As an organization, CWT encourages diversity, inclusion and gender parity in the workplace, and is committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees. On 8 March every year, as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, many teams also make an effort to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of women in the workplace. We took the opportunity to interview Ivy Zhou, Director of Human Resources in CWT China, on the importance of International Women’s Day.
Can you tell us what is important about International Women’s Day, and why we decided to celebrate this day every year in the CWT China offices?
Ivy: International Women’s Day is about equality and respect. It also spreads the message about equal opportunities for women in the work place. Aside from the chance to raise awareness and keep the spotlight on such an important topic, for many of us in China this is also an opportunity to really celebrate and appreciate the achievements of every woman.
Perhaps more importantly, in CWT China women make up a majority of the workforce and their hard work, commitment, and input has been instrumental to the growth and success of the company. We feel it is only right to take the occasion to say a big Thank You to every one of them.
What do you feel are some of the main challenges women face today in China? What do you think we should/can help to raise awareness of?
Ivy: Women in China today face the incredible pressure of balancing modern values with their traditions and familial duties. As wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, it can often be extremely challenging juggling traditional expectations and responsibilities with modern aspirations for career success and personal development in the competitive work place.
Women need to devote significant energy and time into developing a widening range of skills and evolving themselves for different situations and roles. And we should support them all the way.
What activities have been organized in the past years?
Ivy: Each year, we email a thank you message about International Women’s Day, which includes tips on health and wellbeing. On International Women’s Day itself we distribute a little gift as a token of our appreciation, and sometimes arrange for additional activities as well. On one occasion we hired professional masseuses to come to the office so employees could enjoy a little pampering and relaxation at work. This year, many of the gentlemen in the office volunteered to distribute the presents to their colleagues in the office, which was nice of them!
Are there any women who inspire you, or that you admire very much? Why do you admire her/them?
Ivy: More than any one individual in particular, the entire community of female colleagues working in CWT inspires me. No matter their background and circumstances, they are all strong, multi-faceted women, and always motivated and energized when I see them in the office. I find it incredibly moving when I see them giving their all at work.
“Goddess” is a popular term on Chinese social media. It describes accomplished women who can handle anything life throws at them, and pull it off with style. I am unbelievably proud to work on the same team as all these goddesses at CWT!