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TGt Meets...Women of GEL Studios - IWD

Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day - and the theme this year is #embracequity. We interviewed the women from GEL Studios and they answered some interesting IWD questions...

What’s your name?

Women of GEL Studios: Katie, Carly, Gemma, Elisha and Jeanne.

Where is this business/company/organisation based?

GEL Studios is an award-winning creative agency based in Swindon, Wiltshire. We specialise in branding, web design and development, graphic design and marketing. 

Katie is our Client Director and Carly is our Creative Director. They are both part of our senior leadership team. Gemma is our Studio Manager, Elisha is our Designer and Jeanne is our Digital Marketing Assistant. 

If you have a team – do you have a gender mix? 

Our team is made up of half women and half men. While we appreciate that being a smaller team does make it easier for us to achieve the 50/50 split, we haven’t found it difficult to achieve because we have hired our team based on skill. 

What does #embracequity mean to you? 

To us, embracing equity is realising that everyone has different needs, goals and ambitions in life. We believe that each individual, regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexuality and socio-economic background, should be given equal resources and opportunities to achieve the same goal as everyone else.

In which of these areas do you support women? As a woman or as an ally?: Please choose one:

Although we support women in all aspects of life, we feel very strongly about women in work/business. 

Or do you feel strongly about any of the above themes? 

We believe that women should have a place in leadership and decision-making roles. We are also advocates for recognition, no matter the gender. 

We think women should be recognised, appreciated, and made to feel worthy of a role, project or promotion because they deserve it, not just to tick a box in a company equal opportunities report.

Which women have inspired you over the last year generally? 

We have recently been inspired by Jacinda Ardern for the courage she showed throughout the pandemic, and most recently resigning from her role as PM of New Zealand. She was honest and courageous in recognising and admitting that she just didn’t have it in her anymore to keep going in this important role.

The Lionesses have inspired us tremendously this year and keep on doing so. We know how challenging it is for women to be taken seriously within the world of sports, whether as a player but also as a fan. We admire their work in encouraging more women and girls to take part in sports and also highlight the clear issues of gender parity within the world of sports.

Carly played for Swindon Town Women’s Football team and understands the important work the Lionesses are doing and wants to highlight the injustices within the world of Football. Jeanne played rugby as a young teenager with an U15 team, until the age of 14 where it was decided that it was too dangerous for her to play with the boys and there were no women’s teams at the time, meaning she had to give up on playing the sport.

Which local women have inspired you in the last year? 

Emma King, CEO of Swindon Sisters Alliance, a charity supporting domestic abuse victims and their families. She is a real inspiration to us all at GEL Studios. The strength and dedication she continues to show despite having experienced severe trauma is truly remarkable. She is so passionate about promoting positive change and helping others in our community. She is a real representation of what good people are made of and an inspiring example of turning a traumatic experience into a positive cause.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing women this year and beyond? 

We talked about this question a lot while coming up with the answers to this article. We did debate about the biggest issues facing women at the moment being pay inequality and abuse within the world of sports. One point that we debated was the idea that women are being given opportunities because of the fact that they are women, and not because they deserve that opportunity based on their experience and skill. 

We really champion women having the same opportunities as men, but we shouldn’t be seen as a tick-box exercise, that actually makes us feel even more undervalued. 

Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?

We think this day is important as it helps us start those meaningful conversations about the inequalities we feel as women and how we can challenge these. It also allows us to reflect on our privileges and oppressions and ways to tackle these in all environments. It enables us to give recognition where it is due, to women who inspire us and make a difference in our society and encourage others to do so too.

GEL Studios

Unit 2, 3 Lancaster Place, South Marston Park, Swindon, SN3 4UQ

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