International Women's Day 2024 - Inspiring Inclusion

This International Women’s Day we caught up with Katharine Archer (Ridgeview’s Head of People and Development) to talk about the 2024 campaign theme “Inspiring Inclusion”.

Women are at the heart of the Ridgeview story. Co-founded by Christine Roberts, we are now a third-generation family business, led by Tamara Roberts (Christine’s daughter) as CEO. As a purpose-driven B Corp business, we are always looking to grow our positive impact and promote inclusivity within our community and beyond.

Shaping the future of equity and inclusion at Ridgeview, Katharine shares personal and professional insights to inspire ways to create positive change.

International Women's Day, Katharine Archer, Ridgeview

Why is #InspiringInclusion for women important to you personally?

It’s crucial to me personally because it aligns with my values of fairness and equity. I was fortunate to have a mother who always encouraged people to be an individual, rather than being defined by societal gender constraints or expectations. She would, in fact, go out of her way to not conform to a society constraint that she felt disadvantaged people. She gave me the moral framework and confidence that I use both in my every day life and my role at Ridgeview supporting other females on that journey. Ensuring women have equal opportunities in the workplace enriches our society and strengthens our workforce.


What barriers have women in the workspace shared with you and how can we all do better to break these down?

I’ve seen various barriers in previous workplaces, like gender stereotypes, lack of representation in leadership roles and use of language which undermines women. In HR, we always challenge these barriers, take action, and empower other women to have to the confidence to call things out, even when “it’s only a joke!”

At Ridgeview, we are very fortunate to have an inspiring female CEO (Tamara Roberts) who leads by example. Alongside policies that help break down gender disadvantages, we challenge all kinds of biases and are always looking for ways to drive positive change.

What are your top tips for creating spaces where women are valued without bias?

Offering mentoring schemes for anyone wishing to progress, irrespective of their gender, can really support inclusivity at work.

Women are still predominantly the primary carer so we make sure our policies allow for this with individualised flexible working patterns. Also menopause and fertility awareness and adjustments in the workplace can actively support women to continue to thrive in their careers at all stages of their lives.

What are your hopes for the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion both at work and beyond?

Female leadership is a cornerstone of the Ridgeview story. Co-founded by Christine Roberts, we are now a third-generation family business, led by Christine’s daughter, Tamara as CEO. Celebrating and promoting diversity in leadership is in our DNA.

We believe in recognising and celebrating achievements regardless of gender and try to help people recognise and challenge our own unconscious biases. To support equal representation across our entire team, we have a blind recruitment process, so all personal characteristics are taken out of CV’s before recruiting managers even see them.

Inclusivity for women is not just part of our past, it’s a promise for our future and we’re always looking for ways to progress further.

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How do you foster a culture of empowerment and inclusivity at Ridgeview?

I would like to see continued progress towards gender equality, increased representation of women in leadership positions in all industries, and a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and respected for their unique contributions.

Beyond work, I hope to see these principles reflected in all aspects of society, leading to a more inclusive and equitable world for all. The next major societal issue that I’d like to see addressed, is the life time earning and pension potential if women. This still commonly places women at a significant overall financial disadvantage when they take time away from their career to raise children and this needs to change.

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