Hostage International Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020 #EachforEqual
To highlight International Women’s Day 2020 Hostage International shines a spotlight on its director, Lara Symons, who throughout her career has forged her way through the male-dominated world of kidnap-for-ransom response.
Lara is a mother of four who has always embraced International Women’s Day and the opportunity to highlight the pressure that women are under across the world.
#EachforEqual is the theme for International Women’s Day 2020, highlighting that individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
“Gender is definitely an issue to highlight. Although lots of progress has been made over the last 20 or so years, sadly there are some areas of the world where things have gone backwards and in some countries the situation is now worse for women,” Lara said.
“Globally the position of women is still as precarious as it has ever been and we all need to continue to take responsibility; progress is never linear and we can’t be complacent.”
Lara joined the charity in 2017 as its first full time director, leading the charity with her exceptional knowledge of worldwide kidnapping trends and a thorough understanding of the impact this terrifying crime has on anyone affected.
On the issue of equality, Lara encourages her small team to work flexibly in a way that suits them to support their family and personal lives outside work.
“We recently recruited two team members to work part time and it just so happens that they are both mothers,” Lara explained.
“Having worked part-time in the past, and as a mum with family responsibilities, I am conscious of women in that position and we need to be aware that many working mums put in over and above what is expected. It’s wrong that so many women feel they have to prove themselves in this way.”
She added: “The juggle of work and home is often a particularly big burden of responsibility for mothers, and that is an issue that we have to accommodate and support so women can progress. I hope we are leading by example at Hostage International.”
“In a world of mobile phones and connectivity there is no excuse for a lack of flexibility in the workplace, and anyone – male or female – with caring responsibilities must be given time out and support when needed as we reach for equality.”
Lara aims to practice what she preaches, and agrees with the organisers of International Women’s Day who say: “We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
“Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.”