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As part of Gate One’s wider celebration of International Women’s Day with the theme of #InspireInclusion, we have teamed up with our Gender Equity employee resource group and CSR team to support two important charities, Sebby’s Corner and Refuge.

These charities are in constant need of items for women and children, so we collected donations on behalf of both charities at the beginning of March, and also encouraged our team to donate directly to the charities.

In addition, we’ve encouraged our teams to share personal stories using this year’s theme of ‘inspiring inclusion’, including where they have seen inclusion done well, what inspires them, and the importance of allyship.

Zeynep Gunes, Manager

“Happy international women’s day everyone. Today is a global reminder to think about how we’re all experiencing the world around us differently at work, at home and in society.

In the last year, I’ve had women close to me diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood, having fought a silent internal battle every day.  Women are more likely to experience internal symptoms which are mis diagnosed and medicated incorrectly.

Until recently, I too recognised ADHD with external symptoms, which is why I’d like to increase awareness of how neuro diversity manifests itself differently for women and men. I love how open we can be at Gate One to discuss topics with curiosity and empathy. This for me is an example of inclusion done well!”

Sonia Cochet, CPO

“Since joining Gate One, Minal has been co-chair our Race and Culture ERG with Phoebe Antiri – last year she co-created activities to recognise South Asian Heritage Month across Havas for the first time, co-led Gate One’s Black History Month and became Gate One’s DEI representative for the MCA. We’re always keen to collaborate more with Havas and this year, Minal has just taken on the co-chair role for the Havas ERG Emb(race) so I think she’s doing loads to inspire inclusion – thank you Minal Mehta for all you’re doing.”

Dónal Browne, Principal

“Growing up, we never forgot International Women’s Day, as it falls on my Mum’s (Siobhán) birthday. Every year as kids, me and my two brothers were reminded of that fact, and Mum would share stories of the women that inspired her. We would hear about Queen Medb (‘Maeve’) – a strong-willed, ambitious, and cunning warrior queen from Irish mythology, Constance Markievicz – suffragist and first elected female MP, and Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese – the two Irish Presidents I grew up with, both inspirational in their own right

We wondered as teenagers why Mum liked to tell these stories of strong Irish women. But the older we got, the more grateful we became for having a fierce Irish mammy who made sure to educate us on the importance of men valuing women. Mum was the Equality Officer for her union, and never missed a chance to share her values with her three sons. Inclusion was chief among them.

As a man, I know my place as an ally is incredibly important. I hope all men at Gate One take their role as allies seriously. The world is inarguably unequal. In the UK, a woman earns on average 14.3% less than a man (as of April 2023). Life has fewer obstacles for me as a man, but life could have fewer obstacles for women when we consciously address our biases; when we are mindful of our language; and when we include those who look and think differently to ourselves.

I believe we should all do what we can to help people bring their best selves to work. Gate One benefits from men taking an active role in accepting the gender equity issues women are facing and collectively driving for ways to make Gate One as equal and equitable a place to work as possible. I’ll share this post with my Mum when I take her to lunch in Dublin over the weekend, and hopefully she sees the fruits of her labour in bringing up three sons who appreciate the power of International Women’s Day.”

Niamh O’Hagan, Manager

“Ahead of IWD, I have been reflecting on the women who have inspired me. Throughout my life and career, I have been fortunate to receive support from many strong and inspiring women, while each unique, a common thread relates to their empathy and kindness.

In today’s fast-paced world, these qualities are often forgotten and overlooked, but they are the heartbeat of inclusion. By leading with empathy and kindness, we can create an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and seen and I think this is something we can all try to be better at each day, to #InspireInclusion.”

Mel Dickinson, Head of Talent Acquisition

“I’ve had the chance to be part of internal working groups focused on reviewing our internal talent management processes. The challenge was to consider how these could be made more inclusive for everyone – who wouldn’t want to be part of that?!

Feedback I’ve heard internally has more often than not acknowledged our special and unique team at Gate One and ‘well intentioned’ almost always goes without saying. And yet biases do pop up, like a shadow we can’t quite shake off and it can be jolly hard to spot biases in yourself. Working for a business that raises awareness and coaches us to adapt over time and be allies is something I value. As Oprah says(!), ‘Once we know better, we do better’.

When I started at Gate One, everyone used to say we had a great culture. As popular culture in the world around us has become more respectful and celebratory of difference, so have we and so has our workplace. I’ve come to realise that improving fairness within some of our key people processes will, over time, have a direct impact on our culture, undoubtedly making it more inclusive. It’s a ‘work in progress’, but I’m really happy to be part of these working groups.”

Ben Tye, Managing Partner

“I was recently asked what allyship means to me. Allyship can take many different forms, and there are seven types: the Sponsor, Champion, Amplifier, Advocate, Upstander, Scholar, and Confidant. I could talk at length about all those, but I will pick the three most relevant to me.

Firstly, in my position as Managing Partner, Allyship can take the form of sponsorship. So that’s using my own power and influence as a leader, as someone in a position of influence and authority, to create opportunities for underrepresented parts of the population, for example gender, race, sexuality or neurodiversity.

Given my influence, I take a very deliberate approach to ensuring I use it to create opportunities for women. That could be choices around roles in the business, leading internal initiatives, or being presenters at events and workshops. I consciously bring the frame of Allyship into my mind, thinking about how I can use this as an opportunity to bring underrepresented voices or people more to the fore.

The second is championing, which is about voluntarily deferring to others. For example, in a leadership meeting, someone might ask a question, and it’s important to scan the room and let other people speak. If I can see women in the room who may have an opinion or are perhaps being talked over, it’s up to me to call them out and say, “I’d like to hear from X; I think they’ve got something important to say.”

The third is advocacy, which is like sponsorship but where I’m visibly playing a role, for example, by suggesting that I think someone in particular should lead this initiative.

It’s up to all of us to reflect on this, particularly the men on our team. Whether it’s on accounts, projects, internal initiatives, or how we’re running the business, to ask, “How can we use our positions to be allies to others?”.

Find out more about the charities

Sebby’s Corner (one of our Gate One Gives Back 2023 charities) – they believe no child should go without the basic essentials needed to thrive and they support families living in poverty, families in temporary accommodation, families who have fled domestic abuse, refugees, asylum seekers and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Refuge – the largest domestic abuse organisation in the UK. On any given day their services support thousands of women and their children, helping them to overcome the physical, emotional, financial and logistical impacts of abuse and rebuild their lives.

Tara Servati

At Gate One we’re passionate about creating a culture and space for open discussion and learning with the overall objective of ensuring Gate One is an inclusive place to work.

Find out more about our DEI efforts