International Women's Day: a moment with Dawn Rawlings

To celebrate International Women's Day we are speaking to colleagues across the organisation about what the day and this year's theme of 'everyday courage' means to them.

This week we take a moment to sit down and catch up with Dawn Rawlings, a Senior Facilities Services Manager in the South East, who tells us what the day means to her and how she has navigated her career through a male dominated field.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

It is a day that we celebrate women in all aspects of life. Recognising their contribution in the family, society and the work place. A time to think about how that is reflected in our own worlds, also a time to be aware that not all women are treated the same nor have the same opportunities.

It’s OK to say we still have a way to go before all the playing fields are levelled.

It's OK to have those very difficult conversations about what is needed, what is appropriate.

It's OK to discuss what is the desired outcome of change.  

A day to focus on seeking equality.

What have you found the most challenging experience in entering and developing in this industry?

It seems for my whole working life I have been in a traditionally “male dominated world”! Firstly, in the world of catering and then into Facilities and Property Management, where, with time, dedication and hard work you educate and demonstrate to your colleagues that you are a productive and knowledgeable member of the team, with great skills developed through formal training and experience.

Who is a great example of #EverydayCourage in your team or life?

It would be impossible to pick out one person or indeed one activity. Every woman in my team and throughout the world actually live #EverydayCourage. Every day, whether you are younger, older, a mother, a grandmother, a carer, a sister, a friend, most women will face some kind of discrimination or inequality on a daily basis, a lot of the time subliminally.  And every day by getting up, contributing to and interacting with others in so many ways they challenge the status quo of inequality in which we live. Breaking down the barriers and leading the way.

What personal advice can you provide to help others gain courage and confidence to challenge?

Do not make life a competition with men. Concentrate on you. Every so often sit quietly on your own and look inwards, to your performance and behaviours.

Be comfortable in your own skin. When you do you will be empowered to do and be whatever or whoever you want.