Celebrating International Women’s Day

Blog by Ella Arbelaez-Rodriguez, Head of People and Culture 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, our Head of People and Culture Ella shares some of the things we’re doing at Challengers to ensure that women feel supported, valued and represented. 

We are very proud that Challengers is an organisation which champions women at every level. Our foundations have been built by strong women, thanks to our co-founder Dr Helen Foley and the female Chief Executives, Trustees and members of #TeamOrange who have played an instrumental role in the charity since it was established in 1979.   

Anyone who knows Challengers knows that inclusion is at the heart of everything we do, and while our mission strives for greater inclusion for disabled children and young people, it extends wider to ensure that Challengers is a place where everyone feels welcome and celebrated for who they are. We are lucky to be led by a fantastic female CEO, Gen Dearman, whose true passion for inclusion permeates our organisational culture. 

Ella, Head of People and Culture

We have recently implemented some policies aimed at supporting women during pivotal life stages, including menopause and post-partum. In the summer we introduced a policy which reflects the unique challenges that women face during the menopause, and which aims to support staff experiencing the menopause to remain at work, raise awareness of the menopause and its impact in the workplace, and encourage open conversations about the menopause between colleagues. Additionally, we are trialing a new ‘return to work’ programme for women coming back from maternity leave, providing them with support and flexible arrangements to ease their transition back to work. 

Of course there is always more to be done, and we will continue to look at ways in which we can increase gender equality and contribute to creating a world where all women can thrive. While we only celebrate International Women’s Day once a year, this forms part of our conversation at Challengers year-round, and we hope we are doing our small part to champion women.