Discover some inspiring women in time for International Women’s Day

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8, with the first day being held in 1911.

Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter – providing a unified direction to guide and galvanise continuous collective action.

In the spirit of #BalanceForBetter, we’ve rounded up some inspiring women to showcase the remarkable talent around the world.


Cherie Blair CBE | Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Leading Queen’s Counsel, wife of the former British Prime Minister and committed campaigner for women’s rights, Cherie set up the Foundation in 2008 to help women build small and growing businesses in low and middle income countries so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies.

Cherie is actively involved in the foundation, generously and tirelessly giving her time and resources to ensure its success. Travelling internationally, visiting projects and speaking on behalf of women around the world, our founder is an ambassador for women entrepreneurs everywhere, encouraging other non-profits, corporations and governments to do more to support women business owners.

Cherie was an Ambassador for London 2012, supporting the bid to host the Olympics in the UK and was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for services to women’s issues and to charity in the UK and Overseas.

Kateryna Rozhkova featuredKateryna Rozhkova | First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine

Kateryna Rozhkova is the First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.

She has been working in Ukraine’s banking system since 1998.

For more than 12 years, she held a variety of management positions in the private and public sector. These have included working as a deputy chair, board member, and advisor to the chairman of the board at Erste Bank PJSC, deputy chair of the board at Finbank PJSC, and acting chair of the board  at Platinum Bank PJSC. In 2009, she worked as the director of the NBU Off-Site Supervision Department for six months. Between 10 June 2015 and 18 January 2016, she held the position of director of the Banking Supervision Department at the NBU. Between 25 October 2016 and 15 June 2018 she worked as the NBU Deputy Governor in charge of prudential supervision before being promoted to her current role of First Deputy Governor.

Professor Jane Turner featuredProfessor Jane Turner OBE | Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise & Business Engagement, Teesside University

Professor Turner is Pro Vice-Chancellor at Teesside University, responsible for the Enterprise and Business Engagement Strategy.

Prior to entering Higher Education, Jane worked in the private sector in motor retailing and telecommunications. Jane is passionate about the North East having grown up here and considers herself to be in her ideal role, enabling her to collaborate with like-minded people to co-create a new future for the region. Jane is responsible for all knowledge exchange activities which deliver a significant income stream, student and graduate start-ups, strategic partnerships and the employability of Teesside University graduates.

Hannah MacLeod featuredHannah MacLeod MBE | Hockey Player & Olympic Gold Medallist

Dr Hannah MacLeod is a double Olympic medallist, with the record-breaking Great Britain Women’s hockey team, culminating in winning Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She has a doctorate in Exercise Physiology and has helped build a successful specialist nutrition consultancy business.

Hannah was born in Boston, Lincolnshire 9th June 1984 and grew up moving around the country due to her Dads career in the Royal Air Force. Hannah’s journey started when she was inspired by the performances of Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell at the 1992 Olympic Games.

ANITA DAY 1384 Helen Smith FEATUREDHelen Smith | Breast cancer survivor

Helen Smith, 52, from Leigh on Sea, Essex is married and a twin.

Helen has four children and two grandchildren. She is one of six children – three carrying the faulty BRCA 1 gene and three who do not.

Helen has a family history of the BRCA gene, along with genetic breast cancer, with four family members being diagnosed with breast cancer – two with the BRCA 1 gene and two without.

Helen had a preventative double mastectomy in November 2009, due to 85 percent chance of breast cancer. She also had a full hysterectomy in November 2015, due to 60 per cent chance of ovarian cancer.

Angie Greaves featuredAngie Greaves | Radio Presenter, Magic Radio

Angie Greaves is a radio presenter on Magic FM.

Greaves started her media career in 1982 as a BBC Administrator at Television Centre. In 1986 she moved to London’s Capital Radio, where she began working on the radio after being “discovered” by DJ David “Kid” Jensen. She was the first female presenter to join the station and was the only female drivetime DJ on London radio.

Greaves went on to produce and present many long running, popular radio shows. She was the first DJ on Spectrum Radio at its launch on 25 June 1990. Between 1992 and 1997, Greaves presented the “Angie Greaves Breakfast Show” on Choice FM, London’s first urban radio station. It became the most listened to show in the station’s schedule and saw listening figures treble.

Sarah Willingham featuredSarah Willingham | Entrepreneur, investor, consumer expert & ex-Dragon’s Den star

Sarah Willingham is an entrepreneur, investor and consumer expert – best known for her previous role as one of the ‘dragons’ of the popular BBC series Dragons’ Den.

Her main successes as an entrepreneur have included turning The Bombay Bicycle Club into the largest and most successful Indian restaurant chain in the UK and taking the likes of Pizza Express and Planet Hollywood on to greater success.

Kristin Jaworski featuredKristin Jaworski | Trail Boss & Director of the Fort Worth Herd

Kristin was raised around livestock and horses from a young age which ignited her interest in this industry.

Kristin acquired the title ‘Trail Boss’ in 2002 obtaining the responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the world’s only twice daily Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive the Fort Worth Herd, managed by the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In 2001 Kristin graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and in 2007, with a Master of Science in Management and Leadership.

Mary GoudieBaroness Mary Goudie | Member of the British House of Lords

Baroness Mary Goudie is a formidable woman who has been an active global advocate for the rights of women and children for many years. With all her achievements and accomplishments it was her warmth and openness that struck me. As a woman who has been in politics for over 50 years she is an inspiration to all of those striving to make a difference in the world.  Through her work on the board of Vital Voices, she is involved in promoting gender equity with both the G8 and G20 and is currently the Chair of the Women Leaders’ Council to Fight Human Trafficking at the United Nations.

Lesley GracieLesley Gracie | Master Distiller & Creator of Hendrick’s Gin, William Grant & Sons

A chemist by trade, Lesley Gracie moved from Yorkshire to Scotland to join William Grant & Sons in 1988.

Working in collaboration with Charles Gordon, the late life president of William Grant & Sons, Lesley Gracie was tasked with creating a gin that used two antique stills – a rare Carter-Head and 19th Century Bennet. Working out of Hendrick’s home in the Girvan distillery, Gracie is just one of four people who know the specific recipe of the quirky gin brand’s 11 botanicals.

She leads the New Liquid Development Team within William Grant & Sons and also holds positions in both the Gin Guild and ISC tasting panel for white spirits. Gracie has also created experimental products that sit alongside the Hendrick’s brand, including quinninated cordial Quinetum and most recently Hendrick’s Kanaracuni Gin, which saw her join an expedition to the Venezuelan rainforest in search of new flavours.

Vicki Anstey featuredVicki Anstey | Founder, Barreworks Studio & SAS: Who Dares Wins recruit

Vicki Anstey is the UK’s leading Barre expert and teacher.

She is the founder of the prestigious Barreworks studio in Richmond, London. Vicki and her dedicated team are truly a force to be reckoned with – training and working with some of the world’s top athletes and helping transform hundred’s of peoples lives every year through her work at Barreworks.

In August 2010, Vicki trained and qualified as a fully licensed instructor of the New York City Ballet Workout. The highly esteemed and world-renowned method helped to inspire Vicki to create Barreworks Ballet Workout. With overwhelming demand for her classes she opened Barreworks in Richmond and the rest as they say is history.

Vicki is currently a recruit on the current Channel 4 series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Bianca Miller-thumbBianca Miller-Cole | Founder & Managing Director of ‘The Be Group’ and Finalist of BBC’s The Apprentice 2014

Bianca Miller -Cole is an award-winning Entrepreneur, having started The Be Group in 2012 with the belief that all individuals should be able to access personal development services. Bianca has developed her company into the ‘go to’ business for personal branding success. The business has an impressive list of clients including HSBC, Accenture, AMEX, Olswang LLP, Google, BT, EY, LSE and Kings College London to name a few.

Bianca became known as a public face after an excellent performance on BBC business competition, The Apprentice in 2014. Where 10 million people watched her on a weekly basis for 12 weeks as she battled for the coveted prize of £250,000 and a business partnership with Lord Sugar. Bianca battled in the final, becoming runner up but that has not stopped her progress and her idea for a diverse range of nude hosiery which became a reality when ‘Bianca Miller London’ launched online in November 2015, launched with Global Fashion Destination ‘Topshop’ in September 2016, QVC and the Morleys Group in 2017.

Tanuja Randery | President, UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric

Tanuja joined Schneider Electric in 2015 from BT Global Services, where she served as president, strategy, marketing and transformation, responsible for the growth transformation agenda.

Prior to BT, Tanuja spent 10 years at Colt Group, in both strategy and operations roles. Tanuja’s professional career has also seen her working as vice president of strategy at EMC Corp where she led several key M&A initiatives and she worked seven years as a consultant at McKinsey, specialising in technology and sales and marketing effectiveness, both in the United States.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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