Choosing to challenge at Foot Anstey

Throughout March we have celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) and the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, which has set back gender equality gains by up to 25 years globally, there has never been a more important time to take stock of where we are, what needs to be done to drive forward gender parity and set tangible targets.

2021's #ChooseToChallenge theme resonates strongly with us at Foot Anstey. Our business is a human endeavour and we owe our collective success to the individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets of everyone who comprises the Foot Anstey family. This includes the invaluable contribution of women at all levels of our organisation.

As a firm we took part in a variety of activities in support of International Women's Day. The insights we gained and the pledges we made are things we can continue to act upon to make a positive difference inside and outside of the workplace. Find out what we got up to below!

Making pledges

Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets have an incredible impact on our firm’s culture. Collectively, each one of us can actively choose to challenge and help create a gender equal world and workplace. We asked our people to think about how they can make a difference by making really meaningful #ChooseToChallenge pledges. Over 100 of our people made pledges throughout the month and these are invaluable commitments to continuing to challenge long after IWD is over. 

Foot Anstey Foundation grants

The Foot Anstey Foundation has made £3,000 worth of grants in March 2021 to organisations that support women in our local communities, in particular victims of domestic abuse and their families. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has escalated occurrences of domestic abuse and made it more difficult for survivors and their families to seek help or escape. Our people voted for three charities to each receive a grant of £1,000.


Trevi is an award-winning women’s charity in Devon. They provide safe and nurturing spaces for women and their families to heal, grow and thrive and run three centres – the Jasmine Mother’s Recovery (residential rehabilitation) Centre, the Sunflower Women’s Centre and the Daffodil Family Centre.

Find out more:

The Women's Centre Cornwall

Cornwall Women’s Centre is a specialist provider of services for women and girls experiencing sexual violence or other abuse at any point in their lives. The facility provides community-based services for women and provide a safe, supportive environment in which all are valued and respected, listened to and believed, thereby empowering them to live the life they want.

Find out more:

Stop Domestic Abuse

The group provide a variety of services including refuge accommodation and outreach services to all victims and survivors of domestic abuse living in the wider community. They run group work for women and children to help them understand domestic abuse and improve their safety, preventative work in schools and offer support in person, on the telephone and through their website to meet the needs of each individual.

Find out more:

These grants make a significant difference to small charitable organisations in our local communities.

An inspirational speaker session with Emily Chappell

We invited ultra-endurance cyclist and author Emily Chappell to virtually speak with our people about what #ChooseToChallenge means to her. In her talk, Emily spoke about some of the difficulties she has overcome in her career as a long-distance cyclist, and how her experiences have led her into diversity work. From challenging yourself, to challenging others, to challenging the system – she shared examples of how long solo rides have helped her understand her fears, and begin working with them, rather than against them and shared some of the joy of finding her people in cycling, and how creating a more diverse community has made life better for everyone in it.

“She is such an interesting, inspiring and engaging speaker, I could have happily listened to her all morning!”


Inspirational women at the firm

At Foot Anstey women in all levels of our organisation play a huge part in our continued success. We spoke to three women in the business about what #ChooseToChallenge means to them. Read the interviews below.