Meet Rapport's Oihane Azcona

For International Women’s Day 2022, we spoke with some of the inspiring women across British Land neighbourhoods to talk equality, proud moments and what advice they’d give to their younger selves.

Oihane moved to the UK from Spain and is proud of her role at Paddington Central but also her connections with her family, studying photography and piano and learning what’s important after the pandemic. She feels International Women’s Day is crucial because: “There is still a lot of work to be done around equality. The theme for IWD is breaking the bias at work and I think it’s on point, we have to work harder to get noticed, we get underestimated more than men and we have to prove that we have the skills before getting hired”. She’s running a special event for IWD – “Brunch and Learn, to learn more about biases at work and a yoga class to look after ourselves.”

Oihane Azcona

Tell us about yourself

I’m Oihane Azcona, Guest Services Manager for Rapport at Paddington Central. 

 

What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment changes with time and I believe in celebrating all victories (big or small). In the past, it could have been graduating from uni, moving from Spain to the UK or recently discovering my passion for photography. I started in my late 20s and I have been working on it since then. I am really proud of all the effort that I have put into it, the photos that I have produced and the portfolio that I have built in the last year. 

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

The one I keep giving myself: never give up on your dreams, work on them. If you put time and effort into something you can achieve it.

 

Tell me something that not many people know about you?

My artistic side that perhaps I don’t show at work, not only with photography but I also studied piano for 12 years.

 

Is there a woman now or in history who’s inspired you?

My biggest female inspiration is my mum, she was a single mother and she taught me love, effort and dedication.

 

What has the global pandemic taught you about yourself?

When you live abroad, you have to choose between going on holidays somewhere new or go back home and see your family. With the pandemic, I realised I wanted to give priority to my family more often and spend quality time with them.

 

What is your view on equality of the sexes?

There is still a lot of work to be done around equality. The theme for IWD is breaking the bias at work and I think it’s on point, we have to work harder to get noticed, we get underestimated more than men and we have to prove that we have the skills before getting hired when men on the contrary are hired based on future potential. We all have unconscious biases, and it is important to understand how women are affected by them to work on them.

 

How do you celebrate IWD?

This year, I am organising two activities at Paddington for the team: Brunch and Learn, to learn more about biases at work and a yoga class to look after ourselves. This is open to everyone, as women we understand our struggles, so I think it is even more important for men to participate on this day.

Personally, I am going to dedicate some time on the day to recognise all the amazing women in my life by sending them a message to tell them how incredible they are and why.

 

What does IWD mean to you?

I think it’s important to dedicate time to recognise the issues that we face just by being women and educate ourselves on how to create a world that is more equal for everyone. There is a negative connotation around being a feminist but feminism at its core, is the belief in full social, economic, and political equality for women. So we should all be feminists, right?

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