Break the bias

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias

It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s also a time to celebrate the progress already made towards gender equality and seek to break the bias even further.

We hear from Holly and Naomi, two of our directors, and our Chair of the Board, Claire Winfield:

Claire Winfield, Chair of the Board:

 “NCHA has always been great at providing opportunities for women. I joined the board in 2013 and became NCHA’s first woman Chair in 2016. 

“International Women’s Day, it is a time to reflect on where we are at, how we’ve got here, and just what there is left to do for all women around the world.

“Over the years I think that some things have improved, but sadly some things have not changed much, or got worse. I think that you see fewer acts of overt sexism – probably to with improved laws to protect women’s rights. It is however I think, underlying bias that is still prevalent and chips away and undermines women’s equal place in society.

“There is still some way to go when we look at the Gender Pay Gap, women at the top levels in big companies, and in politics. My hopes and ambitions for the next generation are that all women will have truly equal opportunities and access to an equal playing field in both education and work.”

Holly Dagnall, Director of Homes and Wellbeing:

“I have always felt that NCHA is a really inclusive organisation. I have always felt supported and never discriminated against because of my gender. In fact, my own progression at NCHA has demonstrated that gender is not a barrier to career development here.  

“That’s not to say that NCHA is ‘gender blind’, in fact we have lots of progressive policies to support women, including our work on domestic abuse and stalking for colleagues and more recently our wellbeing work on the menopause, alongside flexible and family friendly terms of employment.

“I have had a long professional and personal interest in the issues affecting women and our place in society. It is because of this that I continue to have an active interest in women’s politics and work for a gender equal world.

“I am proud of working for NCHA, partly because of our inclusive stance and role I have played in this developing over the last 20 years. I want my part of my legacy at NCHA to be that I have helped women progress their careers here.”

Naomi Dobraszczyc, Director of Finance and Resources:

“One of the things I have found difficult in my working life, has been balancing my caring responsibilities for my children with my work commitments. NCHA have really helped me to do this.

“When I first started working at NCHA as Governance Manager, I was able to do so on reduced hours. This meant that I could pick my children up from school, which was so important for me and for them.

“I think quite often women are held back in their careers not because of their abilities but for practical reasons linked to families, caring or other responsibilities.

“We need to call these things out and I’m happy to say that is what I would do today. Together we can help break the bias.”