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International Women's Day 2024 - Staff Spotlights

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Taking place every 8 March, it's a vital day to call for action for gender parity and positive change. This year's theme is Inspire Inclusion, aiming to forge a more inclusive world for women.

Ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow, we wanted to spotlight some of the fantastic women working here at the Chamber. Meet Lydia, Elizabeth, Sarah, Nickie and Liz below and hear what this day means to them as women in business.

International Women's Day: Lydia

My name is Lydia and I work at LCCI as an Event Manager.

I started my career as an Event Coordinator and through the progression to my current role, I’ve learnt that it's all about the team. Everything becomes easier when you are part of a good team, including being a better team member yourself!

I’ve had the incredible luck of being managed by women across my whole career and working in organisations with Women in key positions of all levels. This lived experience of inclusivity has ensured that I have never doubted my right, my potential and my worth within the workplace – and that is the power of inclusion.

The best advice I’ve been given as a woman in business is I've been given is to always negotiate for what I'm worth and not be afraid to ask for raises or promotions!

International Women's Day: Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth Skewes Castañeda and I’m the Trade Services and Business Development Manager for the International Business Department at the LCCI.

My first job was as a Customer Service Representative at a well-known international tyre manufacturing company, a position I outgrew rather quickly and moved to a business analyst position in the same company. Throughout my professional career, I’ve been lucky to work for different international companies where I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities, and I’ve worked with the most amazing female leaders, they taught me to stand proud on my feet and fight for what’s right, to be resilient and unapologetic, but I’ve also learned that the best leaders lead not only with example but with empathy and kindness. To those tough leaders and bright teachers I’ve come across in my career: thank you, I hope I’m making you proud, it is now my turn to open more doors for future female leaders, just like you helped open doors for me.

The best advice I have is: never be afraid of your own voice.

My favourite quote is: "The only journey is the one within" - Rainer Maria Rilke.

About inspiring inclusion: We often hear about women having to raise their voices in order to be heard… What about we all start making space for women to speak out without having to raise their voices? Because learning comes from listening to what others have to say and that is only achieved when we include others in our conversations, not only at work but in our everyday life.

International Women's Day: Sarah

My name is Sarah and I work at LCCI as ATA Carnet Executive.

I started my career as a Branch Officer and through the progression to my current role, I’ve learnt that there are always lots of new things to learn and you are never too old or technologically challenged.

The best advice I’ve been given/ my favourite quote as a woman in business is “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

I believe in inspiring inclusion because you will then find and retain the best.

International Women's Day: Nickie

My name is Nickie Dalton and I work at the London Chamber of Commerce as the Head of Trade Documentation and Services.

I started my working career within international trade as an export customer account manager for a biscuit company. (It’s been over two years since I left this company and I still miss the unlimited treats a lot).

My favourite ever quote as a woman in business is “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair” - Shirley Chisholm. As a younger person in my career to date, I’ve learnt that being receptive of the experience around you whilst having the confidence to implement fresh perspectives based on this is crucial to business growth.

I believe in empowering inclusion because no one single voice is ever right, especially within a larger team, but recognising this without feeling threatened by it and then acting on it constructively, whilst sometimes challenging, can result in the most rewarding outcomes for all involved - employees and customers alike.

I’m fortunate to have had many strong female role models in both my professional and personal life - all who have inspired me to always aim for greatness and to never settle for less than I know that I deserve. Here’s to inspiring the next generation of young females starting in their career - anything can happen if you’re driven, willing to put the work in and trust that you deserve everything you’re given . Also, always be willing to ask for more! A little imposter syndrome throughout your journey is merely a life lesson, don’t let this hold you back or stop you from recognising your existing or future accomplishments.

International Women's Day: Liz

My name is Liz and I work at LCCI as Director of Membership and Events.

I started my career way back selling anything and everything over the phone on an annual salary of £6,500... I was also asked at a job interview at that time to confirm I was NOT a women's libber! (someone who supports efforts to achieve equality of women and men; a feminist).

In progressing to my current position have learnt endlessly from other people, especially how to focus on the key priorities, take care of others and try to not sweat the small stuff!

The best quote I have heard was from one of our members at LCCI: "It's not how you fall down that matters but how you get up".

I believe in inspiring inclusion because every woman across the world has the right to education and opportunity.