What International Women’s Day means to me

We asked some of our female leaders from across Paysafe Group to tell us what International Women’s Day means to them.

Tara Wilson, General Manager, Income Access

Together we are stronger, and this day helps us all unite for a common goal; to celebrate our rightful place in this world. It is encouraging to see a movement that is rising globally to help highlight the major challenges that women face with regards to equality, economics, culture, or politics; but it is unfortunate that there needs to be day marked on the calendar for people to recognise and discuss these divisions. I see International Women’s Day as an opportunity to join together and celebrate that today we are more empowered, we are more aware of our rights, and that we will fight for what we believe in. Every day should be Women’s Day.

Melissa Pauleat, VP, Group Marketing Services

I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg around International Women’s Day every year to remind myself of the opportunities I have to step-up in my role at Paysafe, and to reflect on how to leverage my privileges for others. I also like to remind my two daughters and son how lucky they are to grow up in a country where they have equal rights to an education, healthcare and the right to vote, so that they can be the next generation of diversity and inclusion champions.

Andrea Dunlop, CEO of Merchant Acquiring, Europe

Businesses and business leaders need to ensure that they are inspiring the younger generation and up-and-coming talent in their organisations. It’s so important for these groups to have role models in their own likeness, representing all aspects of a diverse workforce.

Companies that make the most progress are those that are willing to have challenging conversations about diversity issues and be honest and transparent about where they are as a company on this journey. The world of business is a better place when women and men representing our diverse society are able to lead equally and contribute the best that they can. So, join the collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world.

Laura Murphy, Senior Legal & Regulatory Counsel

International Women’s Day is a day steeped in history. It has been around in different guises since the early 1900s, depending on what part of the world you look to. That alone speaks volumes. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of amazing women, reflect on progress made, and plan for the future. There is a growing amount of scepticism about an event celebrating this on one day only and to some extent, I see the point; we should talk about gender equality 365 days a year, but why abandon an opportunity to put a topic in the spotlight year after year? Let’s all use IWD and Women’s History Month to celebrate, reflect and plan!

I recently read a poem by Rupi Kaur that sums up perfectly what IWD means to me: “I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see further”.

Kelby Berg, VP of Operations

International Women's Day is important. We must carry forward the work of the women who came before us to ensure those that come after us have no limits on their dreams.  

Esra Erbas, Head of BCM & Disaster Recovery

It goes without saying that International Women’s Day should be celebrated every day and not just once a year. To me, it is about respecting the roles that women have played throughout history, acknowledging motherhood, working towards genderless equality, respecting humanity, and celebrating differences.

There is still a lot more work to be done globally, educating new generations about equality in order to break prejudices. In business, we need to increase the female voices heard at leadership level, have greater recognition for female attributes, and have women as part of our operational resilience to achieve success and influence.

Claire Gates, CEO, Paysafe Pay Later

I’ve worked in the financial sector for over 20 years and historically women have been under represented in this field, but headway is being made. I would say that 2018 was a transformational year in terms of diversity and inclusion in the finance and payments industry, but also in business generally. It’s important though that women in the workplace remember to continue to put themselves forward as individuals, even if that means not conforming to the expectations of others. We need to stand out, be tenacious and go for what we want, especially as women.

Vickie Laurendeau, Vice President, Human Resources – Canada

Celebrating International Women’s Day allows us to recognise gender equality and acknowledge the importance of diversity. I was brought up by parents who always encouraged me and reminded me to do something I love in order to be successful and happy in life. They always treated my brother and I equally. Later, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by strong successful women in male-dominated industries where I witnessed the power of different perspectives brought by women and others of diverse backgrounds.

Being the mother of a young girl, I make sure to set the example in my everyday actions, that she can reach her full potential by applying herself. Empowering women starts with our families and extends to our workplaces and communities.

Robin Laskowski, SVP IT Application Delivery, Payment Processing

International Women’s Day reminds me of my blessed upbringing by a mother and a father who told my sister and I that we could be anything that we wanted to be.  It did not occur to either of them that we shouldn’t be heavily involved with maths, science, or business just because we were girls. They expected us to be fully involved and to do our best, and we did.

Conversely, I know that there are other women who were not encouraged like this, and others today that are still not as fortunate as we were. This day reminds me that I have a responsibility to recognise and help break down barriers that impede a woman’s access to education and work. I have a responsibility to carry forward the same “you can be anything you want to be” narrative with those girls and women who are in my life today.