Her voice: IWD 2023 – Hannah Partridge, SVP, tms

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Hannah Partridge is SVP of, Client Engagement, Portfolio, International at global customer engagement agency tms.

In the run up to this year’s International Women’s Day, or IWD 2023, we’re asking women in media, marketing and creative to share what it all means to them.

Hannah shares with us why gender equity is a regular conversation at home, how tms is progressing with women’s advancement, and where she sees GenZ women stand on the issue…

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Hannah Partridge

What does IWD mean to you?

Dare I say it… it bothers me slightly that we need a day! We should be celebrating female achievements and empowerment every day; this should be the norm.

While we’ve got a way to go for true equality, we’ve come a long way. For me, IWD is a fantastic moment to celebrate what it means to be a woman.

This doesn’t have to be Nobel Prize-worthy achievements – but simple accolades of the everyday and a chance to recognise and celebrate female strength, resilience and ambition.

This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity – how are you planning to address this year’s theme?

On a personal level, this is a theme that resonates every day. I believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Allowing yourself and those around you to be their true, authentic self is the first step towards embracing equity.

How will this be reflected in your work?

At tms we’re hosting a number of events and content in the build up to and on IWD exploring this theme.

From guest speakers and panel discussions to profile pieces on the inspiring women within our business, we’re providing all employees the opportunity to learn and share their own lived experiences.

Do you think there is enough awareness among GenZ women about how they can support gender equality?

Yes, I do. I think GenZ women are far more tuned-in on this subject than my generation ever were. And, it’s even bigger for Gen A.

As a mum of girls, it’s a regular conversation at home and it’s an important topic at school, from primary to senior curriculums.

Books such as the Rebel Girls series provide hundreds of inspirational examples where women throughout the ages have fought to improve and turn around perceptions, laws and prejudices for the sake of others.

This is a subject I’ll never tire of exploring for myself and my girls.

Women’s rights is a major news story currently – what is the most pressing issue facing women in the UK right now?

Women are still somewhat marginalised throughout the UK. Within the workplace, professional and amateur sports, in education, politics and the list goes on.

We have a way to go to reach true equity but there are green shoots of hope. I’m proud to say tms is a progressive business with a strong DE&I compass.

From our global executive leadership to our teams across the globe, we are on a journey to educate, inform and act around diversity and inclusion.

We aim to be an inclusive place for all to grow and thrive it’s at the heart of values and culture.

How can women in business promote women’s causes effectively with their clients?

It’s incredible what women can do when they stand together and support each other.

As women in business, a world still dominated by men, we need to make space for women’s voices to be heard and ideas to be championed.

A balanced diverse team makes for the best output in my opinion. At tms we have several ERGs across our global network that champion diversity and equity within our business.

From GENIE – our global female empowerment group, through to our Executive Women’s Network, we’re on a mission to champion the women in our business which is refreshing to see.

What should the government be doing to help ensure gender equity is achieved more quickly?

Investment is essential – both in terms of ££ and time. Governments must ensure resources are available for all to learn about the benefits of a more balanced society.

From school and college curriculums to ensuring women are present, visible and leading in government – those in power must be able to walk the walk not just talk the talk.

Where are you seeing the most progress in gender equity?

I’m pleased to see gender equity as a regular topic at school for both of my daughters. Starting from the education system must be a good place to start.

I’m also encouraged to see the progress being made in the workplace, my company is leading in space and it’s great to see many major corporations and businesses finally taking DE&I seriously.

What can men do to support IWD this year?

Be a good ally. Make space for women to be heard. Champion their work and ideas and ensure they can progress without obstruction.

Who’s your most inspirational female role model? 

My mum! She is one of a kind. Strong, brave, tenacious, caring… the list could go on.

She has overcome significant adversity in her life but remains one of the most positive people I know. She has taught me to dream big and reach for the stars. With this woman at my side, I feel anything is possible.