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IWD: #InspireInclusion with Christina Cavenham, Director, Global Head of Operations Business Performance at HSBC

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author:by Chirag Raichura

​​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Christina Cavenham, Director - Global Head of Operations Business Performance at HSBC, and she shared her thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. The IWD 2024 campaign theme seeks to inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion. Organisations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part, and to truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify.

International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world. ​

1. What does inclusion mean to you, and why?

Inclusion, to me, means making sure we embrace everyone and welcome the diverse nature of thought and skills. It means adapting the way we work so we don’t make it harder for women to contribute or fulfil their roles successfully and, therefore, exclude talent.

2. Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It's important to recognise the progress we have made in this space, and International Women’s Day allows this and keeps the conversation relevant. It also allows us to recognise that there is still progress to be made, and share experiences across industries. Having a day where we all celebrate International Women’s Day allows individuals, companies, industries to take a pause and challenge the way we work.

3. What advice would you give aspiring women in the industry you work in?

​Be yourself and stay true to your own values! Recognise your strengths, be courageous, ask questions, and be confident in challenging where you think you can change things and bring more value. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself.

4. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?

Managers and leaders need to understand the challenges all colleagues face during their careers, however we must recognise there are differences between those challenges for men and women. Social and cultural expectations about women’s role in society and families are still very embedded within the workplace, and this needs to be recognised and challenged. To be an effective ally to our female colleagues, we must help each other navigate through the challenges faced, call out inconsistencies in treatment, and be flexible in the way we work to ensure we mitigate the challenges so as not to lose talent. ​

5. What are some commitments individuals can make to help inspire inclusion for women, for example, calling out discrimination when you see it?

We need to ensure we speak out where we see discriminatory behaviour, either on behalf of colleagues or supporting them if there are instances where they may choose to themselves. We need to make sure the conversation around inclusion is always present and make sure we are aware of any unconscious bias that may drive non-inclusive behaviours.