International Women's Day 2020
Today is International Women’s Day: a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. At OneSearch Direct, we are marking this important day by publishing a special interview with our Managing Director, Elizabeth Jarvis.
Who is your biggest influence/biggest female icon?
Malala Yousafzai. Shot by the Taliban for having the temerity to go to school, this young woman is an inspiration to us all but particularly young women. She’s the youngest Nobel Prize laureate but her activism started before she was wounded in 2012. She has used her platform amazingly and there is no doubt she has an important future highlighting oppression of human rights and womens’ difficulties in accessing education.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing women today?
I think the biggest issue is the pressure on women to raise a family, run a house, conform to outmoded societal norms and be a professional success. The expectation is ridiculous.
You are the MD of a thriving company. Have you ever encountered instances in your career where your gender was an obstacle, or have you experienced sexism from others in the industry? If so, how did you deal with it?
I have never felt that my gender was an obstacle but it can be hard sometimes not to fall into the gender trap and start fulfilling roles that are typically expected of women when in a room filled with men.
Do you think there’s equality between men and women in the workplace/our industry?
I do my utmost to ensure there is gender parity at OneSearch but I have no doubt that this is not the case in other workplaces and industries.
Do you think it’s important to have an International Women’s Day?
Yes. Women across the world are affected every day by violence, discrimination and abuse of their human rights, simply because of their sex. The World Economic Forum says we are 200 years away from gender equality. Should we just be complacent and wait? No. We owe it the women who will come after us to affect change now and International Women’s Day has an immense role to play in that change.
What advice would you give to young women at the start of their careers?
Work hard, be tenacious and always stand up for what you think is right.