A special conference was held at Teesside University to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The conference heard that International Women’s Day is still relevant as there is still an imbalance between men and women in the workplace.
The conference welcomed some very inspiring and powerful women.
Two of the 3 women who spoke on the panel were Teesside University Alumni and have gone onto work towards fighting against domestic violence and excelling in the legal industry.
Leanne Hogg was one of the first women to share her story about what it is like to work as a Independent Domestic Violence Advocate dealing with domestic abuse.
She attended Teesside University from 2002 to 2005 and has gone onto having over 15 years experience of supporting victims of domestic abuse.
Her role offers a range of support including security for victims, mental health freedom groups and counselling.
Another panellist, Erica Turner also went onto explain her journey of becoming a lawyer for Jackson’s Law Firm, which is the longest established law firm in the North East.
She is currently the Head of Commercial Property at the firm.
Erica studied at Teesside University as well as York in order to pursue a career in law and qualified as a solicitor in 2010.
She spoke passionately about what it is like be a businesswoman, her passion for equality between men and women, and how her law firm has expanded its business for more women to be in senior positions.
Erica said: “Promotion should be based on skill set, ability, innovation and not on statistics. A lawyer should be known as a lawyer, not specifically a female lawyer.”
Loren Smith also spoke at the conference about her current role as the Interim Head of Reducing Re-offending at Askham Grange prison.
Her current role consists of dealing with children and families as 97% of children are taken away from them once a women goes to prison.
Her organization helps to improve an individual’s health and mental wellbeing, problems with alcohol and drugs, employment training and education, accommodation, finances, attitude’s and behaviour, abuse and sex work.
Loren said: “Some people still don’t respect women and it is not the women’s fault, it is on the person who refuses to accept you as a hard working woman.”
International Women’s Day is on Sunday March 8 so make sure you are using the #Eachforequal # Equalforeach #IWD2020 to follow what is going on.