Last updated: March 8, 2023

International Women’s Day: Working towards a Brighter future

Eleanor VaugheyMarch 8, 2023

As today marks International Women's Day, we're reflecting on patriarchal stereotypes, double standards, and almost everything in between. It’s an opportunity to celebrate breaking down systemic barriers and shine a light onto areas that need acknowledgement and reform.  

This year’s IWD theme is #embraceequity, highlighting the impact women have had, and continue to have, in creating a more equitable environment. With that in mind, we sat down with Neeraja Sankar, our Director of Strategic Projects, and Eleanor Vaughey, one of our Marketing Executives, to discuss diversity, leadership, and their advice to women in the industry. 

Why do you think diversity at the workplace is so important? 

Neeraja: I think diversity, beyond gender diversity, can be incredibly beneficial for an organisation. A diverse workforce means our people can bring to the table varied opinions, thoughts, and viewpoints because of their different backgrounds. 

“The more varied our perspectives, the more innovative and agile we can be as a company.”  

Eleanor: I think diversity is important for embracing different ideas and viewpoints. It enriches the workplace and provides opportunities for broader perspectives – working from the bigger picture strategies down to quick weekly brainstorms. 

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

Neeraja: Leadership a lot of the time is working with others, and this particular leader I worked with was always looking for opportunities to build and lift her team up. 

“She was good at recognising others’ strengths, and empowered and equipped them to contribute to their full potential.” 

This worked wonders for her, her team and the organisation she worked for. This principle of elevating people I work with and bringing them along in my personal journey as a leader underpins my approach to work and leadership. 

Eleanor: One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve been given is that we (women) can do anything, once we have the resources and tools available to us. So be gentle with yourself, and don’t put yourself under so much pressure to know everything at once. 

“If we don’t know how to do something, it’s just because we haven’t had the opportunity to discover or access those resources yet.” 

Neeraja, what advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? 

Believe in yourself and your potential but balance that with being humble and self-aware. Have a strong sense of purpose, and let it be the foundation for what kind of leader you want to be. Surround yourself with people who have similar principles to yours, and inspire confidence through your actions and vision. 

Eleanor, what message do you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers? 

Don’t be scared to try out a role just because you think you’re not smart enough or capable. We can often have these thoughts when we’re first starting out, but they’ll never get you anywhere. Nobody starts out as an expert, ever. Go all in and be brave. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried it out and are wiser from it, rather than never having tried at all.  

Bright creates software for tax, compliance, practice management and payroll. We’re on a mission to make a happy and efficient working life a reality for accountants and businesses through reliable software and amazing support. We’re proud to say that 39% of our management team are women, which is above the national average of 26% of women working in tech in the UK. But, we still have a lot of work to do. To hear more from the women at Bright, we’ve done a video series on International Women’s Day that you can view in the link below. 

Hear from more of us at Bright this International Women's Day

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