International Women’s Day 2021
Every year on 8th March, International Women’s Day is globally celebrated and recognised to honour the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women around the world. The first IWD was held in 1911 and marked the call to action in equality for women. Today the event belongs to women everywhere.
Choose to Challenge
The theme of IWD this year is Choose to Challenge. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. In honour of this, we interviewed our two female Partners, Rachel Pearce and Sarah Fitzgerald, to find out more about them, including what they’re most proud of and their top stress buster!
Meet some of the women at MHA Carpenter Box
We held a lunchtime networking session for women across the firm to discuss International Women’s Day, and re-connect after months of remote working.
In addition, we asked our female staff members across the firm to share their stories of achievements and challenges that they have taken on and overcome over the last year.
How to make a patchwork quilt – Karen’s story
Karen Thomas is head of Private Client Services in our Worthing office. During lockdown she turned her hand to crafting and took up knitting. Rather impressively, she also made not one, but two quilts! Below are a couple of examples of her handiwork:
Double decade! Dawn’s story
Our Payroll Manager, Dawn Peters, certainly had reason to celebrate this year after marking her 20 year anniversary this month with MHA Carpenter Box!
“I joined MHA Carpenter Box on 1st March 2001 sharing a room with two young trainees (including Amy Lovett – who is now our Financial Controller!) before finding myself in an office with two newly qualified chaps – one of whom was Paul Allwright (one of the Senior Managers in our Business Services Group) and our Managing Partner, Alan Edwards!
I have occupied many buildings and spaces over the years, gradually building from a team of just one (me!) to a team of 8.”
Bienvenido – Kira’s story
Our Marketing Director, Kira McKinney, decided to take up Spanish having studied it at school in her native home of California. She used the time afforded during the lockdown period as a a good opportunity to try and pick it back up again.
“I normally study 10-30 minutes a day using the Duolingo app and have now encouraged my husband to learn Spanish as well. My two daughters have also picked up some conversational phrases. I am on a 250 day streak with my studies! It’s been really enjoyable learning a new skill and I hope to put it to good use once travelling is allowed again!”
Top of the class – Lucy’s story
Lucy Halliday works as a Paraplanner for MHA Carpenter Box Financial Advisers. Despite the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, she passed her final exam last year attaining a level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
“Studying has taken place around work, family and all the other things life has had to throw at us, so it took a little longer than I would have liked. However, I got there in the end through hard work and determination making the achievement all the more satisfying.”
Marathon woman – Melissa’s story
Melissa Hardwick is a Senior Manager with our Audit and Assurance team in Gatwick. During January she took part in “run the month” and together with her husband, sister & best friend, ran a marathon over the course of the month raising £500 for Prostate UK.
“It was great fun, got us out running (in all weathers!) and was lovely to raise money for such a worthy charity. Also, the last year has been a real challenge for everyone but a shout out to all the working parents! I have juggled work, home schooling my 2 young children and supported my husband who is front line NHS.”
Mental Health Champion – Alaina’s story
Alaina Clarke is a Senior in the Audit team based at our Gatwick office. She decided to take part in the Move for Mind challenge beginning mid-way through January this year.
The challenge I chose was to walk or jog 30 miles in 30 days to raise money for the mental health charity Mind. I wanted to help raise awareness, and also get out of the house each day to support my own mental health! I managed to finish my challenge a couple of days early and raised £340 in total.
Mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever at the moment and I was so proud to not only beat my fundraising target but also help Mind continue to support so many people at such a crucial time.
Helping hand – Polly’s story
Polly Hastilow works as an Administrator for our Tax Services Group in the Worthing office. Last year, she volunteered at local charity Link to Hope who help disadvantaged families and elderly people based in Eastern Europe.
“Christmas is a big time for the charity. People across the UK pack a shoebox full of essentials like soap, blankets and treats and wrap it up to be gifted to either a family or elderly people living in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
I was tasked with preparing crates full of shoeboxes for families. In two hours of volunteering time, a team of us had managed to pack around 200 shoeboxes – that’s 200 families who’s Christmases will be a bit brighter for receiving items that in honesty I take for granted. It was an enjoyable and humbling experience and something I would like to do every year going forwards.”
We’re incredibly proud of the stories and achievements our staff have shared with us and we hope you have enjoyed reading them and feel as inspired as we do. Happy International Women’s Day!