08 Mar WWA announces sponsorship of Exeter Chiefs Women on International Women’s Day
Today marks International Women’s Day (IWD) – each year on the 8th March, IWD is an opportunity to celebrate the inspiring women in our lives and to highlight the need for greater gender equity across many aspects of life in the UK today.
Celebrated for well over a century – the first IWD was in 1911 – this year’s theme is #EmbracingEquity.
WWA announces sponsorship of the Exeter Chiefs Women’s Head Coach and Player for next season
On this IWD, we’re delighted to announce WWA’s sponsorship of Exeter Chief’s Women’s Team Head Coach Susie Appleby. The sponsorship deal announced today sees WWA sponsor Susie and one of the players from the start of next season. Sport is an area where we are beginning to see rapid change with support for women’s teams seeing a surge in popularity.
WWA’s Regional Partner, Stuart Wilkinson stressed the importance of supporting inspirational women and recognising the impact that inspiration can achieve.
Speaking about the sponsorship deal, Stuart said: “Our team recently attended a talk by Susie Appleby and came away inspired by Susie’s insights into leadership and creating a winning team. Listening to the office chatter it dawned on me that there was a direct correlation between our views on competitive advantage and the experiences Susie spoke about. How you coach, nurture and inspire a team as individuals but also as a collective comes direct from the leadership and culture of an organisation. Competitive advantage for me, therefore, is not the products or services we sell but the team we have and the impact they as individuals have on those around them and on wider society.
“We are therefore delighted to support Susie and the Exeter Chief’s women’s rugby team to continue to make an impact and inspire others in the same way that she inspired us.”
Exeter Chiefs Women’s Susie Appleby said: “I am delighted to welcome WWA into our family of sponsors here at the Chiefs. Having the support of local businesses is paramount for the club, both on and off the field, and underlines our own desire to align ourselves more with success within the local area.
“With the continued growth of the women’s game, particularly in the wake of last year’s Rugby World Cup, it’s fantastic that businesses like WWA want to be associated with our club, our players and our coaches. As people will have seen, we are really building something special here at the Chiefs and we want others to be part of our journey and our success.”
WWA driving change for better gender equity
In the UK, the percentage of women in the construction sector is just 14%. At WWA, we’re actively addressing the balance and 29% of our current workforce is female. While this is double the construction average, we understand there is still a long way to go and WWA continues to pursue initiatives across the organisation designed to improve gender equity within the business and the construction industry. Many of the WWA team are ambassadors for women in construction and STEM sectors more widely and regularly take part in careers guidance and outreach activities.
WWA’s Paloma Hermoso has mentored young women undertaking their degrees as part of the University of Exeter mentoring scheme. The scheme is designed to develop transferable skills, but as a strong advocate for women in construction, two of Paloma’s mentees went on to consider a role in construction following her mentorship. She is also involved in the Inspiring Girls initiative organised by Exeter City Council. Mentors are matched to an Exeter high school as part of the scheme. Over the last three years, Paloma has been matched to girls at St James and St Peter’s High Schools. Paloma offers career-focused pastoral mentorship through six sessions over a four-month period.
Talking about her mentoring experience, Paloma said: “I talk about construction. I think it’s really good to break down that stereotypical view of who works in construction – it’s really not like that now. I ask the girls to think about people that inspire them and to recognise what they do well and how that can help them in their careers.”
Paloma and colleague, Rosie Fenton, also attended Exeter’s The Maynard School to talk to the students there about a career in construction as part of a series of industry sector presentations. “It was fantastic, Rosie was able to talk about a career in construction from someone who started in the sector, and then I talked about my background where I basically reinvented myself, I landed in construction and I’m loving it.”
WWA and International Women’s Day
As well as our ongoing commitment to greater equity across all demographics, a pledge as part of our association with the B Corp movement, WWA team members also supported International Women’s Day events across the country. In Manchester, the WWA team attended the Women In Property International Women’s Day Breakfast with Diane Modahl MBE. Lauren Stewart, attending the event with Rebecca Hodgson, said: “It was so refreshing to listen to Diane’s story of how she had an immense passion to follow her dreams. Diane grew up in a low socioeconomic community where there were not many opportunities to succeed, but she was given an opportunity at 11 years old by a man named Alan that changed her life for the better – she had the chance to take her passion further. This resonated with me as I also grew up in a place where our dreams were so far from where we actually were. Yet, here I am, achieving my passion surrounded by an amazing team. Reach for the stars and never give up, someone may just be there to give you the opportunity you deserve.”
In Plymouth, the WWA Team took part in the South West Women in Construction International Women’s Day – Plymouth’s Powerful Women Walk. After the walk, WWA’s Yasmine Knox said: “Where the construction sector has been traditionally male-dominated, it is so great to meet other women representing different areas of construction and be part of a wider supportive and forward-moving network.”
International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in our society, but it is also a chance to call for accelerating equity for women. WWA will continue to play our part in driving change wherever we can.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about WWA and our initiatives to accelerate the pace of gender equity and would like to join our team, please look at our current vacancies.
Please contact us using the button below if you would like to learn more about any of the initiatives mentioned.