International Women’s Day (IWD) is a key focal point in the year to reflect on how far equality for women has come, but also to act as a call to action to highlight the work that still needs to be done to continue breaking down barriers.

At Crowe, we celebrate and empower our people every day. We recognise that a challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. This year’s IWD campaign theme is ‘#BreakTheBias’ so we have asked some of our people what International Women's Day means to them, and what actions they will take to play their part in breaking the bias.
Casual lady leaning on desk
International Women's Day 2021

Lucy Ann TaylorLucy-Anne Taylor
Assistant Manager, Corporate Audit

What do you choose to challenge?
I choose to challenge gender bias and inequality to help forge positive visibility of women.

Why is that important to you?
I believe in an inclusive world. A world where everyone has the equal opportunity to achieve their full potential and be successful, regardless of their gender. Being successful in the workplace should not be at the cost of sacrificing other areas of our lives. We bring the best version of ourselves to a situation when we enjoy what we do, and this enjoyment is when we make the positive differences.

It is important to me, as I believe all successes should be celebrated, irrespective of gender. Many of us have seen examples where women have been excluded or overlooked from being recognised and accredited in their line of work because of their gender.  I know on a personal level of those who have achieved great success, but have had to break through glass ceilings, making personal sacrifices to get there.

How do initiatives such as IWD help?
Being actively involved in IWD is important to me as I want to embrace the progress being made on inequality, especially in business. Crowe has so many great women role models in leadership positions, who have and/or do inspire me in my own personal goals. I am driven not only to honour that inspiration, but if I could inspire just one colleague or individual during my carer to help make change happen for inequality I would be happy. While I truly believe we are making good progress, especially at Crowe, it is clear for the wider population we still have a long way to go – but I am excited to be a part of that future.

Tom Horrocks

Tom Horrocks
Tax Associate 

What do you choose to challenge?

I choose to challenge gender stereotypes and bias.

Why is it important to you?
It is incredibly important to me to challenge gender stereotypes and bias because, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I see on a regular basis the inequalities faced by people based on their gender.

I have many influential, powerful and remarkable women in my life. To see them face discrimination or be held back by the idea that they must dress or act in certain ways, is incredibly disheartening and something I will strive to change both in business and in my personal life.

How do initiatives such as IWD help?
IWD allows us to take a step back and see the amazing achievements of women both in society and business and truly grasp how far we have come in terms of gender equality.

It is also an opportunity for us to see the work that still needs to be done. We are far from a world where all genders are treated equally. IWD gives us the platform to continue to challenge inequality and a platform for their voices to be heard

IWD is a stepping stone towards a more equal future. I know that this is not a ‘one day’ event and that we must continue to drive these initiatives all year round, something I intend to do. 

Zoe HitchcockZoe Hitchcock
Paraplanning Team Leader 

What do you choose to challenge?
I choose to challenge gender bias and inequality to help promote self-worth and forge a gender equal world.

Why is that important to you?
There are many benefits of a more inclusive world and we can all help to create one. I wish to be the example to stand up for what I believe in and empower others to believe in themselves and pursue their aspirations.

How do initiatives such as IWD help?
It is my chance to support friends and colleagues. I wish for a world of inclusion and equality and by taking part in IWD I am committing to help make it happen and I am encouraging others to do the same.

Iona FlanaganIona Flanagan
Administration Assistant

What do I choose to challenge?
I choose to challenge the stereotype of the beauty that defines a woman.

Why is it important to me?
One of today’s greatest pressures is centred on what we look like. We can often be judged by our physical appearance rather than our passion, hard work or intellect or other strengths.

For instance, the media has been known to critique celebrities who don’t conform to a particular stereotype of attractiveness and that in turn influences, women to conform to the notion of idealised beauty.

I would like to see this cycle of outward beauty defining us to be challenged and changed. Beauty is subjective and shouldn’t be the defining characteristic of a person. Women should be more than outward beauty. Interesting thoughts, feelings, ideas and personalities make us who we are and that is beautiful itself.

Why do I feel it’s important to be a part of IWD?
If we all work together we can effect change and continue to challenge. I want to be part of making a difference for future generations.

International Women's Day 2020

Emma Reynolds

Emma Reynolds, Corporate Tax

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
It’s great opportunity to step back and take stock of the progress being made to achieve equality - not just for women but for all. It’s a chance to look at what more can be done to be more inclusive in workplaces and in society as a whole. We live in a time where people have more choice and more voice than ever before, and where 'conventional' is becoming less conventional - kindness and a respect for individuals’ choices need to be at the forefront of how we interact with others.

Why do you think it is important that businesses recognise and support their female employees?
In service businesses like Crowe, our people are crucial to what we do and how the business performs. Inclusive and supportive business environments surely have to mean a more engaged workforce and hopefully an environment with a 'buzz' about it.

Do you feel empowered working for a business such as Crowe?
I work with so many supportive, talented and kind people here at Crowe which is truly rewarding, and its great to be part of a business which has such care for its people experience. Our culture is really inclusive and there are opportunities for all to be involved in shaping the future of the firm, in however big or small a way they wish - I’m excited to be a part of that future.

Ashton Turner

Ashton Turner, Manager, HR

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me International Women’s Day represents an ongoing need for diversity and balance as well as a celebration of what has been achieved to date. It is a day earmarked for gender parity however I see the conversation around diversity as broad and continuous. It is important to recognise diversity in all forms. It is clear also that days such as IWD are important, however we must discuss support and inclusion throughout the year. Using these days to highlight where our attention should be is great but issues around gender diversity won’t go on pause after 8March. We should continue to drive these initiatives forward 365 days a year.

Why do you think it is important that businesses recognise and support their female employees?
Recognising and supporting diversity in the workplace, put simply - it is the right thing to do. Businesses should ensure that their people are not at an unfair advantage whether that be in terms of pay, development or career progression. It is important that people are recognised on their own merit and that they will not be treated differently to the person at the desk next to them for a reason such as gender. The by-products of such recognition and support is having a more engaged workforce who subsequently deliver greater results and a better client service. This also reduces turnover, allowing businesses to retain key female talent. In turn this can also be used as a recruitment tool whereby a firm shows its gender diversity in its PR and recruitment campaigns. This then becomes cyclical as having a more diverse team encourages new ways of working, more creativity and utilisation of wider skill sets which increases productivity.

Do you feel empowered working for a business such as Crowe?
I feel empowered by the leaders in my team - one of which is female, one of which is male. They give me autonomy to drive tasks, projects and initiatives forward and trust me to come to them should I need to. My opinion is not only considered but sought out. I feel encouraged to put my views across and comfortable that they won’t be disregarded. Since working with Jo, Head of HR and Tony, HR Director, who trust in me and my ability, my development has soared. I thrive on being challenged and have the forum to be involved in new areas of HR and project work which is invaluable. I am given the tools to grow in my technical ability and soft skills having been supported by the firm in my HR Management Master’s degree to become fully CIPD qualified and completing internal skills development courses in areas such as assertiveness and coaching. I know that my leadership champion me and the rest of the National HR team so not only do we develop personally but we provide the best service to our people/employees.

Natasha Begg, Executive, Marketing

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day for me is a celebration of how far women’s equality has come. It’s a time to celebrate women’s past and present achievements and look towards a more gender equal future. I look back at all the inspirational women who have been so integral in fighting for gender equality and think about how I can make a change in my daily life. No matter what culture or religion you belong to we are united on this day to celebrate and accelerate women’s equality.

Why do you think it is important that businesses recognise and support their female employees?
It’s essential that businesses recognise their female employees as this brings awareness to instances where women are discriminated in the workplace. Once this is identified it allows businesses to work towards being more gender inclusive. This results in the retention of female employees as their voice is being heard and their needs being met. Businesses that support this movement help to educate men who may not be aware of the challenges that women face. Many men in today’s workforce are fathers who would want their daughters treated equally in the future – this encourages men to become allies in accelerating women’s equality. 

Do you feel empowered working for a business such as Crowe?
I do feel empowered working for Crowe as their Women’s Empowerment Programme makes me feel included. Crowe’s ongoing effort to make the firm more gender inclusive is great as many firms do not recognise this. There are many strong females in the firm who make me feel confident to take on challenges in my career. Crowe runs many great events to celebrate women’s empowerment – these events have seen some great external speakers come in and inspire women of all level in their careers. It’s refreshing to see that Crowe is constantly trying to accelerate women’s equality in their firm.

Sarah ClarkeSarah Clarke, Senior Manager, Private Clients Tax

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I think International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women and our input and impact on the World, especially in business. It’s a time to reflect but to also discuss and consider the next steps, the next goal and what more we’re capable of achieving.

Why do you think it is important that businesses recognise and support their female employees?
It is statistically proven that businesses with Women in leadership roles perform better than those without. Businesses need to recognise this need and support their women to ensure that equal opportunities are given to everyone.

Do you feel empowered working for a business such as Crowe?
Crowe’s Women Empowerment Programme (WEP) has really progressed and grown in the last couple of years – I’m proud to be a part of it and to see the steps being taken to ensure equal opportunities and to support women in the business. Crowe has so many great women in leadership role models, and a lot of support from the entire business. We’re taking steps and making movements in all the right places and I look forward to seeing how much further it can go.