Women’s day marks a special day on our business calendar, a day when we recognize and celebrate women and the achievements they have made over the years. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day #pressforprogress called on women, friends and colleagues to think, act and be gender inclusive.
In line with the theme, our task was to come up with an exciting, educative and memorable celebration of women. The Spirited women were challenged to push their boundaries, step out of their comfort zones and explore they full potential. They were to identify a job position that they aspired to or a role that they were curious about. 33 out of the women population of 51 were paired up with an individual whose role they expressed interested in. Most of the persons to be shadowed would ideally be men, with the exception of members of the Executive team, to allow as many women to be part of the shadowing experience. Communication was sent to them to prepare for a morning of job shadowing in which they would get to experience the role at close quarters, understand and appreciate its contribution and complexity and learn from it.
Friday 9th March, our official celebration of women’s day, dawned earlier than usual for most of the ladies as they were required to start their day with their partners as early as 6:50 am. Hard top hats, safety shoes, ear plugs and safety goggles became highly sought after items as the ladies prepared step out of their comfort zones.
The morning was spent experiencing and working alongside our colleagues. Everyone could feel the buzz of excitement across the business as the cross functional engagements were happening - a Sales Representative and Marketing Manager shadowed the Managing Director; Finance Manager and Division Sales Manager shadowed the Supply Chain Director; Procurement controller shadowed the Brewing Manager; Legal Manager & CCE Manager shadowed the Spirits Production manager; Employee Relations Advisor shadowed the Promotions & Events Manager and the list goes on.
The shadowing went on till lunch time, after which the ladies shared their experiences and discussed their morning over lunch at the rooftop bar. The afternoon session started with formal feedback from select participants on their morning with regards to what they enjoyed most; what surprised them most; the challenges they observed and what they learnt through the whole process. Great learnings and new discoveries were made and working relationships strengthened.
To crown off the day, we were honored to have the two women Distributors of the business – Ms. Justine Nantongo and Ms. Hope Tumwesigye spend the afternoon with us. Justine walked us through her journey as a business woman while Hope spoke to us about the do’s and don’ts of establishing a successful Small / Medium Business Enterprise. The session was full of inspiration and great wisdom, tales of courage and resilience – all things needed for a strong woman in today’s world.
All in all it was a day well spent, enjoyed not just by the women but by their male colleagues as well. Their request to have shadowing as a regular occurrence across the business is definitely one to be considered seriously. We believe that the learnings of this process, will help the women think deeper about their aspirations, challenge themselves to do different things bigger and better and inform our ongoing Spirited Women initiatives.
Women’s day marks a special day on our business calendar, a day when we recognize and celebrate women and the achievements they have made over the years.