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February 19, 2021

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Women in Safety

Global Coalition launches to support and promote women in health and safety internationally

1WISH – the Global Coalition of Women in Safety and Health Networks will work with networks worldwide, to promote women and inclusion in safety & health.

Leading safety and health professionals across the world have joined together to form 1WISH, the Global Coalition of Women in Safety and Health – promoting inclusion across the Health and Safety profession.

The coalition is designed to forge positive, productive links between the various health & safety networks around the globe, including Women in Health and Safety in the UK. It aims to work with national networks to bring about positive change and support better communication about the role and inclusion of women and other minority groups in the industry.

Heather Beach, Chair of the Women in Health and Safety Committee, which has recently set out its plans for 2021, launching a new mailing list and workstreams, spoke to SHP about 1WISH: “What an initiative! With all the international safety groups for women coming together to support each other around the world , two plus two will really equal more than four. I find the growth in international collaboration which has been facilitated by the growth in virtual events to be completely inspiring and very moving to be part of.”

The coalition is supported fully by volunteers. By bringing together prominent leaders, inclusion pioneers and influencers at the forefront of new thinking on health and safety, the coalition is creating a knowledge bank which is ‘greater than the sum of its parts’.

Anne Gardner-Aston, Chair of 1WISH, said: “Women have so much to offer in the health and safety sector, but they are often overlooked or struggle to get their voices heard. The members of our coalition will be working together to communicate and support each other in order to find solutions to common issues.

“Important work is being undertaken by women in safety networks around the world. Without seeking to direct the work of these organisations, we are working together globally to uplift, support and share experiences with the aim of achieving greater diversity and inclusion within the profession.”

Louise Hosking, Co-Founder of 1WISH, expands: “Through this coalition we aim to create new opportunities and greater visibility via these networks, particularly showcasing the work of underrepresented groups. We want to promote creativity, innovation and mentoring in our industry by combining our skills and knowledge in order to assist career development. The coalition also includes emerging networks from countries with less established regulatory frameworks or with specific challenges from whom all members can learn.”

Malcolm Staves, Co-Founder and Corporate Health & Safety Director at L’Oreal added: “Diversity and Inclusion is known to help business make better decisions. In Health & Safety better decisions means saving more lives. The coalition is a big step forward to a more diverse and inclusive profession #BeTheHummingbird.”

The coalition’s inaugural congress will be held in partnership with HSE Global Series virtually on 9 March. Hosted by Louise and Anne this has been created to coincide with International Women’s Day with the theme #ChooseToChallenge. Leading Health & Safety Influencers from around the globe will be speaking on a variety of topics to positively showcase the work of women within the profession. A further congress is planned for autumn 2021 focusing on the wider topic of inclusion.

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