Colleagues Achievements Celebrated By The Cumberland For International Women’s Day And History Month

Celebrating the achievements of female staff was a key part of a unique way for The Cumberland Building Society to mark International Women’s Day.

Inspirational stories and the faces of colleagues at The Cumberland have adorned the window of the building society’s Fisher Street offices, as part of a month-long celebration for Women’s History Month 

The Cumberland asked members of staff who they believed should be featured in the display.

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, a CSR and communications executive at The Cumberland, 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, premises team leader at The Cumberland, 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 members of staff from The Cumberland to be nominated.

Staff are keen to be there for one another whether they’re giving their colleagues 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 The Cumberland wanted to highlight through the murals.

Jill Johnston, chief people officer 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.”

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, chose her daughter Kelly, another member of The Cumberland’s team.

She said: “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.”

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.