There’s no point having the right people around the table if their voices aren’t going to be heard.

A global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) focuses on equity: #EmbraceEquity. Vicky Elliott, Quality Manager at C-Capture – developers of next generation carbon capture technology – discusses why it’s important to promote awareness around gender equity.

Vicky said:

“I like helping to create an environment where people feel comfortable being their authentic selves in the workplace. I know that diversity and inclusion is an important part of the C-Capture culture, and I’m looking forward to building on that and helping influence that as part of the team

“We often talk about gender equality and awareness days like IWD, which help society recognise that there is still a need to promote understanding around this. But it’s important we talk about gender equity as well.”

Vicky joined C-Capture in January this year to devise and enhance the company’s quality procedures and standards as part of a period of rapid expansion for the Leeds-based clean tech company as it aims to demonstrate, then deploy its innovative carbon capture technology internationally and across a broad range of industrial sectors.

Vicky has considerable leadership experience within the chemical industry and is a keen advocate for diversity and inclusion. She previously co-founded an international Gender Equality Network for one of her employers, helping to improve gender equity in the workplace, which was welcomed by her colleagues.

I think there are some practical steps companies can take to help create a gender equitable culture. Creating networking opportunities that take place during the working day – perhaps over lunch – is one example I’ve found can work really well. As primary caregivers, women can be at risk of missing out on valuable networking opportunities if they take place outside of work hours.

“I’ve also found initiatives such as female mentoring schemes and inviting guest speakers to discuss how they’ve overcome personal challenges very helpful. I think diversity should be valued as well as supported. I really enjoy being around different people, with differing viewpoints and ideas; it makes for a productive workplace as well as an enjoyable one and has been shown to help increase a company’s bottom line.

“For me, having an open and honest dialogue is absolutely key to establishing equity. Organisations benefit from a culture where it is ok to ask questions around what is acceptable – and to provide supportive challenge around what we think is not. I think that if someone tells you they found something you said or did unequitable, you should listen with an open mind. 

“We all need to move with the times and we’re all on a learning path. We can’t presume to know everyone’s life experiences or how they’ve been treated. There’s no point having the right people around the table if their voices aren’t going to be heard.”

Jannice Dye, C-Capture’s HR Manager, added:

“Our mission is to produce a world-leading technology, to help solve one of the biggest problems of the 21st century: climate change. We’re interested in hearing from people who want to join us on that mission and are proud to be an equal opportunities employer. We encourage our colleagues to bring their authentic, original, and best selves to work. 

“We’re committed to inclusion and diversity and champion differing approaches and points of view. It fuels our innovation as developers of next generation carbon capture technology.”