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Happy International Women's Day! This years theme is #BreakTheBias and encourages us to imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination; a world where difference is valued and celebrated.
We sat down with our GM Faye to talk about the importance of celebrating International Women's Day. We also chatted about how she ensures womens voices are heard, who inspires her and so much more.
Why is it important that we celebrate International Women’s Day and what does it mean to you?
It’s important as I think in my lifetime to date, there has been progression in terms of female rights, and the culture and climate is changing in regards to gender bias. However there’s still a huge amount of work to be done to reach true gender equality.
Which is why there’s a need to ensure future generations understand the importance of having a voice. I also don’t believe it should just be one day; every day we need to be having these discussions.
I have two young nieces and I want to do everything I can to ensure that the world they grow up in is a world free of bias and instead a world that allows them to thrive, regardless of their gender.
Both individually through actions we take every day, and collectively we can forge positive change and empower others to join us on the journey.
In your career have you ever experienced gender bias?
Absolutely. And it was at a time in my career where I was younger, less experienced, less educated on how to best manage the types of behaviours that were taking place, and what tools I could access to help.
As a leader, how do you ensure that women's voices are heard and that they feel empowered in the workplace?
Gender equality is a topic I feel very passionately about. My approach is very much about leading through change and building a culture of inclusivity. Equality doesn’t mean women are superior to men. It means a level playing field. Where everyone is equal. Anyone in my team is treated as an equal, regardless of what gender they identify with. I also ensure anyone in my team who identifies as a female, is given as many opportunities to network with other females.
What was your journey to General Manager at All Good like, in the context of gender conventions?
I think I have been very fortunate on my journey with All Good. I have 3 male founders and my boss is also male. They are all hugely supportive, and not once have I ever felt like I wasn’t an equal, based on my gender. Matt, Chris, Simon and Ali are very progressive and the founding pillars of the business focus on being good for the growers, the land and you. And they really walk the talk when it comes to not just gender equality, but female empowerment.
How does All Good help empower female Banana growers in El Guabo?
In Fairtrade certified banana producer organisations, equal employment rights among female and male employees are the rule thanks to the strict social standards that organisations must comply with. Fairtrade’s Gender Strategy recognises that women’s empowerment and gender equality need to be promoted at all levels. Special emphasis is put on training and development that empowers the women working in Fairtrade organisations. So next time you pick up a bunch of All Good Bananas know that you are contributing to a gender-equal world!
Who are some women you admire, or are a source of inspiration for you?
At a more high profile level I would say Sheryl Sandberg, Greta Thunberg, Jacinda Arden and Whitney Wolfe Herd. However my friends are my true inspiration. Kara McMillan, Lucy Grigg, Holly Dean and Michelle Kennedy (just to name a few!) all show me daily how women can break through the glass ceiling.