This week saw International Women’s Day 2017 take place, bringing together people across the world in the name of equality. In her latest blog, Sidekick’s Kirstie Kinrade shares her thoughts on the day, and on being a woman in business.

I am a woman.

I am a business owner.

Sadly, to some, those two statements just don’t go together. That’s why International Women’s Day is so vitally important – now, more than ever.

To mark the day, we attended Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business event where a host of inspiring speakers left us buzzing with drive and enthusiasm to get out into the world and do more.

The overarching message was to ‘be bold’, a mantra we’ve now placed on our office wall to keep it at the forefront of our minds.

The event also got me thinking about the strong and inspiring women in my own life and the impact they’ve had in shaping who I am.

Sidekick itself is all-woman, with the three of us all equal co-directors, proud to have taken the bold step of setting up our own growing business.

We support and mentor each other every day, building each other’s confidence and holding each other to account when we need to. 

But sadly, the wider world isn’t always as positive.

We’ve each all had our share of negative experiences in the world of business, too, simply because of our gender.

Over the years, I’ve sat in meetings and had my cleavage commented on by the chairman of a company. I’ve also been told to “get on with it then” by a male, former client, in response to me saying no when asked if I have children. 

These instances of sexism in the world of business are still happening and we need to act to stamp it out, fast.

We are proud to be a female-driven organisation and we hope to inspire and nurture future female-leaders to achieve their ambitions, too.

Women in business must stand together and stand strong.

We must believe in ourselves and the unquestionable value we bring to the economy, so that one day, as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, said: “In the future there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”