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Town and Aon Participate in #EmbraceEquity Campaign for IWD 2023

6 March 2023

Players from Harrogate Town AFC's men's and women's teams, along with representatives from sponsor Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, marked International Women's Day (IWD) 2023 on Saturday 4 March in the UK by adopting the #EmbraceEquity campaign pose.

Ahead of Harrogate Town's highly anticipated match against Gillingham, Levi Sutton, Alex Pattison, Josh Falkingham, and Jack Muldoon from the men's team, Abbey Smith from the women's team, Jason Barker women's team manager,  James Fell and Andy Hall from Aon UK, in addition to 22 of Aon colleagues' children who were match flag bearers, struck the campaign pose in front of the 2600-strong crowd to draw attention to IWD 2023's #EmbraceEquity campaign. This year's IWD campaign focuses on how each individual can actively support and embrace equity to create a fair and equal world.
Aon and Harrogate Town AFC were keen to support IWD 2023 and encourage people to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, where difference is valued and celebrated, by highlighting how everyone has a role to play in fostering a gender equal world.
Aon, which employs more than 600 colleagues across its Yorkshire offices, is the main sponsor for Harrogate Town AFC Ladies, as part of the firm's commitment to making a positive social impact in the communities it serves, in alignment with its inclusive culture.
James Fell, head of office for Aon Leeds Tingley and Harrogate, said:
“Equity is about ensuring everyone thrives and social structures are rebalanced. It is about women and men having a level playing field; that they have the resources and opportunities required to reach the same, equal outcome. Through Aon's inclusive culture, gender equity is part of our workplace. We live and breathe this philosophy through our Gender Balance Initiatives. With women making up the largest proportion of employees in the business globally, and just over half of all new recruits, we can see these initiatives are helping to deliver real results.

“We know there is more work to be done and we are keen to share our ethos wherever possible, so it's important to actively demonstrate our support for IWD's 2023 Embrace Equity campaign as part of the movement's ongoing efforts to raise awareness. And what better way to engage young people and the wider community than through our partnership with Harrogate Town Football Club's men's and women's teams, a club which exemplifies that same philosophy.”

Sarah Barry, CEO at Harrogate Town AFC, said:
“Harrogate Town AFC is proud to support International Women's Day 2023 and the #EmbraceEquity Campaign in partnership with AON.
“We recognise the need for equity if we are to achieve true equality. There is no better platform than sport and football to create a space where everyone can be included, and everyone can feel that sense of belonging as we all unite in our desire to succeed. 
“Following the success in last year's Euros where our England Lionesses triumphed to lift the trophy, women and girls' football has been transformed. We've seen a tremendous impact with more interest than ever before and it's more important than ever to continue the momentum, share the stories of how, individually, each made it through in spite of their different backgrounds, circumstances and challenges along the way, and how, as a team, they inspired so many having achieved the extraordinary result which we are all very proud of.”
As of December 31, 2022, Aon's global workforce was 54 percent women and 46 percent men, and the Aon Executive Committee that leads the firm was 48 percent women (a 3 percent increase compared to 2021 figures) and 52 percent men. At the manager level, 28 percent of senior leaders and 43 percent of managers with one or more direct reports were women. New colleague hires for the year were 51 percent women and 49 percent men.
Aon provides clients, from SMEs to large corporates, with Commercial Risk Solutions, Health Solutions, Reinsurance Solutions and Wealth Solutions. To learn more about Aon UK, visit

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