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City of Bristol College celebrates women in our workplace for International Women’s Day

We celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March by celebrating some of the incredible women who work at our College.

We invited staff from across our Centres to nominate women who have inspired them, act as role models or are a shining beacon for women who work in education. The outpouring of support and love was exceptional, with many staff contacting the Marketing team with their nominations and some kind words and reasons for their choice.

One such nomination was for the College’s Director of Foundation Learning and Enrichment, Caty Bowstead. The nominator said: “Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘inspirational’ as ‘making you feel full of hope or encouraged’ and next to the definition is a picture of Cathy Bowstead. She is driven to deliver the best possible outcomes for learners, this is clear from the work she does when speaking to colleagues and students alike. Cathy could be described as a spherical good ‘un. Regardless of the angle from which you approach a sphere, it is always the same, the same is true of Cathy’s commitment to our learners.”

Another colleague praised our Principal’s Award recipient, Facilities Supervisor Ester Simmons, for her ‘dedication and hard work’ to our College in a ‘traditionally male-dominated sector’.

One colleague, who actually shares her birthday with International Women’s Day, is Lecturer Kay Rodbourn who received a lovely nomination. One nominator said: “I love walking past Kay’s classroom and listening to her in front of her class. She inspires me through hearing her speak to others in such a lovely and engaging way. She is caring towards her students and I know of one she is helping through challenging times.”

Those who were nominated received a chocolatey treat and a card including their nominations.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is #BreakTheBias as the worldwide campaign champions a gender equal world which is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, where everyone can feel valued and celebrated.

IWD has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world which saw a boom in population and the rise of radical ideologies.

In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding short hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1909, it was declared by the Socialist Party of America that the first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. In 1910 and 1911, the International Conference of Working Women was held where more than 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed on the launch of International Women’s Day.

It was honoured for the first time in 1911 on 19 March in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and, following the peace campaign for World War I, it was agreed the day would be marked on 8 March to fit on the Gregorian calendar.

You can find out more about International Women’s Day.

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