already done for the docks, then led the team to gain the royal status for The Royal Albert Docks.

When speaking about personal development, Sue said she did a lot of training and developed through her work life experiences. She went on to add that every journey isn’t easy and it’s hard work, but you will always find a way round these obstacles if you have the determination.

“Barriers will always be there, but you will always be able to get over them, use this determination and realise your true potential.” 

The inspiring Marnie Millard started by discussing the fact she didn’t go to University, in a world where University is sometimes seen as the only option, she reiterate that it isn’t and with hard work you can get where you want to be.

She spoke about how she did ‘ok’ at school but definitely wasn’t the smartest student but “Brains grow, the harder you make it work the better it becomes.” After taking nearly 4 years off from working when having her children, she spoke about wanting to find a job that excites her and that she could make a real difference in.

“Sometimes at certain points in your career you have to be brave, seize the moment and embrace it.” 

People doubted Marnie when she started her new job, meaning her family had to relocate and hire a nanny because of her long working hours but slowly it payed off and now she has her “dream job.” 

Marnie went on to add that always thinking about what’s next is the way to improve, don’t just settle for what you have now, strive for the best.

“Being out of your comfort zone is when you learn the most.” 

Thank you to our amazing panelists for taking the time out to speak to us and share their stories advice and experiences. They are two examples of extremely inspiring, hardworking and strong business women who really prove that #WomenCan.

Massive thanks to our event partners Natwest for helping make this event happen.