Jackson Square Celebrates Women Breaking Barriers on International Women’s Day

On Friday 8th March 2024, the world comes together to celebrate International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to recognising women’s achievements and empowering gender equality. This year’s celebrations focus on inspiring inclusion, which Jackson Square Shopping Centre is leading the charge on by highlighting a group of remarkable women who have shattered gender stereotypes, excelling in traditionally male-dominated roles.

These trailblazers are not just defying norms; they are redefining them. Despite the challenges and prejudices some have faced along their journey in Property Management, Operations, Soft Services and Surveying, they have chosen to embrace their passions, exude their expertise, and demonstrate that goals and ambitions can be pursued regardless of gender.

We are honoured to introduce the women behind Jackson Square, who are sharing their thoughts in the lead up to International Women’s Day. The individuals we showcase represent just a fraction of the influential women responsible for the seamless day-to-day operations of Jackson Square, adeptly navigating the challenges of both a dynamic and traditionally male-dominated industry.

Corrina Savage, Operations Manager and Hayley Harris, Operations Assistant at Jackson Square said “As we mark another International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women of the centre who continue to challenge the narrative and pave the way for positive change. Forming the Operations Team at Jackson Square, Corrina and I, with a combined 16 years’ experience working in Property Management, are not short of a story or two of gender bias. From dealing with contractors who often ignore us, looking for the male in the room, to being referred to as our male boss’ Secretary, conscious or unconscious bias never stops surprising us. This however never goes unchallenged. We are strong believers in speaking up when faced with these adversities and though not our job to educate everyone on why these behaviours are problematic, the more we talk about it, the more it will help other women to feel seen and not alone in the workplace.

The biggest lesson I have learnt through my career is to never stop asking for positive change, of which can only be done through collective action, not settling and being an advocate for inclusivity. The male members of the team at Jackson Square for example have become allies through simple actions like taking part in Menopause courses or correcting misogynist language used around them. These small actions, form a bigger picture that in turn supports us to thrive in our roles.”

Kim Stock, Soft Services Manager at the Shopping Centre added “In a world where women continue to face challenges in the workplace, from being questioned about their authority to encountering gender bias during meetings, it is disheartening that such experiences persist. As someone who grew up surrounded by strong male influences, I have learned to navigate these situations, but it remains a source of frustration. On International Women’s Day, let us remember that every woman should be empowered and supported in any role she chooses, without having to endure such treatment. It is time for a world where women can thrive without the need to prove their worth.”

Shannon Smith, Technical Operations Support Manager continued, “In a male dominated industry, fostering progressive mindsets and inclusive behaviours involves actively promoting gender diversity and equality. Moving forward we need to see more advertisement of women in male dominated careers, this can be done through schooling, networking programmes or the television. We want to create an environment where our future daughters can thrive and succeed regardless of gender. This means continuing to break down barriers, providing equal opportunities for training and a better culture of respect in the workplace. I am a big believer in that more needs to be done in the education sector to expose our younger female generation to the careers that us women do. 

As an ex commercial gas engineer, on numerous occasions I had arrived on a call out and when I was liaising with my point of contact, they did not believe that I was there for the boiler call out, but I never let situations like that affect me. It’s all down to lack of representation. I know everyday society is evolving but there is still a long way to go.

To feel included in the workplace for me personally is to feel supported, heard, and respected.”

Kyah Blair, Trainee Quantity Surveyor noted “Having been raised by a father who dedicated his life to the construction industry, and with my partner also pursuing a career in this field, I found myself inspired to explore opportunities within construction during a career transition. The unwavering support from these influential individuals in my life has reinforced my belief in the potential for positive change. I envision a future where the increasing presence of women in the construction industry fosters a culture of inclusivity, breaking away from the traditional male dominance and eliminating gender restrictions. It is my aspiration that generations to come will benefit from the diverse opportunities I have been fortunate to encounter.”

In their various industries where women have historically been underrepresented, Corrina, Hayley, Kim, Shannon and Kyah exemplify the spirit of courage, determination, and resilience. Their contributions transcend gender boundaries, inspiring others to challenge stereotypes, pursue their ambitions, and embrace their talents to break through barriers and work towards a more inclusive future.

At Jackson Square Shopping Centre, we believe that gender should never limit anyone’s potential, and it is our privilege to showcase these women. Join us in celebrating these remarkable women and embrace the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Inspire Inclusion.” Together, let’s challenge stereotypes, forge a gender-equal world, and create a future where every individual can thrive.