At EP we are all about our our teams, diversity and working together to drive positive learning outcomes and ultimately design improved futures. Everyone is equal. Always.

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day (IDW) with women and men around the world and reflect on how far we have progressed with driving equal rights and how important it is to stand together to drive a better future.

#EachforEqual

IWD is about celebrating all women in all their diversities. We embrace their facets and intersections of faith, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity, or disability. We celebrate those who came before us, those who stand beside us now, and those who will come after.

It’s a time to celebrate the achievements of women, whether social, political, economic or cultural.

For most of the 20th century, International Women’s Day was acknowledged and celebrated by people at the grassroots level, a rallying point for social justice. It wasn’t until 1975 – International Women’s Year – that the United Nations adopted International Women’s Day on 8 March.

At EP we are a diverse bunch

From the 150+ EPeeps, 50% are women, 37% are in leadership positions and 25% of our tech team are women charging the way.

Today we want to introduce you to some of the women in the EP family to share what makes them unique and what inspires them.

Meet Olivia Young – On promoting diversity in the workplace

From my perspective as a working mother, a great way to promote diversity in the workplace is through the provision of flexible work hours. With two children under 4 years of age, the routine of daycare pickup and drop-offs can be grueling and sudden calls to collect a sick child can suddenly throw my day into disarray. The flexibility to make up time later that day or the weekend, at the office or at home, allows me to care for my family while also meeting my professional obligations. For all young parents, but especially women who typically press pause on their career while on maternity leave, it allows us to stay vital and also share our enriching experiences with those that may or may not have experienced the challenges and thrills of parenthood.

Meet Maree Carr – Sharing her dreams when she was young

I dreamed of being a foreign correspondent in Japan. I’ve always had an interest in the world and current affairs and writing was a strength of mine so it seemed like the perfect combination. I followed that dream right through to uni where I majored in Journalism and Japanese at the University of Queensland. It turns out, my views of Journalism were quite idealistic and there was a disconnect between my moral compass and the life I’d have to live if I wanted to Make It in the wonderful world of media. I’m still glad I completed the degree because the skills I developed in doing so have paid dividends in every other professional aspect of my life to date.

What do you think it means to be a woman in the 21st century?

While there is still work to be done, being a woman in the 21st Century brings freedoms like no other generation have experienced prior; freedom to live our lives by design instead of by default. We have permission to break from tradition; to dominate in previously male-dominated industries, to be breadwinners, home-owners, CEOs, Prime Ministers, astronauts… Many of these things were impossible for women to achieve in the 20th century. There is an awakening – a consciousness – within society to the potential women hold to do great things – to be great things. While life for women in the 21st century is better than at any other point in human history, I also think it’s important for us to remember the struggle of our predecessors and to always be grateful for their grit and determination. We need to keep forging ahead and building on the momentum we have to be seen as true equals.

Meet Hannah Lumley – A big learning

I’ve often had roles that have nothing to do with anything I studied or trained for. With few people in similar roles in my workplace, I have found it hard to build confidence in my work. One thing that was great at building my confidence was finding groups of people in those roles at meetups and conferences to talk to, as it was reassuring to hear people’s journeys and realise that very few people had a straight pathway to their current role. I’ve also found them to be a great source of new ideas to try, or a new approach for a problem you have been having. There are also numerous meetups for women in particular professions, and I’ve enjoyed gaining perspectives from people with different backgrounds at the ones I have attended. In my experience people are always willing to share their stories and relate to one another at events like these, especially since they made the effort to turn up to them in the first place!

Meet Alex Staples – Sharing advice to a career starter

All of this is advice that someone did give me, but I wish I’d listened to it earlier.

  1. Life will keep putting the same lesson in front of you if you don’t learn what you need to from it. You need to try a new approach to get a different outcome!
  2. Get to know your worth, get to know your needs, get to know your boundaries – get comfortable communicating all of the above”

Meet Hannah West – On overcoming career challenges

A challenge that I’ve overcome in my career was taking a role in business development (sales) despite feeling incredibly underqualified. Back in 2018, I was working in a sales support role and had gradually started to take on more sales tasks to help out the BD I was working for at the time. I was eventually offered the opportunity to take on my own sales report and despite feeling incredibly nervous about the opportunity, I said yes, started my business development journey and have never looked back.

Having never had any formal sales training and working in a team with 5 other men who had decades of years of sales experience between them, I found this first year incredibly challenging and a bit intimidating at times. I slowly came to realise not to underestimate the things I’d learnt from working with a very successful BD and also making the most of every opportunity to work with other BDs and pick up on best practices here and there. Not having any experience also meant I brought a fresh mindset with no pre-conceived ideas of how sales should be done to the team which looking back, was really valuable.

When people ask me what the world of sales is like, I tend to compare it to a roller coaster ride. You have days where you’re on an absolute high and everything is going well and then you have days where it feels like rejection after rejection. I’m slowly learning though that rejection perhaps isn’t the right word, it’s more “”we’re not a good fit with this school at this moment in time.”” At the end of the day, I’m incredibly lucky to work for a company that sells a product that I whole-heartedly believe in. My job is to literally show teachers how I can make their lives easier and how they can further engage their students and despite how nervous I was coming to work that first day in sales, I’d definitely do it all over again.

Meet Yas Nowak – Sharing how to disconnect 

I relax the most when I disconnect, not from people or the world, just from my computer screen and my chair. In the office, for example, this can be fetching a cup of double espresso with milk or playing a ping pong game. About a year ago, I started to commute on foot. Ever since, I walk half an hour to the office and half an hour back home, which is surprisingly relaxing! In my free time, I also relax by being active in some form. Most Mondays, I practice vinyasa flow yoga after work which helps me ease the stress of the starting work week. I cook almost every evening (my partner Malcolm does the cleaning) which is both meditative and creative. What really clears my mind is time on the ice, on the (snowy) mountain, out the sea or in a club—I find ice-skating, skiing/snowboarding, surfing and dancing even more energising when I do them together with my partner and/or friends. Spending time with people that I love, romantically and platonically, is incredibly integral to my well-being; our regular time and banters together help me cope with the eventful and often depressing reality I see us humans living in. In a way, I relax by understanding something/anything better. Immersing myself in culture–reading a book, watching a film, seeing a play or an exhibition–is very important to me too. On the odd occasion that I do need a full-time out from our rushing first-world 21st century lives, I just hide away with our purring cat Alfie on my lap. Perhaps, for me, relaxing is all about rhythm: the rhythm of moving, of words or a purr.

Meet Reanne de Ruiter – Shares the advice she would share with her younger self

If I could tell my younger self something, there would be a few main things:

  1. Going blonde is an awful idea, don’t bother!
  2. Keep playing bass because if you don’t, you will get slow and you will suck. Motivation is fleeting and discipline is everything!
  3. Buy the concert tickets, it’s worth it, you can make it work, and you will regret it if you don’t.
  4. You are in charge of your own happiness – stop relying on other people for it, and expecting things to happen the way you want.
  5. Call mum more, she misses you

We asked our EPeeps CEO, Alex Burke, what he found important when it came to team culture and he added, “My goal is to create a safe high performing environment at work. An environment where EPeeps feel safe to collaborate, challenge and express themselves.I have only ever seen this work well when there is a diverse set of experiences, minds and cultures at the table.”

Empowered people, empower people. 

Happy International Women’s Day everyone and may we all empower each other.

If you would like to read more about some of our EPeeps family, explore below.

Melissa Musgrove | Teacher Consultant UAE

EPeeps Tim Vaughan | Chief Revenue Officer

Helen Prior | Teacher Consultant – Asia, Kuala Lumpur

Dia Jalil | Digital Learning Consultant – South East Asia and Middle East

Dustyn Smith | SE Asia & Middle East Community Leader

Paula Prouse | Leader of Pedagogy

James Santure | Head of Content

Nikita Palmer | Marketing Operations Manager

Eric Poulin | Product Manager

Kelly Hollis | Global Head of Science

Jimmy Bowens | Global Head of English

Emma McAllister | Head of Operations

EP Founders | Brothers Craig and Shane Smith