International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 provides an opportunity for us to #ChooseToChallenge.
At Iceni, we help forge a gender equal world and celebrate women’s achievements through our work. Gender equality is a core value and our team actively support women succeed, both professionally and personally.
Iceni, which recently celebrated its fifth birthday, was established by two women in response to workplace bias in the consulting sector. Embracing their talents and building a skilled team of like-minded professionals to challenge a traditional sector was the goal of Iceni’s founders, Georgina Legoe and Junitha Giles.
To celebrate IWD2021, we asked the founding partners about how they #ChooseToChallenge.
Why did you #ChooseToChallenge when you set up Iceni?
Georgina: When we met, we were working on projects in the male-dominated fields. As women, we faced challenges daily – there was such unconscious bias inherent in the way these businesses ran. We found that women, no matter how skilled, were unable to achieve their full potential in these workplaces. Our frustrations grew until we decided to break away and establish our own business. Iceni was born.
Junitha: For me, having my first daughter was a defining moment. I realised for the first time how small things, like meeting times, can form huge barriers to making a meaningful contribution when you return to work. It was time to challenge the status quo and so I set up Iceni with Georgina.
As a women-owned business, how do you #ChooseToChallenge?
Georgina: The challenges we face are not unique. As a growing business, we have faced the normal spectrum of challenges – cash flow, growth pains, risks, recruitment etc. How we face those challenges, however, reflect the traits we as women bring to the business. For instance, we are realistic – we evaluate our capability and capacity to do new things and make realistic decisions. We recognise our own limitations and ask others for help when we need it. We share our success with our team.
Junitha: As women, we tend to be more aware of the mood in the room and work with emotional intelligence to facilitate good decisions. This is particularly helpful working with clients and their complex stakeholder networks. We identify the blockers and help our clients work through issues to achieve sustainable outcomes for projects.
What advice to you give to young women looking to #ChooseToChallenge?
Georgina: Know your value. Surround yourselves with good mentors (both men and women). Speak up when you have something to contribute. Don’t accept the status quo and #ChooseToChallenge.
Junitha: The sky is your limit. Set your goals and focus on achieving them – but be realistic about the time this might take. It may be a long journey but you will learn so much along the way as you #ChooseToChallenge.