To celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day (or International Women’s Week as we like to celebrate it) we interviewed five amazing women about what International Women’s Day means to them, who their inspirations are and what the film and events industries need to do to keep fighting for diversity, inclusion and equity.
Today, we hear from Courtney Lilley, winner of our mentorship scheme ‘The Realise Award’ and now Wedding & Events Assistant at Sopley Mill.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? What do you think some of the key issues facing women in the world today are?
International women’s day to me is such an important day. It is a day where, as women, we can celebrate ourselves and look at all the achievements we have made.
Can you tell us about a woman who has inspired you in your life and/ or career?
My mum is the woman who has inspired me throughout my whole life. She has shown me that with hard work & dedication you can get any job you wan . Growing up I was never great with exams, I had a few re-takes & times where I just wanted to give up & accept fate. However, she always told me I would get there eventually & to keep trying. Well, she was certainly right. I’m finishing my degree in two months on track to a 2:1, I’m in my dream job & life is looking great!
She has worked extremely hard to get where she is today & I couldn’t be prouder of her. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her love & support. My mum is truly my biggest inspiration.
The industry is making strides to become more diverse and inclusive. Where would you like to see it change further and how do you think we, as an industry, can affect that change?
I believe all companies as a standard procedure should implement equal opportunities for everyone despite what gender they may be. Some organisations are still allowing sexism in the work-place, I personally believe anyone being sexist in anyway should be held accountable despite their position or level. Equality is the best policy.
What do you love about the industry, and your role within it?
I love the events industry for so many reasons. Working within events is not your usual 9-5, it has a huge variety & every day is different. When you have a passion for something, and get the chance to do that something, that alone is an incredible feeling. But then when you hear people have had a great time that is an even better feeling.
I love the aspect of being a part of creating memories for clients & knowing that one day those clients will look back and remember the great time they had at your event.
What would you say to people, and especially women and non-binary people, considering entering the industry?
Grab every opportunity you can get. Experience is key within this industry and there are so many volunteer & free-lance opportunities available. But most importantly never give up, believe in yourself & have fun!