The theme for International Women's Day 2024 is 'Inspire Inclusion'.

We caught up with ESSA Chair Marija Erzen to ask what inspiring inclusion means to her.

"Inclusion for me is a disregard for prejudices but rather accepting and even celebrating our differences and valuing people regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, social background, religion or disability. It’s about creating communities and, for me specifically, a workplace where everyone feels they can be themselves and everyone has a voice and a role to play, where we learn from each other so we are stronger together. We should all feel comfortable in our own skins but we should also enable others to feel the same way. Everyone needs to be proactive in this not just business and industry leaders or HR Depts.

"I always tell my son to be himself, ‘don’t be a sheep’ and stand up for those that may be different and don’t feel strong enough to stand up for themselves. Let them know it’s OK to be different because what a boring world it would be if everyone was the same!"


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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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