Anna Valley celebrates a #WeekOfWomensDays for International Women’s Day 2022

We don’t think one International Women’s Day is enough, so this year, we’re putting a spotlight on five women across Anna Valley who do incredible work. With International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th March, we’re celebrating by highlighting these women and their achievements – read about all five of Anna Valley’s ‘Week of Women’s Day’ spotlights below.

Charlotte Pearman, Warehouse Manager at Anna Valley

Charlotte enjoys looking after her warehouse team, and champions mental health, bringing in experiences from her mental health first-aid course. “It’s about signposting and checking in on people – especially with the pandemic when things are a bit crazy. It’s important to keep an eye on workloads, ensuring people are just as much stimulated as they are challenged.”

For Charlotte, International Women’s Day is about recognition and representation.

“There are women doing amazing things across the board, and it’s about giving them visibility and representation. You can’t be what you can’t see – it might put people off roles if they look on a website or walk into a room and they just see men.”

In terms of #AV professionals she admires, Charlotte nominates Anna Valley’s Grace Esia, junior technician, and Emily Wilton, equipment specialist for audio. She says, “Both of them are working really hard and learning their craft and trying to be as good as the boys, because they have to be!” She continues, “It’s nice to see that the industry is preparing to change – there’s a long way to go still, but it’s exciting seeing people start their careers without barriers that other people may have had previously.”

Lucy Jenkins, Head of Audio at Anna Valley

Lucy has had an interest in technical backstage operations for as long as she can remember and enjoys seeing her team flourish. “For me, it’s about watching a team of people that I work with regularly just nail it! It’s really rewarding to watch all the planning and preparation that I’ve put in place get us to that end goal.”

For Lucy, International Women’s Day is about making the industry more diverse across the board.“We’re doing such a good job, but there’s a long way to go. For example, when we put out a job advert, we require previous experience – but it’s so much harder for women to have gained the experience to start with in a technical role. We’re letting people fall at the first hurdle. We need to encourage people who don’t have experience to apply anyway and offer to train them up.”

“We need to make an environment that women can consider a viable career option, creating structured pathways and allowing women to build a career and feel supported. Achieving equality is really important, but it’s not just a question of gender.”

A woman in the industry that inspires Lucy is Lynn Cloete. “She was my first ever stage manager when I joined the industry, and she really encouraged me and told me that audio was something that I could do. She’s a great mentor.”

Megan Mackinnon, Crew Support at Anna Valley

Megan enjoys building professional relationships, and her role has helped her grow her confidence. “Before I started this job, I was quite a quiet person – but you have to have conversations and build relationships every single day. No two people are the same, and I think I bring an understanding of that to the role.”

Of International Women’s Day, Megan said,

“For me, it’s about reflecting on positive changes. It gives women opportunities – when women support each other, incredible things can happen.”

Megan’s women’s day shoutout goes to Baroness Karren Brady of Knightsbridge CBE. “She started in the football industry which is incredibly hard because it’s such a male dominated industry. For me, she proved that anything is possible, and it doesn’t matter your gender, you can do what you want to do. It makes me feel like I can do the same.”

Emily Merritt, Project Assistant at Anna Valley

Emily’s fantastic organisational skills make her a perfect fit for her role. “I’m pretty good at spinning a lot of plates at once, and I notice the smaller details. When you’ve got a lot to think about, quite often the small bits get missed, and I’m good at picking up on those things.”

Emily thinks International Women’s Day is about highlighting women who work hard for gender equality and giving women better opportunities.

“There’s still so much that needs working on. Women experience so many microaggressions in a day, and often other people don’t pick up on it, or it gets brushed of as a difference in personality. A day like this is good to get out and remind people that there is still a lot going on for women.”

A woman that Emily admires in the industry is Henri Cooper. “If I’ve got a question, I’m never worried about asking her. Even if it’s something I think is a silly question, or something I just want to double check, she’s happy to explain it. She’s really amazing – I got lucky to be put working with her!”

Jenny Bigrave, Facilities and Compliance Manager at Anna Valley

Jenny is Anna Valley’s longest employee, having been with the company for 23 years. Jenny started as a runner and office admin after she left college and worked her way up. “Something I bring to my role is experience more than anything. I’ve been a runner, I’ve been an admin assistant, I’ve answered the phones, I’ve driven vans, I’ve even worked in the warehouse a little bit! New things still come up in the role all the time, but the experience I have, and working with other people, really helps.”

“Being a woman in such a male dominated industry has been difficult at times, but it’s changed dramatically over the years for the better. There weren’t that many women in higher positions 20 years ago – and those that were had to be very hard and dedicated. Now, it’s more accepted that you can have both a family and a successful work life.”

Of International Women’s Day, she says, “It’s about recognising the achievements of women – and how far we’ve come over the years with hard work and dedication. We’re more equal now and can do as much as any man can do, often with a family and things behind us.”

Find out more about International Women’s Day HERE.