Celebrating International Women’s Day & Women’s History Month

Published on
8 April 2022

Celebrating the achievements of female colleagues was a key part of a unique way for us to mark International Women’s Day at the Cumberland.

Inspirational stories and the faces of our colleagues have adorned the window of our Fisher Street branch, as part of a month-long celebration for Women’s History Month.

We asked members of staff who they believed should be featured in the display and, whilst some chose internationally recognised women such as Simone Biles and Malala Yousafzai, others decided to shout about the women who are closer to home.

Becky Towns, CSR and communications executive, was one of the women to be nominated. She was chosen by her colleagues for her honesty, for highlighting the challenges of being a working parent and for lifting other people up.

She said: “It's really nice to see that someone is thinking that about you and knowing that you're making an impact that could hopefully make an impact on so many other working parents. Not only mums, dads as well."

The attention grabbing display proved to be a talking point for passers by, who have been stopping to take photos and read the stories shared on the Fisher Street window.

Lisa Birdsall, our Premises team leader, was also nominated to be featured in the artwork that was created by local artist Emily Ford using a mixture of paint pens and acrylics.

Lisa said: “It really took my breath away how beautiful the painting was and reading all of the comments about the other really amazing women that I'm on the window with. It was overwhelming but in the best possible way."

Lisa and Becky weren’t the only two of our colleagues to be nominated. Our colleagues are keen to be there for one another whether they’re giving others a gentle nudge to push themselves further or lending a kind ear to those struggling with their mental health.

This culture of kindness is what we wanted to highlight through the murals.

Jill Johnston, Chief People Officer here at The Cumberland, said: “It’s so important that we celebrate the achievements and increase the visibility of women.

“At The Cumberland we recognise that having a balanced and inclusive culture allows us to better reflect and provide a service to our customers and communities and whilst we are making great progress there is still much to do within our sector.

“Capturing some of our fabulous women via the murals provides a visible reminder of our wonderful role models.”

The display was unveiled on International Women’s Day and remained on the window for the entire month, giving city residents the opportunity to read all about the uplifting things these women are doing in the community.

Sara Oldham, charity executive at CFM Cash for Kids, said: “I feel absolutely proud as punch, it's just amazing to be nominated. I absolutely love what I do, to be recognised for what you're doing as well is amazing.”

When asked which woman they’d choose to include on the window, those nominated continued to champion local women. They spoke passionately about colleagues, friends, and family members who inspire them to continue to grow.

Joanne Ashbridge, director of Joanne Ashbridge Bookkeeper, was nominated by her daughter Kelly – a member of our Cumberland Marketing team.

When we asked Joanne who she would nominate, she said, “I would nominate Kelly, she is an inspiration to me as well as me being an inspiration to her. She has done so many things in her life and she is, to me, the epitome of a wonderful person."

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