Today is international women’s day, a day which is crucial to celebrate. We must celebrate how far gender equality has come, whilst also recognising the hard work that women have done, and continue to do to ensure a brighter future for the next generations.
The History of International Women’s Day
The day was determined over 100 years ago at a conference, where Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of holding an international day to celebrate women. It was first celebrated in Zurich, 1910, then agreed by all women in the conference, and across the globe and has been treasured and celebrated ever since.
Since this date, there has been endless historical wins for women, such as winning the right to vote in England for the first time in 1918. The representation of the people act was passed, allowing some women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21 to vote.
However, this was flawed, as only the women who owned a house, or was married to a man who owned one, were provided the right.
10 years later, this was changed to an inclusive law, allowing all women over the age of 21 to vote, regardless of their financial state.
Thanks to the suffragette’s movement, or the women’s social and political union, ran by Emeline Pankhurst, and the sacrifices these women made, we find ourselves living in a world with endless opportunities for women.
Celebrating the Women of Hisense
This year’s international women’s day theme is ‘#DigitALL: innovation and technology for gender equality’. This is championing women in the digital, and technology world, and how in our current climate, technology is crucial to advance rights even further for women.
Hisense, as a home appliance brand works with a myriad of intelligent, powerful women who pride themselves for working in a digital, technological world. And so to celebrate this profound day, we would like to share a few personal stories from individuals at our UK headquarters to empower and inspire other women to do the same!
I’m Alison, Senior Divisional Sales Manager. I focus on the Cooling, Laundry and SDA categories, and directly manage four MDA National Account Managers and one category Sales Manager.
I started at Hisense in 2015, 8 years ago this month!
My main responsibilities are to Develop and execute strategic plans to achieve sales & profit targets whilst expanding our customer base, keeping Hisense competitive and innovative. Also, to effectively achieve targets required to build and maintain strong, long-lasting customer relationships for long term success.
Outside of work, I love to travel; my last trip was Iceland. When the weather permits, I often go on trips on the motorbike with my partner or walk our Labrador puppy. My partner also has two teenage boys who keep me on my toes.
I also try to visit Silverstone yearly, as a big F1 fan!
I was employed at Hisense as a National Account Manager, opening new Accounts, and ensuring the product strategy was right for the UK market was my key focus. I have ambition to succeed, and Hisense UK were quick to reward me for results which included promotions to more senior positions.
Over 8 years, I have been promoted 4 times. From the early days, Hisense UK listened to my ideas (this was not only my manager but VP and MD positions) and trusted in me to support the business not only on the sales side but also on building and improving processes. This has resulted in strong relationships being built on mutual trust.
I have more than one ‘proudest’ achievement whilst working at Hisense, my first one being Hisense UK hitting no.1 for refrigerator revenue globally, surpassing the US and Australia in 2022.
Progressing and mentoring Hadiya Jalil from Assistant NAM, to KAM to NAM position – is another proud achievement. Dependent on the product/industry, Sales can be more dominated by males and can be rewarding but also long hours and quite a stressful role. From personal experience from a young age (before joining Hisense) I have hit my own glass ceiling challenges and been unfairly treated compared to male employees doing the same role. I am therefore very proud to have mentored a female employee to progress within her Sales role by using my own negative experiences to support a more positive outcome.
There are a lot less women to men who use the internet, for example, the UN noted that 37% of women do not use the internet and that 259 million fewer women have access to the internet than men, despite accounting for nearly half of the world’s population. This will be impacting women’s opportunities in the workplace. Its important to share stories to empower and inspire women across the globe.
Coax (Chelsea) He
Hello, my name is Caoxi He, but I’m also known as Chelsea around the office. I’m originally from China and about 7 years ago I relocated to UK due to family commitments. I like to spend time with family and dogs when I am not working, I like going for long walks, and going to country pubs (with the dogs)!
I joined Hisense as an Admin Assistant in October 2016; however, I now work as the Senior HR Manager of Hisense UK. Working in a multi culture company in the area of HR is a very interesting experience. Regardless of what the textbook or business course tells you what a ‘good’ HR manager should be, from my own experience, simple principles such as be proactive, be flexible, and treat your profession, the system and your team with respect, always works.
It is a great pleasure to see and feel the progress with my own career alongside the growth of the company. Over the last 6 years, the size of team and the business growth has more than tripled. In my own field, being able to build a comprehensive HR & admin system from scratch, to now working with a team to support the business, it is satisfactory to how my work, and my teams’ work has left our marks on the way of helping Hisense becoming an established brand in the UK.
Overall, Hisense UK are a very professional, efficient, and open-minded team. In addition to all the excellent male colleagues, we also have outstanding female members who work in various areas within the business. Seeing my female colleagues at different age groups thriving at work, is a true inspiration for me on a daily basis.
Hi, I’m Jess. I joined Hisense back in 2019, shortly after I relocated to Leeds after travelling the globe. I started as a Marketing Executive and joined a small team of 4, and together we made up 5, but over the last 3 years we have grown to a team of 12!
I didn’t have huge amounts of marketing experience, as I’d only worked in one marketing role prior to joining Hisense, however the business supported me through online training courses and threw me into a great mix of job roles and responsibilities where I have truly learnt so much about the Marketing Industry. Fast forward a year or so, I was promoted to Social Media and Community Manager, as I naturally began to take ownership of Hisense social activity cross platforms, and now my role is moving in to focusing more on Content Strategy – further testing my skills and supporting progression.
During the Pandemic, which now all feels like a distant memory, I decided to move back to my hometown, Hull, and start a family. In Summer 2021 I became a first-time mum and took 14 months off work to raise my baby boy.
Upon returning to work, the business hugely supported me and my needs as a working mother and agreed for me to reduce my hours to working part-time, as well as offered me a flexible hybrid-working contract, so I didn’t have to commute to the office more than once a week or discontinue breastfeeding before I felt ready to. This flexibility has meant I’m present for my son and I’m still able to breastfeed, all while maintaining my career.
The business has also supported me with further training since returning to work, and I am currently studying a Digital Marketing course with IDM, which I will be awarded a qualification accredited by the Institute of Data and Marketing and will be able to implement new skills and further develop my career within Digital Marketing.
International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to champion both the successes of women within business (especially in typically male dominated industries like the tech industry), but it’s also great to highlight how Hisense are empowering women to do great things, including Mothers, without any discrimination within the workplace.
I started my career over 6 years ago with Hisense in 2016, working my way up from the most junior role of the sales team to a higher level; Assistant Account Manger to Key Account Manager, then finally to National Account Manager. I now manage 2 major retailers: Very and Amazon.
Recently, I have achieved a global award through Hisense international, where I was commended as an ‘excellent individual’. This is a massive achievement so early on in my career!
It has been great as a young adult, to progress my career with a company where I am exposed to opportunities that many my age are yet to experience.
Typically, sales teams are heavily male dominated, but our Hisense Sales team has been transformed by women, making it the complete opposite. I am proud to be part of an organisation that empowers women and pushes them to be their best whilst challenging all gender stereotypes.
Seeing my boss as a female leader gives me more ambition and shows that women are just as capable, if not more!
Hello, I’m Grace! I started working for Hisense in May 2018. I am now the deputy finance manager of Hisense UK. I enjoy finance work; I find it factual and meaningful.
Outside of work I attend ice skating lessons once a week, and love doing yoga, and going on walks.
My proudest achievement whilst working at Hisense has been being promoted due to my hard work ethic and massive interest in finance. Along the way I have made some very good friends whilst being able to successfully balance family/ home life with work.
My child was 6 years old when I joined Hisense. He is now 11, and thanks to Hisense’s understanding towards me being a working mum, I didn’t miss any of his upbringing. He is now going to be attending a grammar school in September which I am also very proud of.
Working in this industry as a woman makes me open minded to change. Women hold up half the sky, and I believe our daughters could do more, for the better.
I started Working for Hisense on the 5th of June 2017. 15 months later I was promoted to Senior Logistics Planner, where I am now responsible for overseeing and assisting 6 logistics planners and an inbound planner with ensuring supply of orders to customers. Coming from a different background in inventory, I had never done this side of business before, so this was a huge achievement.
Getting through 5 Christmas peaks at Hisense is too, a huge achievement which I am very proud of. Prior to the pandemic, there was only 3 planners, however throughout covid, more were hired, who I trained over teams, solo.
In my spare time I spend time with my two daughters who are aged 26 and 29. I also have 2 dogs, aged 13, and 14. The dogs and I love going out in the caravan, which I have recently learned how to tow, GIRLPOWER!
I also help my elderly parents who are 83 and have just celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary (what a milestone!) I have worked full time since leaving school at 16 and had just 3 months off for maternity for each of them. Running a house, looking after 2 children, and working full time is no mean feat, I can tell you!
Hisense have made me feel empowered by showing that they give equal opportunities to all, they do not discriminate with age or gender and appreciate that I can work just as well as someone younger, who has been to university.
Everyone has their own capabilities and way of working where they can reach the same outcome as overs.
I’m Julia, Returns Supervisor for Hisense UK. I started working for Hisense completely by chance; quickly the business has grown on me, and soon enough my colleagues became my close friends.
Not only did I meet hard working, kind, and like-minded people, but I have also built and maintained business relationships with distributors, retailers and service partners who all have a massive impact on how our Brand is portrayed, and how it evolves.
The past five years have allowed me to open myself to new challenges and opportunities, which allowed me to grow professionally within the business. The support I have received from my bosses and teammates have encouraged me to develop even further as a person.
There’s nothing like working alongside incredible women who are passionate about what they do and strive for success.
Hello, my names Hottensiah. I started working at Hisense in March 2018 and I am currently working as an Assistant Accountant within the Hisense UK team and my responsibilities are creating reports that are used within the company.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am also a volunteer for a local charity.
My proudest achievement whilst working at Hisense has been being promoted from Purchase Ledger clerk to Assistant Accountant.
Hisense has made me feel empowered as a woman because there has always been space for women at the forefront, especially within Finance.
International Women’s Day, to me and many other women, is crucial to celebrate. I joined Hisense as a placement student in 2022, and have been here for around 8 months. Prior to beginning my placement, I was worried about entering the work place as an amateur, and not meeting goals which I was expected to. However, from the day I started, everyone has been so welcoming and helpful towards me, and treated me with just as much respect as everyone else.
As a young woman and student learning as I go, it has been very important to have female peers which inspire me to progress further, and assure me that I can reach senior roles in a business without facing any bias. Hisense has done this and more.
Working alongside many successful female’s sets an amazing precedent and fills me with so much confidence for my future.
I feel it is extremely important to empower the women around us. Whilst times have changed and the gender gap is less obvious, we must still appreciate historical battles women have faced to provide us the opportunities we have today.
International women’s day overall provides an opportunity to celebrate the women of the world, but also allows us to recognise there is still work to be done to assure that all females have access to just as much as men.