Cover image for Internaional Womens Day

International Women’s Day 2023

“I would like to say π‡πšπ©π©π² 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐒𝐨𝐧𝐚π₯ π–π¨π¦πžπ§β€™π¬ πƒπšπ² to all those women past and present who fight the good fight and raise the flag for equality… I raise a glass to you! I am blessed to know and to have known many of the good ones and for that I am thankful. I draw energy and inspiration from many of you, daily!”

Kelly Clarke | Senior Director of Business Development

Celebrating OUR Women in Business

We’re extremely proud to be a company that embraces equality and we’d like to shine the limelight on the ladies in our organisation in recognition of their hard work that they put in to our business day in, day out.

Meet Kelly Clarke, our Senior Director of Business Development and Elodie Townsend, our Project Coordinator…

Portrait photo of Kelly Clarke at Total Fibre Communications

Kelly Clarke

Senior Director of Business Development

When did you join Total Fibre Communications Ltd?
I joined Stephen and Dave 10 years ago.

How did you get into the industry?
The industry found me, I was working freelance for Total Fibre Communications after the birth of my first child. I carried out some work on varying projects for TFC and the rest is history.

How do you ensure gender equality is considered within the business?
We have policies in place with gender equality being considered. These are considered at all stages of HR matters from recruiting to salary reviews.

Have you personally experienced any barriers/problems to working in the telecoms industry?

Our industry, in my experience, is actually very “female-friendly”, there are some very savvy and strong women working in telecommunications. I have been blessed in my career to have worked with and most certainly been inspired by many powerhouses who have successful careers and juggle the “real life” of families… My hats off to all of you ladies! The reality is, you can’t do it all and some days my house is messy, and my washing is not up to date but extending courtesy to others along the way goes a long, long way. Everyone has daily struggles and I believe we should all be mindful of that, no matter what your gender is!

I can only speak from my personal experience, if you work hard, with honesty and have the motivation to keep dealing with things head-on, you will have the foundations to work in an industry that can be very demanding and changeable, no matter your gender.

Have you ever experienced work issues due to being a woman?
In a previous role, I was made redundant after having my first child and not being able to commit full-time upon my return. That was, unfortunately quite a common occurrence across all industries but from my experience, that “mal practise” seems to have decreased.

I would like to say π‡πšπ©π©π² 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐒𝐨𝐧𝐚π₯ π–π¨π¦πžπ§’𝐬 πƒπšπ² to all those women past and present who fight the good fight and raise the flag for equality… I raise a glass to you! I am blessed to know and to have known many of the good ones and for that I am thankful. I draw energy and inspiration from many of you, daily!

Portrait photo of Elodie Townsend at Total Fibre Communications

Elodie Townsend

Project Coordinator

How long have you worked at Total Fibre?

Since Aug 2021

What has Total Fibre done to help you specifically as a female
employee?

As my first job back at work since starting a family Total Fibre have given me the flexibility of working from home whenever necessary and the flexibility when I need to drop my child at school which allows me to have a balanced work/home life.

Do you feel you have been given the same opportunities in terms of pay reviews, training, career advancement, etc. as your male co-workers?

My directors have fully supported me from starting in an Admin role to training me to be a Lead Project Coordinator. They have truly given me many opportunities that I never received elsewhere and have compensated accordingly with my pay reviews which are in line with todays’ rates of inflation.

Have you personally experienced or heard of anyone else coming across any barriers to the telecoms industry?

Being relatively new to the industry so far my experiences have only been positive.

What improvements do you think can be made to help attract more women to the telecommunications industry?

I believe that getting more female employees in at an early stage of their careers is key both in the field and behind the scenes in offices would be beneficial. Getting more Women on the ground cabling and splicing would be great to see, and more advertising at vocational colleges would be a starting point.

What is International Womens Day?​

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a worldwide celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. Every year on March 8th, the day serves as a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

The first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911, and since then, it has become a global celebration of the progress women have made in society, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle for gender equality. International Women’s Day themes change from year to year, with each year focusing on a different aspect of the fight for women’s rights and gender equality.

The day is commemorated with marches, rallies, panel discussions, and cultural events that promote gender equality and women’s rights. It is also a time to recognise women’s contributions to society as well as the obstacles that women continue to face in achieving equality.

How was Internaional Womens Day Started?

The socialist movement established International Women’s Day (IWD) in the early twentieth century. The Socialist Party of America organised the first Women’s Day in 1909 to commemorate the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York City, where thousands of women marched for better working conditions and higher wages.

Women’s rights activists in Europe organised the first International Women’s Day in 1911, inspired by the American example. Initially, different countries observed the day on different dates, with Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland commemorating the first International Women’s Day on March 19, 1911.

The following year, more countries joined in the celebrations, and March 8th became International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day was first recognised by the United Nations in 1975, and it has since evolved into a global day of celebration, advocacy, and action for women’s rights and gender equality.

A Brief History of International Women's Day | Chicago News | WTTW