International Women's Day...celebrating female strength

8 March 2021

DISTINCTIVE, INCLUSIVE, VALUABLE AND COURAGEOUS. Made up of a team of 8 outstanding Fortus individuals, our FORUS Board was decided on by a combination of a public vote and panel review.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, we asked our female FORUS Board members why they ‘Chose to Challenge’ by putting themselves forward and how they plan to rise to the challenge of being part of our first ever employee board.

Louise McGowan – tax manager

‘I’m thrilled to have recently been appointed to the FORUS board. It meant so much to me, because as a mother with 4 children who works part time, I never thought this type of opportunity would materialise – yet I was encouraged at every level. I’m fortunate to work at a firm where one of our core values is INCLUSIVITY and the creation of this board’s testament to a leadership team that genuinely represents this. I’m excited to use this platform to make positive change, to be challenged and to challenge, using the unique set of skills and experience I’ve acquired over the years. I celebrate my own achievement on International Women’s Day, but also that of my fellow female board members. I also hope to set an example to my daughter and other women to value your own worth and to know that you can, and will achieve great things.’

Hayley Tait – finance manager

‘Being a woman’s so powerful – The emotion, drive and passion women can bring to the table’s something you just can’t quantify. My colleagues are exactly that – driven and passionate – and it’s an honour to be a part of the FORUS Board with them. Over the next year, our phenomenal team will work to deliver positive, meaningful and long-lasting change within the business. Will it be a challenge? Absolutely! That’s exactly why I put myself forward. When the news came in that I was going to get the opportunity to be a part of our employee board, I was elated! I chose this to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone and to put my stamp, however big or small, on the company. This experience will forever change us, so it’s time to dig deep and roll up our sleeves – it’s going to be a hell of a ride!’

Laura O’Regan – Manager

‘Following my recent appointment to the FORUS Board, I’m proud to be a part of a movement that supports you and allows you the freedom to be COURAGEOUS and to ‘Choose to Challenge’. For me, the opportunity to represent our Fortus community, with a seat at the table, alongside the businesses top decision makers leaves a real sense of excitement to get stuck in and achieve meaningful change for the future of our business and our offering.

As members of the Board, we’ll have unrestricted access to some of the most comprehensive and important documents produced by the senior leadership team. This responsibility allows us to bring together new energy, experiences, and ideas to deliver to the rest of our team. There’s a great sense of togetherness that’s deeply rooted in our culture and our way of working here at Fortus. We may all have different dreams, but we all have a shared ambition.’

Vicky Barnes – Service Charge Manager

‘I recognise that being appointed to our FORUS Board’s a huge privilege and opportunity that I’m excited to be a part of. The chance to be involved in developing and shaping the future of Fortus was too good to pass up and I can’t wait to get started. I expect the work to be demanding and I’m aware that it’s a great responsibility, which will hopefully bring big rewards for the whole of Fortus. On a personal level, I’m looking forward to gaining invaluable experience and personal development. I believe that being part of a diverse board with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, will put us in a good position to work together to achieve our objectives, help Fortus to make an even greater impact and make the rest of the business proud.’

Up for the challenge

The role of being a FORUS board member will most certainly be a challenge. And so it should be! At Fortus, we’ve created a high support, high challenge, high performance culture and with that, we generate opportunities for anyone who’s willing to grab hold of them, regardless of their background. I do believe women face a unique set of barriers in business and that social bias still has a long way to go, but we should be celebrating all men and women who are actively stamping this out. As a woman in business and a Mum of two boys, I strongly feel we all have a role to play at work, at home and in our communities in identifying these barriers, understanding them and then tearing them down.

My official role on the Board’s that of ‘Mentor’, but I’ve quickly established the role has to remain flexible to ensure it supports everyone in the group. Be it coach, sounding board, mentor, challenger or cheerleader. Whatever the role – I’m so excited to be involved in developing this group of individuals into a high performing team which will uphold, and be held to the values that are the lifeblood of our business – DISTINCTIVE, INCLUSIVE, VALUABLE AND COURAGEOUS.