Herefordshire Embraces Equity

Herefordshire Embraces Equity

by | Mar 3, 2023

Over the last couple of years we’ve written together with local business women who live and work in and around Worcestershire to share the positive sentiment of International Women’s Day. This year, in Herefordshire, we embrace the theme of the 2023: #EmbraceEquity.

Those of us who hold the idea of equity close, welcome a day to celebrate ‘International Women’s Day’ and the positive sentiment it brings. On that basis, our article features words for reflection from Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce as well as Inspector Julz Watson from West Mercia Police and Lee Gough (Mrs) from Megan Baker House.

Sharon says:

“I strive to #EmbraceEquity. I don’t always get everything right, but ensuring Equity is at the top of the business agenda is hugely important to me and to most businesses. The first step is recognising that we still exist in a world where not everything or everyone is equal, and open conversations about inequalities should be part of our ongoing learning and development, in order to improve. That’s why I’m pleased to support and embrace International Women’s Day 2023 – where there is still inequality, there should always still be a conversation.”

Lee Gough, CEO of Megan Baker House, agrees:

“I embrace equity on a daily basis and welcome the chance to help recognise that equity is still some way off. For example, there are considerably less than 50% female CEOs of charities than male in the UK and I’m very happy to spearhead more.”

Lee continues:

“That said, the workforce at MBH is 80% female 20%male. We would like to have a more balanced workforce but there are very few males qualified in this particular sphere.”


Inspector Julie Watson, West Mercia Police, says:

No woman or girl should feel afraid walking in the streets of her own city, however we know that almost 70% of women do feel afraid, particularly at night.

Herefordshire’s Safer Streets Project is working to make practical improvements to our CCTV network and street illuminations to make these areas feel safer for all who use these public spaces.  Part of the Safer Streets Project is The Time For Change campaign which seeks to raise awareness of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and open up a conversation that challenges the acceptability of sexual harassment in public and to ask our communities to be upstanders for women’s safety, not bystanders to intimidation and harassment.”

Find out more about Time For Change here:

Whether we embrace the concept of International Women’s Day or not, it does provide a focus to forge forward in making an impact on equity – and women are embracing every bit of making that change.

More about the day and the theme can be found here:

As seen in print in Business Direction Magazine (page 21) and online at Your Herefordshire and the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

In 2022 our article, featuring Rachel Jenkins, MD at Curvy Kate, Pippa Mills the first female Chief Constable at West Mercia Police, Liz Warner, DI in West Mercia Police and Chair of the women’s network called ‘WOW’ – Women of West Mercia and Sharon Smith, CEO of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, gained coverage in the Worcester Observer, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and BusinessWorks Magazine Worcestershire and the Black Country. It can be read, in full, here.

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