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Collective Individualism – International Women’s Day 2020

6th Mar, 2020

#EachforEqual… is the theme of International Women’s Day this year. – Miriam Atkin, Director of Major Accounts

I was quite struck by the idea that the theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism’ and that we are all parts of a whole: our individual actions, conversations, behaviours, and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.

At a time when the environment is top of many of our concerns for the future, we recognise that by each of us recycling as much as possible, reducing our use of plastics, or swapping to an Electric Vehicle, bit by bit we are all contributing to the global effort. The efforts of each individual contribute to the collective for the UK, which in turn contributes to the global collective and the global benefit.

‘Leading by example’ is a principle I am also passionate about. It applies in all areas of life – work, parenting, being part of a community, etc – and it feels to me that this is another way to think about Collective Individualism. By us, all doing, saying and behaving in the right way, eventually, there will be no other way. That is how our children learn which behaviours are right and which are wrong, by observing what goes on around them. And it is no different in the workplace: regardless of where we are positioned, visibly demonstrating the practice of equality every day will result in the opposite being unacceptable.

And surely we can’t behave one way at home, and another way at work? A father who wants equality for his daughters needs to ensure he treats the women he works alongside with the respect he would want his daughters to be given, and to be given the opportunities he wants his daughters to have. The more he perpetuates any biases today, the harder it will be for his daughters to receive the equality they deserve tomorrow. Doesn’t he want the future for his daughters to be one of equality of opportunity?

Regardless of whether you are a mother or a father or neither, whatever your career choice or way of life, our actions can make a difference. By all of us, in our own small way, doing the right thing for the right reason, individually we are contributing to the collective.

Authors

Miriam Atkin

Director of Energy

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