Go back to International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020. To think that we’d be using words like "lockdown," "home-schooling" and "furlough" would be unthinkable - for a few more weeks, at least. The past year has been one of turmoil, sadness and anxiety. But it’s also been one of solidarity, discovery and triumph.
You might think it would be difficult to find positive stories to acknowledge Serocor’s women in a year which has challenged everyone to the limit, yet there are a great many unsung heroines who deserve some recognition. Among our ranks are those that have made impacts in the community, enjoyed professional success and triumphed over lockdown adversity, despite the universe having other intentions, and we’d like to celebrate some of them on International Women’s Day. Here are their stories.
Gemma: constantly mindful of the team’s welfare
Gemma Humphries, Optamor’s Head of Partnerships, was surprised to be approached for this piece: “I don’t feel I’ve done anything special,” she says. Her team begs to differ. Part of a close, very social team, working remotely has been very strange and can impact people in many different ways.
Aware of this, Gemma ensured she spoke to each of her team daily, so that she could support them if they were struggling. In addition to this, she arranged regular catch ups and walks with the team to get them away from their screens for a bit.
She has always been mindful of the challenge of working at home with small children, and took fantastic steps to try and ease the situation. In one particular case, Gemma says, “we had a daily video call with the team member and her young son, which my 11-year-old son joined in on, and we either talked about his toys/characters or my son did a daily quiz for him.”
When restrictions had eased, she invited one of the team to work with her for the day and her son came along too. “I’ve just been continually keeping up with their welfare and ensuring I can support them where I can.”
“In this lockdown I’ve also started to send some of my team different emojis that to cheer them up!” she says. It may seem like nothing, but each of these small attentions no doubt makes a huge difference to the wellbeing of the team.
It’s been said that while the pandemic has shown the worst of some people, it’s brought out the absolute best in others, of which there are countless examples among our female colleagues. In a year where we’ve all felt unsteady at times, the stories above simply reinforce the strength, resilience, professionalism and humility of women everywhere. And on International Women’s Day 2021, we will rightly celebrate them all.