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Follow the Sun – International Women’s Day Celebrations at Allstate NI

  • - Written by the team at Allstate NI 

    Celebrating International Women’s day has been a firm calendar favorite for Allstate NI for many, many years.

    Year in year out the dedicated Women in Technology at Allstate (WITA) group assembles to construct and curate a tantalizing schedule of events, that is sure to offer something for their inclusive and diverse audiences.

    Following a tumultuous 2020, the need to celebrate these important occasions was heightened even more. For 2021, Allstate’s WITA group embraced the bigger challenge of hosting 24hrs of continuous events celebrating IWD ’21. The group partnered with colleagues from the US, Canada, and India to create the biggest global celebration ever held at Allstate!

    The WITA group invested weeks in planning a series of events that was like no other. From identifying the most impactful external speakers, to avoiding global event clashes, and to also ensuring access to all the events was communicated and broadcasted over 6 time zones really was no mean feat.

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    In Northern Ireland the WITA group organized an additional two consecutive days of events that ranged from keynote speakers on the ‘Choose to Challenge’ theme, to sessions on ‘Maximizing your Job Application Skills’, to a ‘Data Meet up’,  a series of stretching and breath work sessions, and also critical sessions on ‘Menopause’.

    At 2.30 pm IST/9.30am GMT time on March 8th, India kicked off with their guest speaker Shalini Kapoor, the first female IBM fellow. Shalini talked about overcoming challenges and breaking down barriers in AI and technology. At 10.30am, their colleagues from India formally handed over the virtual IWD torch to Allstate Northern Ireland.

    Allstate NI kicked off their program of events with an amazing session hosted by Women’s Aid NI, called “Hear her Voice”. This session discussed the effects of lockdown on levels of domestic abuse instances, and collectively participants took the time to remember the women who have lost their lives in NI due to domestic abuse.

    At 1pm Allstate NI welcomed their keynote speaker for the day, Joanne O ‘Riordan. Joanne is a Sports Journalist and advocate for the disabled.

    Joanne gave an awe-inspiring talk about her life and living with Total Amelia Syndrome. Joanne declared that having no limbs had not limited her throughout her life, but instead had urged her to pursue her dreams even more passionately.

    Joanne embodied the IWD hashtag #ChoosetoChallenge. From a young age she had chosen to live a full life and actively encouraged others less abled to do exactly the same. 

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    At 3pm Allstate NI collaborated with their global colleagues to host a Global conversation session called “Leading Courageously” & “Choosing to Challenge ‘. This was an up-close and personal discussion with global leaders and employees as they talked about being bold in their lives and their careers; taking the initiative to challenge ideas that they disagreed with, and being resilient in their desires to enact change.

    After 7pm the US closed out International Women’s Day with a fireside chat with Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain, both having played for the US Women’s Soccer team This was an incredible insight into their professional careers as  they talked about ‘making good choices’ and ‘putting their best foot forward’- both on and off the pitch.

    With 5 global events and 15 local events it has certainly been the biggest and most successful event to date for Allstate NI. The WITA group seized the opportunity to challenge convention, and opt for an event that flew the flag for International Women’s Day, at a truly international scale.

    At the core of what Allstate NI do is to challenge inequality- for the local community, and for their employees. Allstate NI empower their employees to enact change and make the ‘choice to challenge’.

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