by Bidfood

International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March each year. It’s a global day to recognise the achievements of women, whether that’s socially, politically, economically or culturally.  


Each year, International Women’s Day campaigns are focussed around a theme. This year, the theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual which is all about campaigning for a gender equal world.

A particular focus for International Women’s Day is women at work. Their mission for women at work is to “champion all women of all backgrounds who dare to innovate, lead and uplift each other towards a more equal and inclusive workplace.”

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with Angela ODonovan, Mary Cruickshank and Candy Redfern to help raise awareness and challenge the stereotypes that all too often limit women. 


Angela O’Donovan, Director of Technical Services 

“Fundamentally it’s their lack of self-belief that holds back both women and girls.”

 What does #EachforEqual mean for you in your work life? 

Fundamentally for me, it’s about ensuring I have diversity in my team – women and men, all ages, all backgrounds, all ethnicities and so on. By ensuring I have an #EachforEqual approach to work I know I’m delivering the best possible business results for Bidfood. It encourages inclusiveness, team work, employee engagement, open dialogue and definitely supports our care, share, dare culture.    

I look forward to a time when #EachforEqual is not even a thing, a time when women and men are seen as equals regardless of what they do, where they live, age, religion etc.  Lots of progress has been made in the last 100 years but I hope it doesn’t take another 100 years to get us to that place!  

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women and girls today? 

Some of the challenges faced by women are different to those faced by young girls, for example; a girl’s fear of being judged can lead to crippling anxiety especially when they compare themselves to the unreal “idealistic world” in social media. This stops them from being true to themselves which can lead to all sorts of mental issues. Thankfully, I’m old enough now not to care what others think of me, and that’s very liberating! But fundamentally it’s their lack of self-belief that holds back both women and girls. It’s important for us all to recalibrate our self-belief every so often, either via mindfulness, attending an inspiring leadership course, coaching, sharing your concerns with friends, reading a motivational book, listening to a blog/podcast or even try prayer. What’s important is finding a tool(s) that helps you – what that tool is, isn’t important.  

What advice would you give to other women who strive to be where you are? 

Believe in yourself, never give up! Be true to yourself. 


Mary Cruickshank, Warehouse Operative in Edinburgh 

“I think women can do any job if they put their mind to it”

How do people normally react when they find out what you do? 

When I tell people what I do, they really don’t understand it until I explain in detail what it actually means. I make up ward kits for the Scottish Hospitals which involves making up bulk orders for each hospital and then splitting these into individual boxes for each ward within the hospital… once I’ve explained that to people they think it’s cool.

Do you think there are jobs that are more suited to a man or woman? 

I think women can do any job if they put their mind to it, although I do think there are jobs more suited to men.

What are you most proud of and what are your future goals? 

I’m proud of the fact that I’ve worked for 44 years since I left school and the only time off I’ve had was to have my kids. I know my job makes a difference to my customers which also make me proud. My future goals are for health and a happy retirement when the time comes.


Candy Redfern, Head of Learning and Talent Development

“It was important to me that our kids didn’t think we had gendered roles so we’ve always tried to aspire for an equal household.”

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women and girls today?

As mum to Elise, who is six-years old – the internet, social media and the likes of the Kardashians terrify me at times! There seems to be more pressure than ever on women and girls to look, behave and act in a certain way. My biggest hope for my daughter’s future is that she develops her own sense of herself, her authenticity shines through and she doesn’t feel pressure to be something she isn’t. 

How do you achieve a work life balance and juggle work, university studies and being a mum?

It was important to me that our kids didn’t think we had gendered roles so we’ve always tried to aspire for an equal household. I was fortunate that my husband wanted to share my mat leave following the change in the law when I had my second child, which enabled me to return to work for a promotion. I genuinely couldn’t do any of what I do without his support and a 50:50 approach to our home life. I also outsource anything which we can’t fit in at the moment – I don’t do my cleaning or my ironing I’m afraid! When I am at uni I live away for the week to immerse myself in learning, but I value that I am investing in all of our futures. The other thing which is important is to make sure that when I have time with my kids we focus on spending quality time together.

What advice would you give to other women or mums who strive for a successful career? 

Firstly, if you are going to come back to work after having children – make your peace with it! Working mums seem to carry a lot of guilt. If you make the decision to work, don’t feel guilty, though I know first-hand it’s easier said than done. 

Secondly, I find the concept of the work/home life balance to be a myth. I much prefer the concept of integration. Who wants to completely switch off at home and get the Sunday night fears? Not me for sure! I have no problem being contacted outside of my working hours or being contacted whilst on holiday. I’ve been lucky that I am able to integrate my family into work – I was invited to bring my two to the Wakefield summer fun day, and they loved seeing where I work and sitting in a wagon. 

And my final piece of advice – give the best of yourself when you get home. We all have bad days; the skill is learning to leave it in the car when you get home so you don’t take your bad day home to your family. It’s not easy, it takes time to learn, but it means they always get the best of you! 


Gender equality and Bidfood

At Bidfood, we’re committed to creating a workplace which encourages us to challenge the status quo and make decisions which are inclusive of all, regardless of gender or other characteristics. The warehousing and distribution industry is traditionally male dominated and as part of our recruitment activities, we’re continuing to look at how we can attract and support more women into our roles. 

Gender pay gap reporting has been a requirement since April 2018 for UK businesses who employ more than 250 people. The data measures the difference between male and female midpoint and average salaries and asks employers to look for ways they can reduce the gap in their businesses.

In April 2019, the UK’s gender pay gap was reported to be 17.3%. We’re pleased to say ours was much lower than this and we’ll continue to work at reducing this further. A new gender pay gap report will be published shortly. 

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