Company founder Alan Cooper discusses the importance of internal communications within a thriving business, and how Freestyle’s monthly award ceremony has evolved from a mandatory meeting to a much-loved perk.
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The day's been around for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, UK Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women's equality. Today, IWD belongs to everyone everywhere, united by this year's campaign theme #BalanceforBetter.
"Having a great gender balance enables us to be open to new ideas and different points of view, which makes us a better company for our people and our clients – it’s good for business, plain and simple."
Suzanne Linton, Freestyle Co-Founder and MD
We believe that businesses play a key role in helping us become a more gender-balanced society. After all, we spend a big portion of time at work. The key is to enable people to succeed, no matter their gender.
And at an individual level, everyone plays a role in enabling businesses to be more gender-balanced, through calling out injustices, standing up to stereotypes and recognising everyone’s achievements.
We wanted to celebrate both of these efforts this International Women's Day with our video.
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Here's our MD and Co-Founder on how we've achieved gender balance at Freestyle:
"We have as many women working here as we have men - which is fantastic. But I think it’s important to recognise that this sort of environment doesn’t just ‘happen’. We work hard on having a culture that understands that valuable people come from all genders, ages and backgrounds.
"And in order to have that culture, it means having policies in place that enable women to advance just as fast, and just as far, as anyone else. That includes allowing parents to be parents whatever their gender. To take time off. To come in later. To go to school assemblies. To work from home – total flexibility. Making it normal for men as well as women to take time out to look after their children.
"It means equal opportunities to develop and learn and a promise to invest in each person’s career."
More from Suzanne: Meet Freestyle Founder Suzanne Linton