#EachForEqual: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women's Day featured

Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal.

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing global attention on areas requiring further action.

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.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachForEqual.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked women from all backgrounds, ethnicity and ages to tell us what exactly the day means to them:

Rachel Bradley“International Women’s Day is about coming together with women just like me.  I will be running an evening event celebrating female rounders and we’re going to be discussing wellness and whether, we as women in business, have cracked the work-life balance (sadly I fear we have not!).  Having this day is so important as it means I get to host a fabulous event and be surrounded by like-minded women who inspire and challenge me constantly.”

RACHEL BRADLEY, FOUNDER OF GOSSIP GIRL PR


Marianne Page“As a woman in the world of entrepreneurs it’s easy to accept that we’re a minority. We feel boosted when there are several women at conferences, networking events and presentations. However, when I present to successful Business Owners, I don’t see ‘men’ and ‘women,’ I see Entrepreneurs! I see wonderful, imaginative minds and driven individuals – we are all so lucky to have each other to support us through, but I would encourage all of us to look past the gender divide and hold the belief that we’re on a level playing field – that we are all as powerful as each other. When we truly believe this, the divide will diminish and we will go from strength to strength. The last decade has seen so many changes for the better for women in business. May 2020 & beyond continue this way!”

MARIANNE PAGE, FOUNDER, MARIANNE PAGE LTD


Fiona Minett

“IWD is a milestone moment each year that holds a powerful resonance for me, giving me a moment in each year to reflect on the growth of my business and to celebrate the business growth of the incredible women I’ve connected with.  I really feel that women are making amazing strides at the moment and how we celebrate IWD is a reflection of that.  It’s not female success at the expense of men, rather, us claiming our space amongst them.”

“Ultimately it was on IWD in 2018 that I really feel my business found its footing.  I spoke on a panel at an event at Soho Farmhouse.  In 2019, I spoke at IWD events at AllBright and Oxford Brookes University and this year, I’ll be presenting a masterclass at the #SheStartedIt event held by the About Time Academy.  This progression of opportunity tied to IWD each year has been a lovely way for me to mark the development of my business and positioning.”

FIONA MINETT, FOUNDER OF BOSS YOUR PR


Natalie Orringe“The intensity of life means that most often we have to focus on the day ahead and being the best we can for loved ones. It’s why IWD is so important by interrupting our attention to remind us to look up and celebrate who we are and those who’ve shaped us. For me, it’s my mum, my nan and the brilliant women who stood up and supported me in my career – asked and unasked!”

NATALIE ORRINGE, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICE, ACCESS INTELLIGENCE PLC

 


Fiona Scott“International Women’s Day has given me a platform to share many things about being a woman in the media – not all of them have been good. It’s time for women to step into their power and call out what is not acceptable and celebrate all that is good about being a woman in the media and in business. I bow to those women who are braver than me.”

FIONA SCOTT, FOUNDER, FIONA SCOTT CONSULTANCY LTD

 


Hilary Collins“International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come with equality in the workplace; however there’s still much to do. I strongly believe that technology will enable more women than ever before to fulfil their career ambitions. Thanks to remote technology, we can set-up office anywhere, work flexibly and give our utmost – the future looks very bright for women in business.”

HILARY COLLINS, MD, BIG WAVE PR


Cordelia Meacher“International Women’s Day is fantastic time for us all to gather and celebrate the achievements of women, and to ponder together what else we can to do to make womens’ lives better, and to achieve true equality in the workplace. It’s also a moment to reflect on the fact that we have to hold “days” like this at all, in order to create focus on women’s issues that are not yet solved. I don’t define myself as a “female entrepreneur” or a “female Managing Director” – I am just an entrepreneur and Managing Director, same as anyone else. Let’s hope as our daughters grow, the need to hold these days lessens and “womens’ issues” will no longer be an issue at all.”

CORDELIA MEACHER, FOUNDER, FIELDHOUSE ASSOCIATES


Michelle Vickers“Our logic, decision making and tenacity combined with our traits of intuition and emotional empathy are what makes women amazing in the work place.”

MICHELLE VICKERS, CEO, THE HEAD & NECK CANCER FOUNDATION

 

 


Leona Barr Jones“As a woman who has moved from a successful army career and taken those skills into a business career championing diversity and inclusion, I see International Women’s Day as an opportunity for us all to celebrate the diversity of women and what our unique approach and qualities can bring to driving forward with authentic and inclusive leadership. I hope that it can act as an inspiration to all women and help them believe that they can make a difference.”

LEONA BARR JONES, FOUNDER & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, FOCUS7


Aimee Treasure“To me, International Women’s Day is about not only about raising awareness to improve gender equality, but in recognising the immense bravery, strength and achievements of those who fought for women’s rights across decades and geographies. It’s a day to thank those people – women and men – and remember that great change comes from the efforts of one person at a time.”

AIMEE TREASURE, HEAD OF MARKETING, VHR

 


Melissa TireyAs a communication’s specialist, I appreciate the awareness a dedicated day can bring to a cause.  International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on progress and focus on challenges still to be overcome.  Women have made tremendous progress in developed nations; but, I am conscious of women around the world who still live without the rights and freedoms we could so easily take for granted.  Today I reflect on the brave women and men who have worked to bring awareness to this cause and use their strength as a reminder that complacency is not an option. Women’s rights and women’s bodies remain under attack and if we stand together, as the largest demographic in the world, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”

MELISSA TIREY, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS, SHIFT6


Rebecca Manville“I see International Women’s Day as the tale of two halves. The first, being the start of my career where I was told my place as a woman was never going to be as senior as a man. The second, being the rise of the millennial generation and that young pool of thought diluting the old way of thinking. International Women’s Day is a good time for reflection and poses some interesting questions. The day is not about women being better than men – it’s about equality and being seen as a person where your attributes are being considered fairly. As a woman in business, there are many female leaders who have inspired me in how they put people first. I’m a firm believer in people development; if you develop people and create that culture then more people will come. On a personal level, the day lets me reflect on how the business culture around me has changed for the better. On an international level, the day becomes forever more important to make sure that equality is not just a luxury that I enjoy, but one for every woman across the world”.

REBECCA MANVILLE, MARKETING DIRECTOR, WILBURY STRATTON


Siân Duffin“International Women’s Day means a chance to celebrate all that is fantastic about being a woman. The progress with equality, the achievements of women and how glass ceilings continue to fall. It’s a time to reflect and be thankful for the pioneers who made sacrifices in order that I can live the life I do and have the opportunities that would have been denied me in previous generations. It’s also time to pause and recognise how much work there is still to do to achieve true equality across the world, such as access to education for the world’s girls who live in impoverished conditions or under regimes that don’t believe in rights for women.”

SIAN DUFFIN, STUDENT SUPPORT MANAGER, ARDEN UNIVERSITY


Cheryl MacDonald“To me it means celebrating everything about women: embracing our feminine self but also our ongoing expansion into traditionally male roles, in life and work. Embracing our duality as women and respecting the masculine and feminine aspects that each of us holds.”

CHERYL MACDONALD, CELEBRITY YOGA TEACHER, AUTHOR & FOUNDER OF YOGABELLIES

 


Lucy Matthews“International Women’s Day inspires me as I am a remarkable businesswoman, working every day with other remarkable women, helping them to achieve their goals in life and business, through being known.  I find it inspiring to have a day dedicated to us women, in which to reflect on, and congratulate ourselves for what we achieve every day whilst negotiating the rocks in the road of life that all us women face. We juggle partners, children and elderly parents, our own worries and those of our friends, financial issues, illnesses, work, loneliness, the stresses of new business start ups and a fast changing world where nothing stands still for a second and where, without buying expensive help and advice, it’s very challenging to find ways to keep up and it requires a huge amount of energy, open mindedness and confidence. It can be tough but is brilliant when we can all join together on a special day to pat ourselves on the back and share our positive energy.”

LUCY MATTHEWS, PR EXPERT, SPEAKER AND AMAZON BEST SELLING AUTHOR


Valentina Karellas“Women’s Day for me automatically sparks the feeling of unity, togetherness and support. There is this natural makeup women have to support one another and most of all during International Women’s Day. I feel it every day whenever I ask a peer for help/advice, the feeling and support is always given and received. Of course, every day should be international Women’s day, but it’s fantastic to get recognition nonetheless. It’s a feeling of inclusion, celebration and togetherness that IWD sparks for me.”

VALENTINA KARELLAS, KNITWEAR DESIGNER, MAKER & BRAND FOUNDER


Pamela Spence“International Women’s Day makes me feel part of something. It reminds me that women can be empowered, can be incredibly successful, can break through. It also makes me feel like there are women out there who have my back, like a tide is turning. When we work together we can be unstoppable – IWD reminds me of that.”

PAMELA SPENCE, HERALIST, WRITER, & EDUCATOR


Jenny TschiescheIWD is something I feel very connected to. It’s a celebration of more equality for women whilst also creating awareness of where inequalities still exist. IWD provides an opportunity each year to reflect on how far things have progressed. As a working mother with a daughter, IWD reminds the next generation that each generation before them has made some headway in changing attitudes and progressing towards greater gender equality.”

JENNY TSCHIESCHE, NUTRITION EXPERT, LUNCHBOXDOCTOR.COM


Mary Hamer“The International Women’s Year of 1975 was a moment of excitement and hope: we were all standing together and demanding to be taken seriously. But now International Women’s Day is just a slogan, explaining and demanding nothing.

MARY HAMER, AUTHOR, KIPLING & TRIX

 


Silvia Marti“Some people say that women and men have the same rights and opportunities in the professional world nowadays. And in my case it is true. I  thought I could be in charge of a marketing team in a smart, international tech company. I wished that I could find a job to be motivated each day for my professional goals. And I did it 6 years ago, as a woman with children. Easypromos gave me this opportunity because gender equality is more than an attitude in our company, it’s an asset of our corporate culture on the same level as  tolerance, respect, multiculturalism and innovation. But if somebody tells you that gender equality is a fact everywhere, it’s not true. I had a great opportunity and I feel respected and empowered in the company and in my life. But I don’t forget that it’s not the same for most of the women. So on the International Women’s Day, there is no excuse. We all must insist that women achieve the same level of opportunities and respect as men in all the areas of their lives, personal and professional. We all must insist on feeling respected and appreciated in our roles and insist on the same opportunities for all women.”

SILVIA MARTI, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, EASYPROMOS


Grace RotheryPersonally I think that IWD is a great reminder that equality for women is not just about women; by supporting and encouraging men to play a more equal role both at home and at work we can build a world where men and women alike can feel more fulfilled.”

GRACE ROTHERY, HEAD OF UK RETAIL, GAZPROM ENERGY

 


Fran Elliott“IWD is an important day for me, not least because I was lead producer on one of my favourite activations, Avon’s ‘Hello Tomorrow; Here’s to Me’ experience, delivered in the heart of London on IWD 2007. This was one of the first experiential campaigns in the UK specifically focussed on honouring this powerful day and whilst the tone had morphed slightly from it being a fairly politicised date in the calendar to something more celebratory and empowering, the impact of the activation felt no less significant. Upon reflection, it feels like that event marked the beginning of a shift; for me it marked the moment when the big brands recognised the importance of talking ‘with’ women rather than ‘at’ them, paving the way for much weightier conversations not just within the marketing industry but across a broader societal spectrum.”

FRAN ELLIOTT, HEAD OF INTEGRATED PRODUCTION, GEORGE P. JOHNSON (GPJ) AND ACC QUALIFIED COACH


Mi Elfverson“International Women’s Day is always a fabulous day of celebration for me and my community. It’s a great opportunity to inspire and encourages female business owners to step up and claim their space, to be seen and heard for what they do. I’ve been celebrating and creating talks and videos on International Women’s Day for around five years now. This year it’s going beyond all expectations and I’m attending and speaking at events not just on the 8th March, but the whole week leading up to it!”

MI ELFVERSON, FOUNDER OF EYE STORM AND THE VLOG ACADEMY


Liz WalkerInternational Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come and to highlight how we need to continue to strive for equality for all women. At the beginning of my career, the majority of the key decision makers were male and middle aged. Not only could that be intimidating but I also know that I had to work harder than my male counterparts to achieve promotions, pay rises and bonuses. Now as a female leader, it’s my chance to emphasise the importance of women in business – celebrating their successes – and ensuring that we are instilling the self belief and drive in them to enable them to achieve their potential. #pressforprogress”

LIZ WALKER, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, DISTINCTLY


Kirsty Maxey“International Women’s Day always makes me think of my Mum. She encouraged me to be my own person and make my own way, and that was in the 60s and 70s. Now I try and instil the same in all the brilliant young women I work with today.”

KIRSTY MAXEY, CEO, TEAMSPIRIT

 


Erica Wolfe Murray“Every year IWD inspires me to think about women in other countries and cultures who are struggling to fulfil their potential, to start their own businesses that could safeguard their families’ futures. It reminds me that we have to go on pushing for women across the globe. Within the UK, IWD is also a stark reminder about the difficulties many women and girls have here accessing the full range of training and career opportunities. So let’s ensure we open those doors, welcome them in and help them step up to achieve all they can be.”

ERICA WOLFE-MURRAY, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS EXPERT & AUTHOR


Karen J Gerrard“It’s great that women are celebrated and acknowledged on International Women’s Day. Every woman is truly inspirational at what they achieve in a day multi tasking work, family, friends and the incredible help given to others tirelessly behind the scenes.”

KAREN J GERRARD, ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER OF SEAMS

 


Vicki Anstey“International Women’s Day is not about comparison. It is not about determining which is the stronger/better/more capable sex. For me, these debates perpetuate the gender divide. International Women’s Day is a celebration of the fact that women can do anything they set their minds to without any sense that their gender places limitations on their human potential. It is a day to reflect upon how far we have come (and how far we still have to go) towards a world where women and men are interchangeable in any given scenario. Where physical, mental and emotional attributes demonstrated across both sexes are valued and recognised. It is day closer to eliminating the fact that young girls still grow up thinking they ‘can’t’ do a certain job or achieve their dreams because ‘only boys can’. That is why I chose to apply for the first SAS Who Dares Wins that included women in the course. It is why I am one of the ‘Girls Who Dare’ (an all female crew who will row the Pacific Ocean this Summer), it is why I am a proud Ambassador (and first ever female Ambassador) for the Harlequins Foundation and why I wholeheartedly support the charity Inspiring Girls that exists to provide a platform to give young girls access to strong positive female (and male!) role models.”

VICKI ANSTEY, LEADING FITNESS FIGURE & FOUNDER OF BARREWORKS


Keziah Wildsmith“In a very female heavy industry, with a fully female team and a big girl gang of friends, I don’t regularly come across challenges based on gender alone – we are often applauded for our Girl Power, and have previously even been hunted down for jobs because of being a 100 per cent female team! However I do realise in the outside world, inequality does still exists and that IWD (despite being only one day) is the perfect reminder for everyone to focus on how we can give females equal opportunities to thrive and enjoy life in and out of work.”

KEZIAH WILDSMITH, ENTREPRENEUR, EVENT DESIGNER & FOUNDER OF HEAPS+STACKS


Dr Larisa Corda“IWD for me represents the triumph over generations of struggle for women to be able to gain the same respect, value and opportunities as men, allowing us to step into the fullness of our female existence. We still have more to do, but as a gender, we will not accept being put down or discriminated against. This day is also about celebrating the richness and abundance of roles that women have, whether it be mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, carers, mentors, friends or wives, the legacies we create are transgenerational and changing the world one woman at a time.”

DR LARISA CORDA, LEADING FERTILITY EXPERT & FEMALE HEALTH DOCTOR


Eva ChengInternational Women’s Day means so much to AGY47. To celebrate what women have achieved over the years, we are creating a series of short videos, a combination of blog posts alongside social media posts dedicated to praising and raising awareness around International Women’s Day.”

EVA CHENG, DIGITAL PR EXECUTIVE, AGY47

 


Michele Poynter“On National Women’s Day each year I spend the day volunteering at a local secondary school. I talk to the kids (both boys and girls) about women in business and look at interesting women role models to make them think. I speak about issues facing women such as the gender pay gap, and help to make students aware of the issues women can (and do) face in the workplace. To me National Women’s Day is all about inspiring the next generation through education. It’s so important to teach kids the importance of gender equality from an early age because it affects everyone.”

MICHELE POYNTER, CEO, MISH LINGERIE


Natalia Zurowski“International Women’s Day serves as an important reminder to the world of how far women have come, celebrates those who have paved the way and positively encourages women to continue to build the road towards gender equality.” 

NATALIA ZUROWSKI, HEAD OF MARKETING UK & APAC, SYNECHRON

 


Tanya Hamilton-Smith“I’ll be honest and say International Women’s Day only properly got my attention with my ‘work hat on’. We’d run a campaign for FCB Inferno celebrating IWD and it was the overwhelming support they had from a range of extraordinary and awe inspiring women that made me sit up and think about it for myself and all the women I know. There are ‘days’ for so many things now but for us, this one is special as it embodies all the cultural, economic, political and historical achievements of women; and it doesn’t feel like it’s just for women either. It feels like a day of collective celebration; and that’s something to feel proud of.

TANYA HAMILTON-SMITH, CO-FOUNDER, THE INFLUENCE ROOM


Carmen Andreica“I have always been a great believer in gender equality and for me, International Women’s Day is a good chance to remember and celebrate the great achievements for women rights and equal opportunities. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge that there is still a lot more to be accomplished in terms of female empowerment and advancement.”

CARMEN ANDREICA, CAREERS & STUDENT SERVICES MANAGER, LONDON COLLEGE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS (LCCA)


Lavina Chainani“International Women’s Day. It’s not only about girl-power. It’s about creating a domino effect: you let yourself be inspired by the strengths of other women and then you go on to inspire others with your own strengths…It makes me happy that we can come out and celebrate how far humanity has come with regards to gender-equality, women’s rights and the dissolution of gender roles. In some parts of the world, we still have work to do. I am hopeful, though.”

LAVINA CHAINANI, HEAD OF RECRUITMENT, LONDON COLLEGE OF CREATIVE MEDIA (LCCM)


Dessy Ohanians“International Women’s Day for me represents the progress made in recognising the contributions women make every day to their companies, families and countries and the strides we have made towards greater equality and fairness.”

DESSY OHANIANS, CEO, LONDON ACADEMY OF TRADING (LAT) & MANAGING DIRECTOR CERTIFICATE & CORPORATE PROGRAMMES AT LONDON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND FINANCE (LSBF)


Dr Alison Watson“For me, International Women’s Day is every day. The development and progress of women within society and the workplace is evident daily and is not restricted to one day only.”

DR ALISON WATSON, UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS PROGRAMME TEAM LEADER, ARDEN UNIVERSITY

 


Vanita Kerai“International Women’s Day is a celebration of women across the world and how far we have come in terms of achieving gender equality. It also recognises how far we have to go. Promoting equality is essential in the world of education and at GISMA Business School, we continually strive to achieve this. Change your mindset and realise your true potential!”

VANITA KERAI, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR, GISMA BUSINESS SCHOOL

 


Carie Barkhuizen“I talk to media about inequality everyday. Everything from ignorance of the impact of menopause at work, to the fact that young girls STILL think technical jobs are “for boys”. But my ideals about progress shattered on becoming a mother. My NCT peers struggled to get rehired; some went back to different roles than those they had left; and I have been constantly asked if I’ll be able to cope with my business and a baby. While I love seeing all these fantastic women come to the fore on IWD, in 2020, the fact that this day is still so needed makes me very, very mad. I look forward to a time when we can celebrate achievement everyday regardless of gender…but until then…let’s keep shouting “Each for Equal”.”

CARIE BARKHUIZEN, FOUNDER DIRECTOR, SEYMOUR PR


Stacey Kehoe“To think Gender Equality is a goal, not an established human right is astonishing. As a female business owner who is frequently asked ‘Did your husband help you start your business?’, I am often undermined, talked over, intimidated or ignored by my male counterparts. IWD inspires me to ‘lead from the front’, give visibility to other women who are too often pushed to the back and collaborate with other female-led businesses to gain greater momentum for change.”

STACEY KEHOE, FOUNDER, BRANDLECTIVE


Charlene Chigumira“International Women’s Day is a day when the world has a chance to reflect on just how far we have come as a world in recognising women’s achievements, and focus on what still needs to be done.” 

CHARLENE CHIGUMIRA, CANCER ALLIANCE ICS PROJECT MANAGER, BEDFORD HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

 


Riva Taylor“This day is always very close to my heart. I participate in events as much as I can and enjoy entering into the various broad, current and ongoing debates around all things women. I am a supporter of the Their World community and have enjoyed attending their annual IWD breakfast these past years, while also showing support for other women’s charities and communities. There really are some incredible talks and debates happening around the subjects of global inequality, and fantastic charitable causes doing so much in this area. This year, I have launched a woman’s community myself with an arts focus called This Woman’s Heart which hopes to heal and support women through creativity and community. It’s something i’ve always dreamt of doing, but felt nervous, as one often does when starting up something new, and with so many incredible causes in this area that people may not support. I so far have been proven wrong and its been so lovely to feel the strength of the female effort who are jumping on board to be a part of this. I’m excited to see what can be grown here, it is very much a collaborative effort between artists currently. It’s made me very happy that we might be able to go a little way at least in making a difference within the female community. It’s a hope that we can extend its focus beyond the UK at some point.”

RIVA TAYLOR, SINGER & SONGWRITER & FOUNDER, TWH COMMUNITY


Sophy Vanner Critoph“As women working in marketing – who are also marketed to on a regular basis – our WOAh (‘Women of Amplify’) community is very aware of how gender inequality manifests in the creative industry: boys clubs, inflexible working, and pay gaps. Through our talk series, we decided to address the inequality we see by amplifying women’s voices and their stories. So 2020’s IWD focus of ‘Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue’ is utterly relevant and inspiring.”  

SOPHY VANNER CRITOPH, STRATEGY DIRECTOR, AMPLIFY


Monika Jerszynska“For me, International Women’s Day is a culmination of the all year-round celebration and appreciation of women, past, present and future, who have and continue to press for progress. A reminder and a day of reflection on how much more there’s still to do to make sure the future brings empowerment and balanced representation for women in all industries, including STEM.”

MONIKA JERSZYNSKA, PRODUCT MANAGER, OXFORD SUMMER COURSES

 


Rachel Parr“International Women’s Day makes me think of the women in my life who have given me the courage, ability and belief to achieve what I have and the responsibility I now have to pass this on to other women, especially to my daughters.”

RACHEL PARR MBE, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, OXFORD SUMMER COURSES

 


Sonja Underwood“International Women’s Day always reminds me of how far we, as women, have come, from having no financial, legal or working independence to walking tall, leading across industry and the boardroom. Our predecessors have done a lot to pave the way for us – and it is now our duty to do the same for the next generation. Women should support and raise each other at every opportunity they get.”

SONJA UNDERWOOD, MARKETING DIRECTOR, OXFORD SUMMER COURSES


Linn Frost“My dream for the future is that we will have progressed so far with equality that we won’t need a special day to celebrate women. Instead, we’ll replace International Women’s Day with a day of overall awesomeness, celebrating those achieving great things regardless of their gender, with many women included alongside other brilliant humans.”

LINN FROST, CLIENT PARTNER, TRUANT LONDON

 


Hope Virgo“International Women’s Day is a day to shine a spotlight on the strengths of women. Incredible women that are so often forgotten about.It is a day to shine a spotlight on female role models so that we can feel empowered to speak up and then get a global platform so that our voices are heard in all decisions and so we are at the forefront influencing change.”

HOPE VIRGO, AUTHOR & MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGNER

 


Fiona Maini“International Women’s Day is an amazing initiative. Clearly this is not just a day! It is a continuum over time which challenges the status quo and stereotypes, fights bias, broadens perceptions, improves situations and celebrates women’s achievements and overall supports collaborative humanitarian accomplishments.”

FIONA MAINI, PRINCIPAL GLOBAL COMPLIANCE AND STRATEGY, MEDIDATA SOLUTIONS


Elina Berglund“It seems like there is a day to celebrate just about everything but International Women’s Day is one day that I feel super passionate about as a female entrepreneur and mother of a young girl. It gives us women a moment to celebrate what we and all of the women before us have been able to accomplish and serves as a reminder for all that’s left to do. It also gives us an opportunity to ask our partners, fathers, and brothers to help us in expediting our progress so we can reach gender equality faster.”

ELINA BERGLUND, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, NATURAL CYCLES


Louise Findlay-Wilson“International Women’s Day provides me with a real moment to reflect on how far women have come from when I started out in my career over 30 years ago, and to recognise how far we still have to go.  I can’t believe that I have a daughter entering the workplace and yet still the issue of equal pay, which I faced way back when, is still unresolved.  I’m so annoyed by the fact that women on FTSE boards are still treated as a novelty. I’m appalled by the fact that the corporate answer to helping young women who want both a career and motherhood is to offer egg freezing as a company ‘perk’!  Rather than attempting to change the system, let’s mess with women’s biology they seem to be saying. Can you imagine men agreeing to this!  So while on March 8th I’ll be applauding some incredible women – both those I’ve had the privilege to meet and those I’ve admired from afar – I’ll also be reminding myself that the job is only partly done.”

LOUISE FINDLAY-WILSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ENERGY PR


Laura Perkins“International Women’s Day for me is a celebration but also an urgent reminder that there is still work to be done to achieve equality and economic justice for all women and that only by working together can we ensure that the next generation of women are able to live and work in a fair and equal society.”

LAURA PERKINS, DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING, YOUNG WOMEN’S TRUST

 


Kelly Double“In spite of having gone to a very forward thinking all-girls school, International Women’s Day was something that only came on my radar when I started working on a number of PR campaigns that focused on profiling inspiring female clients around IWD at the beginning of my career. However, it’s taken on a new meaning for me since I have been involved with Girlguiding as a leader over the past 5 years. I’ve volunteered with girls of all ages during this time and we always try to do activities or conduct discussions around 8th March that help promote the cause for equality and help educate. I am endlessly amazed at how well informed, motivated and passionate all the girls and young women are. It’s funny how being involved with the younger generations makes you realise how important campaigns like IWD are for the future and it has certainly made me more vocal on the subject in the workplace and my personal life too.”

KELLY DOUBLE, GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, INGENUITY


Christine NaschbergerI think it is essential to pass on the global heritage of “women fighting for more equality” to the next generations. The human being tends to forget and we take women’s condition for granted. But we should not. Real equality is rather rare – does it really exist? It is important to remember the different waves of feminism, and their various achievements. Despite the fact that many leading organisations like the United Nations enhance gender equality e.g. with the sustainable development goals 5 and 10, women all around the world still struggle for fair and equal treatment. Women want to be heard and respected. There is still too much suffering and violation of women’s rights. It is time for a real change! Women and men alike want a change and we want it now! Gender equality needs to be promoted but not only once a year on the 8th of March – it should be celebrated every day.

CHRISTINE NASCHBERGER, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT & SCIENTIFIC MANAGER, THE EXECUTIVE PROGRAMM “HR DIRECTOR”, AUDENCIA EXECUTIVE EDUCATION


Megan Cross“For me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the incredible achievements of a wonderfully diverse spectrum of women from all walks of life. It is also a time for us to pause and challenge ourselves to continue to raise the bar for gender equality. No two women are the same, and we still have a long way to go to achieve true parity, particularly for women who have more intersectional experiences (i.e. women of colour, LGBTQ+ women). It is crucial that we use the IWD platform to engage the majority and champion the voices for those who are less heard.”

MEGAN CROSS, MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, ACCENTURE


Marie Mostad“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the women who have been at the forefront of fighting for gender equality, but I think it’s also important to remind ourselves that there is still work to be done – especially if you look at equality through an intersectional, global lens. I believe that equality should be at the top of everyone’s agenda year round, not just in March. When that happens, we can use International Women’s Day to celebrate progress, rather than advocate for change.”

MARIE MOSTAD, COO & CO-FOUNDER, INZPIRE.ME


Claire Menzies“International Women’s Day is, for me, a rallying call for a wider, day-in-day-out approach to life and business, based on authenticity, consistency and inclusion. My role model for this is Katherine Hepburn, once declared to be ‘more modern than tomorrow’ and a pioneer in her industry through her refusal to be marginalised or bullied by the film studio bosses of her day. These words by Hepburn are a constant inspiration and will never date: ‘Don’t just show up. Transform the work, yourself and everybody around you. Be needed. Be interesting. Be something no one else can be, and consistently.’’

CLAIRE MENZIES, CHAIRWOMAN, THE ISTORIA GROUP


Jess Heagren“International Women’s Day is something I have personally celebrated for at least a decade now. I set up a Diversity Network in my previous role, one of the strands was Gender and we marked it in a number of ways – collections for Women’s shelters, raising money, gift collections. It’s the perfect opportunity to support and raise our sex. International Women’s Day is such a great opportunity to celebrate the women we admire. It’s a reminder of all of those that have come before us that made our world the way it is. Without them I wouldn’t be able to work and raise my children, something my life and now career are built around. I celebrate International Women’s Day every year by reminding myself of all those women that have come before me and inspired me to become the mother, daughter, friend, wife and CEO that I am today. International Women’s Day fills me with pride every year, particularly when I consider the incredible women that have inspired me to not only start my own business but do it with confidence and self-belief.”

JESS HEAGREN, CEO & FOUNDER, THAT WORKS FOR ME


Jane Evans“I’m taking time this IWD to reflect on how courageously women have always shown up for each other. And how the way in which Meghan Markle, a successful professional in her own right. A mother and a wife. Has been treated in the media. As it shines a bright light on why women still need to honour and deliver on this.”

JANE EVANS, PARENTING EXPERT KNOWN AS THE LASTING LIFE COACH

 


Anino Emuwa“IWD 2020 is about celebrating achievements since the UN’s Beijing Declaration on advancing equality goals 25 years ago but is also about the future, about being deliberate and intentional taking actions to close the gender gap such that this decade will go down in history as pivotal moment in the drive towards equality.”

DR ANINO EMUWA, FOUNDER, AVANDIS CONSULTING

 


Ella McWilliam & Megan MorassQuite often in the media industries we find that ‘headlines’ change quickly, so if the media has stopped talking about something, it becomes old news. As female founders and supporters of female run businesses, we want to ensure gender equality never becomes ‘old news’ ; we make sure that we regularly educate our team the importance of challenging the gender pay gap, gender ‘norms’ and stereotypes plus much more. International Women’s Day is also an important time for many of our female clients, with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on their incredible work in an authentic and purpose led way. Whether that’s with our female founders such as Nc’nean’s Annabel Thomas, the first ever female-owned whisky distillery to celebrating Women In Beer through our work with Five Points.

ELLA MCWILLIAM & MEGAN MORASS, CO-FOUNDERS, FULL FAT


Kelli Lane“As a mum of two toddler girls, the day has taken on a new meaning. I see them be unapologetically themselves on their quests to learn something new each day. They remind me how important it is to be your own woman, say what’s on your mind, show raw emotion, and above all else, support one another. We ‘professional’ women can take a page from our daughters’ books. If we stop and truly look, they will show us how to create the future we want them to grow up in.”

KELLI LANE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CO:COLLECTIVE


Courtney Bowditch“I think international women’s day is a nice reminder of how far women have come in the workforce, but also how far we have to go. While, I am lucky to (and specifically chose to) work in a place that fosters the growth and potential of women, not everyone has the luxury of choosing where they work. It gives me pause to remember that we vote with our dollars and our actions. Supporting organisation that value women with our money and talents is the easiest way to ensure that progress for all women continues.”

COURTNEY BOWDITCH, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CO:COLLECTIVE


Amanda GinzburgThis day is a reminder of both how much progress women have made and how far we still have to go. The past year has been transformative as VCs reserve capital for female entrepreneurs and hedge funds demand board seats for women. New female networking clubs like Chief and The Wing create the spaces for women to connect, learn and lead. Change follows capital so we should see the impact begin to flow down through every industry. When women win, we all win and I look forward to seeing that through for all of us.

AMANDA GINZBURG, HEAD OF MARKETING, CO:COLLECTIVE


Jane Austin“I’d like to think that every day is international women’s day but, until it is, for me it’s a day to honour those on whose shoulders we stand; reflect on what more still needs to be done; and galvanize the women – and men – who must bring about the further change that will benefit us all.”

JANE AUSTIN, FOUNDER, PERSUASION COMMUNICATIONS

 


Esther Wane“I wish IWD was not needed.  I wish women had the same opportunities as men across the world and that all of humanity was treated with respect, kindness and love wherever they come from and whoever they are.  IWD is a reminder that this is not the case and inspires me to do all I can to make the most of all I have as a result of those who have paved the way for that to happen, and to work towards opening up more opportunities for girls and women across the world to learn and grow into the incredible women they deserve to become.”

ESTHER WANE, CREATIVE COACH & VOICE ACTOR


Hannah Waters“It is our collective responsibility, especially as managers and recruiters, to address, understand, and solve the disparity between the percentage of female students and the percentage of female leaders in the design industry. We must get to a place of balance, where gender, and indeed all minorities, are fairly represented. After all, variety in idea and approach is the only way to be truly innovative.

HANNAH WATERS, ART DIRECTOR, ARMADILLO

 


Becky Howell“International Women’s Day to me is a reminder of all the powerful, courageous, strong women who help give a voice to others. We need to encourage and stand up for each other to be the movement that creates equality in a world that is still divided.”

BECKY HOWELL, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, ARMADILLO

 


Nikki Ellison“For me, International Woman’s Day is an opportunity to remember just how important it is for women to support and champion other women. Over the last year, I’ve been mentoring with Kerning the Gap, an initiative that champions women into leadership and entrepreneurial roles in the creative sector, and I can’t express how rewarding it’s been to be part of this conversation.

NIKKI ELLISON, CEO, LOOM DIGITAL

 


Khyati Sundaram“Having grown up in India for the most part, International Women’s Day meant a platform to stand-up to the patriarchal backlash that was very much baked in society. IWD became synonymous with the courageous women carrying a torch for us little girls to become creatively and economical independent. For many around me it was a day where we could openly talk taboos and dream of life to be. Fast forward 20 years and IWD has taken a new meaning for me in the Western world. We need to go above and beyond one single day that celebrates women and while it is not entirely binary, sometimes focusing on this one day can run the risk of a restricting a lot of the conversations around the topic which precisely contradicts what it meant to me as young girl.”

KHYATI SUNDARAM, CEO, APPLIED


Henrietta Cheung“Coming together around the globe to celebrate the strength of womanhood and reflect on all we have achieved is a wonderful thing. But let’s not just do that once a year. We need to do it every day to reach true equality and recognition. We must do this for all the little girls out there who, rightly, believe they can, and will, achieve just as much as their male counterparts.”

HENRIETTA CHEUNG, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, CLARITY

 


Sannah Rogers“I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing, accomplished and inspiring women (and girls) every day. Amongst others, my sister – Philippa Rogers – who retrained last year and set up her own business at 45 (www.pjr-interiors.com). Also, Zenith’s CEO – Nat Cummins – who blends work with life and can face down any challenge thrown her way (stolen cars included!). Finally, my 4 year old daughter – Esme – who is bursting with ambition and positivity. IWD is a reminder for me that we’re all different and we’re all doing our best – whether you’re starting again, at the top of your game, or green to what lies ahead.”

SANNAH ROGERS, UK MANAGING DIRECTOR, ZENITH


Elaine Roche“For me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity for my team and I to celebrate the many different hats worn by women in business: the working professional, the mentor, the leader, the mum, the carer, and the partner. It’s also a chance to remember that not all women share the same privileges in work that we do: my team and I are lucky enough to be part of a workplace with amazing female role models in all levels of the business, and where equality is always top of the corporate agenda. My wish for my 6 year old daughter is that by the time she is my age, she will only know a world where all women are treated equally in the workplace and outside of it, regardless of where in the world they may live.”

ELAINE ROCHE, HEAD OF CUSTOMER SUCCESS, WOLTERS KLUWER TAX AND ACCOUNTING UK


“International Women’s Day, to me, is an incredible opportunity for women to lift each other up. We can use the privileges we have in service of our sisters who lack them. For example, a few years ago, I was speaking on a panel, and the White panellist gave up her seat for a Black woman in the audience. It’s stuck in my mind because it was both so simple, and such a powerful example. I hope that while we celebrate IWD, we remember that we have that option every day: we can choose to rise together.”

AUBREY BLANCHE, GLOBAL HEAD OF EQUITABLE DESIGN & IMPACT, CULTURE AMP


Tara McGeehan“I think it’s important to celebrate diversity every opportunity you get. While I’ve never experienced any disadvantage as a woman in the tech sector, I firmly believe there’s no valid reason why there should not be a 50-50 gender split. In fact, historically the tech sector was gender diverse, and up until the 1950s, well before the rise of gaming led to stronger male interest in tech it was the norm that women did computing. It’s an intellectual industry, so it has never made sense to me that there weren’t more women in it. While I do think we should be looking at ways to increase diversity every day, whether that’s gender diversity, or class, race or ability, having these set days, like International Women’s day, also has its uses. It’s a way of focussing minds to reflect on successes and look for areas of improvement, creating a supportive environment for people to step forward and share their experiences and ideas to help create a better future.”

TARA MCGEEHAN, PRESIDENT OF CGI UK AND AUSTRALIA OPERATIONS


Cyndi McLeod“For me, the importance of International Women’s Day grows every year, as it’s becoming more of an occasion to celebrate and recognise the achievements of women around the world. It is also empowering younger generations, so that they can become real agents of change for future society.”

CYNDI MCLEOD, CEO OF GLOBAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS CANADA

 


Mary RossOn this 2020 International Women’s Day (#EachforEqual), I celebrate that women are connected by many threads of common purpose across our borders, cultures and ethnicities, with none stronger than our capacity to use kindness to inspire and serve humanity.

MARY ROSS, REGISTRAR AT UNIVERSITY CANADA WEST

 


Monique Malcolm Hay“I always look forward to International Women’s Day as it’s great to celebrate the achievements of phenomenal women who make significant contributions to society and the economy. As a facilitator of self-promotion workshops, I would love to see more women spending a bit more time talking about themselves, promoting themselves and receiving the recognition they deserve.”

MONIQUE MALCOLM-HAY, SENIOR CONSULTANT, PWC

 


Neeha Khurana“International Women’s Day (IWD) is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the world and to inspire and open the minds of girls and young women to what is possible. It is also a welcome spotlight on the work that still needs to be done to ensure the social and economic progression of women in work and in our communities. But it isn’t only about women. Equality, inclusion and belonging must sit at the forefront of IWD as we strive to build engaging and safe environments for all – creating a movement and taking personal accountability for the behaviours that we demonstrate every day. This is about society as a whole – everyone taking shared responsibility in driving change – and an opportunity to celebrate the diversity in all of us, both on 8th March and always.”

NEEHA KHURANA, SVP, HEAD OF CULTURE & TALENT, FINASTRA


Laura Strangeway“International Women’s Day is a day of recognising professional women across all sectors. The Senior Management Team at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is predominantly female, which is a celebration of which we are immensely proud. In a predominantly male industry, it is great to see strong, professional, strategic women succeeding in the heritage railway sector. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway actively encourages boundaries to be broken through development, succession planning and forward thinking. This approach across all departments enables the railway to look to the future and ensure it is sustainable for future years.”

LAURA STRANGEWAY, HEAD OF MARKETING, NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY


Andrea Bull“International Women’s Day is a fantastic time to highlight the incredible opportunities there are for women in manufacturing and engineering. It is essential that we celebrate women in the sector and the important role they have in the industry.”

ANDREA BULL, HEAD OF NEXT GENERATION MARKETING, MAKE UK

 


Fiona McGarry“At Make UK, International Women’s Day is another opportunity to celebrate our incredible female apprentices, and raise the profile of women who are completing apprenticeships in what are still predominantly male environments, and inspire young females into engineering.”

FIONA MCGARRY, ENGAGEMENT MANAGER, MAKE UK

 


Lauren Ashleigh Dale“IWD is important to me as it’s a day dedicated to honouring the achievements of women throughout history and all across the world! It’s also a day where women from all walks of life get to stand together in solidarity. It is important to take time to reflect on how far women have come!”

LAUREN ASHLEIGH DALE, MARKETING MANAGER, THE CRYSTAL MAZE LIVE EXPERIENCE

 


Sema-Tezel Basbug“I was brought up in a female dominated environment and learnt how to get what you wanted by working very hard and advocate for equality for all not some. International Women’s Day makes me realise how lucky I am to be a woman and appreciate the life I’m living today.”

SEMA-TEZEL BASBUG, SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER, MEDIA10 GROUP

 


Hannah Whiting“International Women’s Day to me, means change, recognition and pride. Change in the archaic views of how our lives should be defined, recognition of the incredible women before us that paved the way and most of all pride, pride in ourselves and our ferocious gender.”

HANNAH WHITING, MARKETING & EVENTS EXECUTIVE, LOVEBRUM

 


Rebecca Simkiss“International Women’s Day to me is an opportunity to really shine a light, showcase and celebrate the amazing personal and professional developments of women, and an opportunity to inspire future generations with the knowledge that they can achieve anything and everything they want to in life with hard work, determination and tenacity.”

REBECCA SIMKISS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SIMKISSGUY RECRUITMENT LTD & VICE CHAIR AND TRUSTEE OF LOVEBRUM


Chantal Hughes“To me International Women’s Day is a very important date in the diary.  It’s an opportunity to recognise the incredible contributions of women and how they have contributed towards transforming our world globally.  Even though its 2020, there are still areas of the world where the rights of women and girls are not recognised and I believe we need to use our voices to effect change. As the CEO of a domestic abuse charity, The Hampton Trust, I continuously see strong women overcoming all forms of abuse and trauma. I work with many inspirational women daily, and am constantly inspired by their personal and professional achievements.”

CHANTAL HUGHES, CEO, THE HAMPTON TRUST


Sunny Bird“International Women’s Day inspires me as it’s a celebration of everything women stand for. At the Perfect Dress Company our brand ethos is all about empowering women to feel beautiful and confident so that they can take on the world. The theme of IWD this year is #eachforequal which motivates me to continue my mission to create a new space in the fashion industry which caters for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. I want women to be equally represented in the fashion industry, which is why we are the first brand in the UK to use a model of every size on our website and have designed the dresses based on real women’s body shapes. Fashion can be a powerful tool for transforming the way women feel about themselves, therefore I believe fashion should be made to fit women, not the other way around.”

SUNNY BIRD, FOUNDER OF THE PERFECT DRESS COMPANY


Oxana YanushkovskayaI was raised in the Soviet Union, where International Women’s Day became a kind of alternative to Mother’s Day or Valentine’s day. All women were receiving flowers and presents from co-workers and family members. It was an incredibly powerful celebration, a hymn to feminine unstoppable energy and women’s union! While we live in a new era, March 8th remains extremely important for me. It marks a different perspective to me. It’s time to recognise the incredible achievements and significance of women around the world. It’s the time to protest against discrimination, inequities in opportunities, education and rights. Last but not least it is a day to reflect on how we can make future progress and what your contribution can be to make the world a happier place to live in.” 

OXANA YANUSHKOVSKAYA, CEO & FOUNDER, PEPPER SQ.


“As a thirty-something woman in advertising, I find myself slap bang in the middle of two generations of females. The older had a much tougher time to get to where they are today without role models to follow, but they have paved the way for the rest of us. And the younger, just entering the industry, see strong female leadership all around them. They are a generation that is lucky enough not to face the same barriers into advertising, yet still undoubtedly identify areas where there needs to be more progress. For me, International Women’s Day is about reflecting on everyone – on how far we’ve come and on how far we still have to go. And, importantly, about how we work together to get there – building on what has been done and what we have learnt. Always with the view to continuing to pave the way for those who come next.”

EMILY SCOVELL, HEAD OF PLANNING, MINDSHARE


Sharniya Ferdinand“To me, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on and acknowledge the ‘Sheroes’ of the past while also recognising and celebrating the role models of today and the rising stars of the future. Celebrating IWD means we can all come together, learn from and be inspired by each other while using our collective knowledge, experience and voices to continue to strive for further progress. Hearing about all of the amazing things that are being done to bring us closer to becoming an equal society gives me hope that one day we will achieve true gender equality! #EachforEqual”

SHARNIYA FERDINAND, BUSINESS INCLUSION PROGRAMME MANAGER, NATWEST


Anna Dalziel“Days like today remind me that to reshape the world we live in, we have to take action to make a difference. That’s what inspired me to create the 40 Over Forty platform, so I can champion others and share their stories. Let’s make change happen!”

ANNA DALZIEL, DIRECTOR OF BRAND, UK & GLOBAL, MOMENTUM WORLDWIDE

 


Emma Roberts“For me the day is a reminder of how fortunate I am – to be a woman in this time, and in this place, and for the opportunities I have been given; even one generation ago my role would have been an exception and 2 generations ago a near impossibility. It’s also a reminder that for many women in different situations and different places these opportunities are still an impossibility and global equality still needs to be fought for before we can rest.”

EMMA ROBERTSON, CEO, ENGINE TRANSFORMATION


Jayne Cox“In the last few years IWD has grown in meaning to me and now symbolises the potential that lies within us all, at any age. I have never defined myself by age and I’m not sure what I am supposed to feel like or how I am supposed to be. My philosophy in life is quite simple, I want to get out of bed to do what I love and feel passionate about, and yes, make a difference. So, at the age of 50 I was fortunate enough to start an entrepreneurial business adventure with my husband – Fusion Spaces – a wellbeing technology business.”

JAYNE COX, CO-FOUNDER & WELLBEING CONSULTANT, FUSION SPACES


Sarah Callender“Although the government agenda aimed to have one third of all boards made up of women by 2020, it’s a sad fact that this number is currently trailing behind. Even where the number appears to be growing, in a lot of cases, this has become a tick box exercise, as opposed to really looking at the development of female leaders and their potential valuable contribution to business growth. I’m lucky enough to work with amazing women on elevating their leadership impact, helping them to create lasting personal and professional change. For me, International Women’s Day is simply a reminder to reflect on the outstanding achievements made by women in the UK and the rest of the world. Although there’s still a long road ahead, it’s so important to celebrate the influence of women on our future generations, pushing boundaries and breaking that glass ceiling.”

SARAH CALLENDER, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, DUO GLOBAL CONSULTING


Monica Copil“For me, coming from an Eastern European country in which we celebrate this day in style, it is an occasion to show that women are appreciated and valued by their loved ones and are given the appreciation that they actually deserve to receive every day.  This day holds dear memories from my childhood when we used to prepare presents for our mothers and give flowers to our teachers as a token of appreciation. International Women’s Day is a celebration of the progress we have made and continue to make, in order to create a balanced world where there is inclusivity and gender equality.”

MONICA COPIL, HEAD OF RESOURCES, LONDON COLLEGE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS (LCCA)


Cara de Lange“International Women’s Day means a day we can celebrate ourselves and learn to take greater care of ourselves . International Women’s Day means we are being kinder to ourselves and each other. It means we are helping each other more than ever before. When we are rested and balanced this is when we are at our best and can create amazing change in the world which is for greater good.”

CARA DE LANGE, BURNOUT EXPERT, SPEAKER, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF SOFTER SUCCESS


Imogen Bourke“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to bring attention and urgency to the grave injustices women still face daily, and to be inspired by the courage, tenacity, strength, humour and flair of my sisters who challenge the status quo, and make women’s lives as big, bold, wonderful and safe as they deserve to be.”

IMOGEN BURKE, HEAD OF STRATEGY, PHD HONG KONG

 


Karine Courtemanche“Today, I want to celebrate women I work with whose creativity and unique outlook on the world have inspired me throughout my career. I also want to further my commitment as a female CEO to empower and inspire future female leaders. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to be reminded that not all women are in a position where the only limit is one’s ability to dream. We must celebrate the victories made so far, and stay aware that there still is a long way to go.”

KARINE COURTEMANCHE, CEO, PHD CANADA


Sandra Sotelo“In the advertising sector, STEAM skills (science, tech, engineering, arts & maths) are more necessary than ever and a lack of knowledge or experience in these areas can become a barrier for women looking to enter the industry – or even those within it. Therefore, International Women’s Day reminds me to continue encouraging new generations to study these subjects and to cultivate their passion for creativity and innovation.”

SANDRA SOTELO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PHD SPAIN


Eileen OoiInternational Women’s Day for me is a commemoration to remember and recognize all the women who have played a part in shaping me into who I am today, and the future women who I am able to inspire and influence to be the next generation game changers.”

EILEEN OOI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PHD MALAYSIA

 


Nikki Grafton“IWD is an opportunity to celebrate women’s strength and determination.  I think it is also an opportunity to remember that gender equality is everyone’s right. On IWD I will reflect on the strong female role models I am lucky to have had through-out my life, my 94 year-old grandmother who emigrated to a foreign land, didn’t speak the local language and built a successful business from nothing, my parents who championed gender equality and instilled in me resilience and self-belief and then the strong women I am lucky enough to work alongside every day.  All of us are unique and make a contribution that is valued and important.”

NIKKI GRAFTON, CEO, PHD NEW ZEALAND


Gemma Teeling“International Women’s Day always gives me a natural time for reflection; on my own career and experiences but also to stop and think about the progress and initiatives we’ve driven in our own company and what we want to do in the future. In the advertising industry in Ireland it is always a really interesting and inspiring time of year as our industry body IAPI pulls together panels and speakers to trigger prompt us all into thinking about how we can make meaningful change in our agencies, with actions rather than just aspirations. This year I returned from maternity leave into a new role of Managing Director and the day and surrounding content will give me the space to think about how I want to conduct myself in the year ahead to make a difference for those coming up behind me.”

GEMMA TEELING, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PHD IRELAND


Lucy Formosa Morgan“For me, International Women’s Day is about taking a moment to hit pause and dedicate some uninterrupted time to appreciate women everywhere who stand up for what they believe in, drive change and are making a genuine difference to the world around them. By recognising the amazing achievements that women are making across all walks of life, we can help move the conversations away from quotas and focus instead on inspiring and uniting others to continue paving the way for future generations.”

LUCY FORMOSA MORGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PHD AUSTRALIA


Stacy DeRiso“In the advertising and media industry, we have the privilege and responsibility to impact and shape culture. We need more women to rally and support, for those of us currently in the industry and for those who will follow in our footsteps.”

STACY DERISO, CHIEF CLIENT OFFICER, PHD US

 


Stephanie Douglas“Research consistently shows that the scarcity of female role models plays a major part in the persistence of gender stereotypes of leadership styles. It’s hard to draw inspiration if you never see strong role models or hear what they have to say – so for me, the power of International Women’s Day is in the choir of amazing female voices. I see it as an annual inspiration session, whereby we get to elevate the voices of women in all professions, to recognise the sheer number of women doing incredible things, to hear their stories and to draw personal inspiration to drive us forward and see a powerful future for ourselves.”

STEPHANIE DOUGLAS-NEAL, GENERAL MANAGER, PHD SYDNEY


Laura Quigley“Let’s face it, women’s strength, determination and ability to overcome is something that should be celebrated every day. However, International Women’s Day gives us the perfect opportunity to not only step back and reflect on how far we’ve come, thanks to the bravery and resolution of those who led the way before us, but it also highlights the need to stand together in solidarity and continue to strive for equality in every domain, whether that be in the workplace, the home, the classroom, or throughout the global community. Progression is key, and I’m excited to work in an industry that honours female achievements and enables my team, which includes both strong women and men, to be at the forefront of change.”

LAURA QUIGLEY, MANAGING PARTNER, CAB CAMPAIGN


Debbie Chism“Every year, IWD is a time to reflect on what women have achieved, both as individuals and as a collective. I was proud to successfully represent the wife in a leading divorce settlement case (reported as XW v XH). Its outcome highlights the importance of gender equality in family law, and why this shouldn’t be compromised by financial discrimination. It was only as recently as 2001 that women in domestic roles were granted financial equality in divorce; before then, a settlement was created to meet their economic “needs”. Now, it is the law that sharing marital wealth is the starting point for all, making domestic and financial contributions to the marriage equally valuable, as re-emphasised by the XW v XH case. I was privileged to be able to champion this important principle for women’s rights. As Michelle Obama said, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back.” 

DEBBIE CHISM, PARTNER, STEWARTS


Natalie Trice2020 is allow about equality and this is something I am very passionate about. As the mother of two sons we often talk about the need for equality and it’s something that they are very aware of and this gives me hope that things are changing for future generations. I do feel however that there are still big steps that we need to take when it comes to the gender pay gap, flexible working and women in leadership and events like IWD are the chance to not only celebrate progress, but also ensure these issues are on the table and being discussed. I work with some amazing women and together I know that we are stronger and that one day equality for all will exist.”

NATALIE TRICE, AUTHOR & PR CONSULTANT, WWW.PR-SCHOOL.CO.UK


Ruth KudziInternational Women’s Day is a special day for me as it always inspires me to strive to do more, last year on International Women’s Day we launched an event that I did with two of my friends and fellow coaches all about women supporting women and I feel that it started a different conversation and movement both in our businesses and in the wider online community. For me it will always be a reminder that we are stronger together and if we want change we need to change together.

RUTH KUDZI, AUTHOR, COACH & MENTOR


Lucy Strang“Although I have read about International Women’s Day before, I’m adding my voice for the first time this year, after Savanta recently held an amazing tie up with The Women’s Association. What particularly inspired me was the bravery of some of the women who came forward to speak about what being a woman in business means to them, and the challenges they’ve faced during their career. Some spoke up about being women in traditionally male professions, such as tech, some talked of awful experiences in previous jobs and some talked about being accused of not using so-called ‘female skills’. Holding events like these are small steps, but we need to continue to take them, and praise people who speak up. Things won’t improve unless we continue to raise our voices, come together as women but also include our male colleagues in the conversation.”

LUCY STRANG, GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, SAVANTA


George Keenan“Equality and fairness means everything to me, so the opportunity to celebrate with women on a global scale on International Women’s Day is truly inspiring and a reflection of how far we have come. However this day also highlights there is so much more needed to reach gender equality across all industries. This is a day of celebration though so much more than that, also a focus to keep on advocating the importance and advancement of women in business.”

GEORGE KEENAN, HR DIRECTOR, SAVANTA


Katie Arnstein“International Women’s Day is a celebration of each and every female identifying person. It rejoices in how far we have come in terms of women’s rights and reminds us how far we have still got to go in the quest for equality. It is a great big “I see you” to women all over the world. There is something magic about the shared experience of being a woman and the sisterhood, but the oppression of it is one of the things that drives me to create my work and use my voice to shine a light on injustice and inequality. My show Sexy Lamp, which is touring the UK this year, discusses power, opportunity and prejudice from the point of view of an optimistic young woman faced with sexism and misogyny in the acting industry.”

KATIE ARNSTEIN, ACTOR


Joanne Warner“While equality should be, and increasingly is, on the agenda all year round for businesses, awareness days like International Women’s Day give us an important opportunity to reflect on how we can make the workplace as equal as possible in all respects. There is no doubt that businesses need diversity to thrive – in STEM industries there is more equality than there has ever been, with many tech companies placing increased emphasis on hiring women in senior roles. However, it is vital that the workplace also adapts to accommodate the working needs of different groups. There are numerous ways this can be done, for example having the technology and systems in place to allow employees to work flexible hours, from any location, or by having a relaxed dress code. It was only after I had my second child that I felt that my gender was at the heart of an issue at work. Some of my management and colleagues thought that my commitment and motivations within the workplace had changed. But this only made me even more determined to prove that work ethic is not defined by gender or children. For women looking to enter the STEM industry, my biggest piece of advice is to be comfortable with who you are. You will always come across people with differing values and opinions, but you need to make decisions and be willing to change and adapt if necessary.”

JOANNE WARNER, HEAD OF CUSTOMER SERVICE, NATTERBOX


Sarah Douglas“As sadly one in four young women are now found to be struggling with mental health issues, I think of IWD as a moment of fasting. Fasting from the lies of imagined have-it-all perfection which permeates our world today and instead reflecting on what more we need to do to build kindness and just the right amount of rebellion in all our young people that they may be emboldened and unafraid to choose the road less travelled and do it their way.”

SARAH DOUGLAS, CEO, AMV BBDO


Anila Chowdhry“A day to acknowledge the women who fought before us and how far we have come, and to assess the changes we still need to make to take us even further, is a day worth celebrating! Through the centuries, women’s bodies and minds have been confined to the private space whilst simultaneously constantly being redefined in the public space by bodies and minds outside of ourselves. International Women’s Day reminds us that we are so powerful, we have so much to offer, and we have so much more to give. It reminds us that we have loosened the shackles and chains that confined us, and are making strides in all aspects of society. It shines a light on achievements, and empowers us to take the baton further. And it also gives us the opportunity to decide what we need to do now, men included, to create an equal society for all.”

ANILA CHOWDHRY, PRESENTER & PRODUCER


Sarah-Jane-Butler“For me, IWD represents the strive for independence and equality for women, giving girls (and my daughters in particular) something to aspire to.  Having a day of focus for women empowers us all to know that we can create a unique path in life, own our decisions and live the way which suits us, wherever we are on our journey.”

SARAH-JANE BUTLER, CEO & FOUNDER, PARENTAL CHOICE

 


Deborah Thomas“International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the achievements of women. First observed in 1911, it has since evolved to recognise women who have supported families, embarked on careers, led innovation and changed the world for the better with a focus on understanding their journeys and unique challenges. I think it is a crucial point in the year to refocus the global conversation, and to renew the charge for advocating and action, as we still have some way to go before achieving equality. I believe more than ever, we need to be vocal about our support for other women and hold the door open for others, whilst also encouraging men to step up as vocal advocates for equality. It’s also a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of women and set tangible goals to increase women’s representation and success in society.”

DEBORAH THOMAS, DIRECTOR, AUDELISS EXECUTIVE SEARCH


Dovile Dalele“International Women’s day is a time to reflect on all that women experience, change and continue to influence. We have come a long way in recognising the imbalance of female leadership in tech. There are finally visible female leaders and companies are seeing the value of having more women in leadership positions. Rebecca Solnit puts it perfectly when talking about women’s challenge to influence change. “Feminism is an endeavour to change something very old, widespread, and deeply rooted in many, perhaps most, cultures around the world”. Taking this into account, we must influence change by finding our voices, speaking up and participating. Only by doing this can we address these imbalances. Ultimately by redefining who is heard and who speaks, we redefine the society we live in.”

DOVILE DALELE, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, 360LEADERS


Rachel Pendered“When International Women’s Day comes around, as a female business owner, it always makes me reflect on where we are and where we are going. I am so pleased to see that In the last year alone we have seen huge positive steps for female entrepreneurs with the release of the Government’s Rose Review. Alison Rose has gone on to take the helm at RBS and has announced they are making £1bn available for female entrepreneurs. I think this is an astonishing step that we wouldn’t have seen five years ago and I salute her in what she is hoping to achieve for the UK economy. But there are still some shocking facts out there about women in business. I for one, would like to see more transparency around UK businesses and their approach to tackling gender diversity in the supply chain process. It would be great to see the Government tackling open policies to make it easier for women to work with big business so we can say “so long” to the old boy’s network once and for all.”

RACHEL PENDERED, MANAGING DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER, MEDIA ZOO


Kirree Gooberman“Having worked in traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as engineering and aerospace, I recognise the importance of opening up access to others, through increasing participation in STEM studies for girls at the early stages of their education, and growing the number of role models that young people can look up to. International Women’s Day is important in recognising that every individual counts and can make a difference. Celebrating the wins, inspiring others, being inspired and encouraging others to reach further – we can all play a role. Ensuring my daughter, and all girls, are free to dream big in pursuit of an exciting and rewarding career, regardless of the route they choose, is hugely important.”

KIRREE GOOBERMAN, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER – EXPORTS, BUSINESS ISLE OF MAN


Melissa WhitingFor me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women in all spheres of life and the progress we’ve made -women and men- toward gender equality. It’s an invitation to recognize role models and pioneers who champion efforts to achieve parity. And it’s an opportunity to raise awareness of the barriers that still exist so we can inspire men and women in government, in the business community, within not-for-profit organizations and in civil society to continue to work together to advance gender equality -not just on International Women’s Day but every day throughout the year, everywhere.”

MELISSA WHITING, VICE PRESIDENT INCLUSION & DIVERSITY, PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL (PMI)


Rachael Sansom“I see the day as a time for us to champion the role women play in the world but also celebrate the more feminine qualities and traits we have. Whether inside or outside workplace, these softer qualities and skills need to be recognized for the value they bring to doing good business. Although, for me, IWD is a constant reminder we have a long way to go in terms of progress. In fact, theWorld Economic Forum predicted it would take almost 100 years for women to be on an equal footing with men, in their latest Gender Pay Gap Report. Therefore, we should engage men to help bring awareness to gender disparities and drive change. Given many men are sitting in the c-suite level positions within organizations, there’s no question they are crucial to driving equality in the workplace. So, it’s important they’re included on this occasion and that we highlight the role they can play in creating space for women to grow and reach more senior leadership positions.”

RACHAEL SANSOM, MANAGING DIRECTOR, RED HAVAS LONDON


Kate Hancock“International Women’s Day for me is about being brave and passionate about your own talent as a woman. Keep challenging yourself, with no limitations. I trained as a nurse, and worked hard to be promoted to Sister in an ICU department in the NHS. This knowledge and background in healthcare then opened a door into the world of medtech when I was looking for my next challenge. Having worked for 3 Multinationals I am now as a Global Vice President for a pioneering medtech device  I’ve managed to transfer my skills, built on the learnings from my time in the larger corporate organisation  and am still working on my passion of having a positive impact on patients’ lives. I love developing talent of any gender but it is so rewarding to develop the younger woman on my team – sharing all my experiences and learnings.”

KATE HANCOCK, VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS, BBI (EUROPE) LTD


Nancy Rowe“Each year I like to take time to step back – to listen to different perspectives, take a moment to gauge how far we’ve come and what’s next in terms of the societal shifts that are still required to get us to true equality. Personally, I’ll by reading Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2 with my daughter to inspire her to believe her future should only be limited by her imagination and I’ll hold a typically sparring conversation with my son to challenge his view on men’s v women’s work!”

NANCY ROWE, HEAD OF INCLUSION & DIVERSITY, PUBLICIS SAPIENT


Wendy Johansson“Being a woman in tech in this fourth industrial revolution means opportunity. Opportunity to forge new paths as ways of working, means of communication, and technology itself continues to evolve. Women can work to design and develop new products and technology for other women in the world. Women can stand as role models and mentor younger women in the workforce, in a way that’s defined by women. We can leverage events like IWD to show how these women led initiatives have succeeded so others can also succeed. It’s this collective community of women in tech that will pull us all up.” 

WENDY JOHANSSON, GVP EXPERIENCE TRANSFORMATION LEAD, PUBLICIS SAPIENT


Priya Bajoria“International Women’s Day is the ideal reason for me to get together with women in my professional and personal networks and celebrate each other. It is a great occasion to learn, share, motivate and be inspired.”

PRIYA BAJORA, SVP, FINANCIAL SERVICES, PUBLICIS SAPIENT

 


Madeline Ellis“International Women’s day is something I’m proud to support but it’s part of a much bigger picture. The greatest companies in the world are the most diverse and inclusive companies. So, our goal must be to keep striving until we have genuine purpose and parity of opportunity and choice, irrespective of gender or background”

MADELEINE ELLIS, HEAD OF INSIGHT & CLIENT ENGAGEMENT, PUBLICIS SAPIENT

 


Charlie Dixon“For me, International Women’s Day should be more than just one day of applause. I’m lucky as I have the chance to collaborate daily with women from all walks of life, who inspire me to jump at every opportunity and to challenge anytime I’m unfairly made to feel that something is out of reach. We should collectively be doing more to provide a platform to all of the female talent who commit their time, expertise and energy to produce stellar work all year round, in spite of any bias that still exists.” 

CHARLIE DIXON, HEAD OF STRATEGY, MOFILM


Georgina Lord“Working in tech over the past decade has opened my eyes to the unique challenges that women face when it comes to opportunities for progress. Without doubt, I’ve put in the hard yards to get these opportunities – and I haven’t been afraid to roll up my sleeves and dig in to ensure success. But throughout my career it has been my female peers that have motivated me to keep working hard. They showed me – from when I was a fresh faced, aspiring graduate – that making it to a senior level is entirely achievable. So, for me, International Women’s Day (IWD) is important because it gives a platform to inspiring tales of achievement. Stories of enterprising women across the globe – in different sectors – who have cut a path to success. It should not be underestimated how important this is for the up and coming generation of business leaders to hear. It shows that the needle is moving, and that opportunity is increasingly determined on merit – rather than gender. It also sparks celebration. In business, generally, we are poor at celebrating personal achievements enough. IWD provides a perfect opportunity to give recognition to successful women – congratulating them on the hard work and effort that they have put in to get into the positions that they are in today. Ideally in the future we won’t need one single day. Eventually, equality of opportunity will transcend office culture and the need for 24 hours to be carved out in the calendar each year will disappear. For now, we have a little way to go. More needs to be done if gender balance is to be recognised internationally, particularly in developing countries.”

GEORGINA LORD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, RETAIL, ZEN INTERNET


Sachi Vyas“To me, International Women’s Day is about recognizing and thanking the kind, courageous, and smart women in my life for supporting, challenging, and encouraging me.  It is a reminder to women around the world to imagine the impossible and reach for greatness while being generous, acting boldly, daring to fail, and realizing that together, anything is possible.”

SACHI VYAS, MARKETING MANAGER, VERSA NETWORKS

 


Alison Shadrack“This year, the campaign #EachforEqual means an equal world is an enabled world and I love that message.  I truly believe that the more women who are enabled and empowered, the better off we will all be.  We can all play a part (big or small) in striving for women’s equality as it becomes increasingly “expected”.  I am proud and grateful that each day I get to support amazing women, business leaders, thought leaders and experts in their field.  But International Women’s Day for me is an opportunity to learn about, acknowledge and celebrate women that I don’t know personally.  It’s also wonderful to see men celebrating with us as they have much to benefit from gender parity too.”

ALISON SHADRACK, FOUNDER, ADIA PR


Rachel Morar“International Women’s Day is a key date in the calendar for both myself and MyKindaFuture. A day where we both celebrate the achievements of the women that have come before us and recognise the challenges that still lie ahead. I think it is important to focus on both. Women have made enormous strides in the last century and the life I lead today would not be possible if it weren’t for the women who have struggled, fought and won those rights we so often take for granted today. But, it’s important that we don’t become complacent; hard won rights can often be taken away and we are far from living in an equal world. There’s much to do. But when I reflect on the women I am lucky to have in my life, both professionally and personally, I know that success won’t be far away!”

RACHEL MORAR, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, MYKINDAFUTURE


Amy Cashman“As we approach International Women’s Day, the importance of storytelling and progressive marketing when it comes to the portrayal of women in advertising has never been more relevant. #EachforEqual calls for a challenge to stereotypes and some marketers will be congratulating themselves on a job well done, looking at how far they have come in reflecting and championing the role of women in modern society. But have things changed that much? A Kantar study revealed that 85% of females feel that advertising does a poor job of depicting women, while two-thirds would skip ads if they felt that they were negatively stereotyping women. Some brands have hit the mark; the ‘Like a Girl’ campaign from Always, Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, last year’s Adidas World Cup Ad and Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty or their #ShowUs project. All examples challenge traditional perceptions of women. For others, it is proving more challenging to change the narrative. Companies need to think about what progressive marketing means and not talk a good game only to fall back on lazy stereotypes. If they fail to genuinely reflect and represent women in their marketing and advertising, they risk being called out by an increasingly vocal and frustrated audience – and being left behind.”

AMY CASHMAN, CO-CEO, INSIGHTS DIVISION, KANTAR UK


Dr Venkat“This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘Each for Equal’, which is close to our hearts at Harley Street Fertility Clinic because infertility does not discriminate. I am personally passionate about helping everyone and my career has allowed me, as a female medic, to reach thousands of people who need help and care. Fertility issues affect men and women equally, regardless of ethnicity, social status, culture, religious beliefs or any other demographic. We want to emphasise the fact that no one is to blame for infertility issues and we work hard to help people overcome their issues every day. We see IWD as an opportunity to keep striving for equality for all.”

DR VENKAT, HARLEY STREET FERTILITY CLINIC


Dr Nerina Ramlakhan“For me, this day is a brilliant opportunity to remind myself to, every now and then, to find ease and softness in my body and my mind – towards myself and towards others. It’s so easy for us to say ‘be kind to yourself, give yourself a break’ but how do we do this when so many of us are juggling so many roles and responsibilities that we simply can’t relinquish? So I remind myself , in my busy day, to soften my face and jaw, to smile, to relax my belly, to spread my toes in the comfy shoes that I now allow myself to wear (no more brutal heels!) and to feel the ground supporting me. I can be both dynamic and strong and soft and receptive and this is where my power as a woman lies.”

DR NERINA RAMLAKHAN, PHYSIOLOGIST, SLEEP THERAPIST & AUTHOR, www.drnerina.com


Laura Devine“I yearn for the day when we do not have the necessity for International Women’s Day. I also encourage us not to refer to empowering woman. It implies an inequality. We don’t need to be empowered. Workplaces should offer an environment that is unquestioningly inclusive, giving every person a voice irrespective of seniority, gender or sexual origination where we encourage each other to be ourselves and individually and collectively to aim high.”

LAURA DEVINE, MANAGING PARTNER, LAURA DEVINE IMMIGRATION


Alexandra Eude“As a mother of 4, and after 20+ years working, I hope I have been able to show both my son and my 3 daughters that whatever your gender, it is possible to manage a career and a healthy family life. I have worked hard to show my girls that they can achieve whatever they aspire to be in life, even if it is tough sometimes, and my son that women treated with respect can be the best allies in life, both on a personal and professional level. If that’s the only thing I achieve while on this earth, then I will have made my very small contribution in building a better world.”

ALEXANDRA EUDE, GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, MASTERNAUT


Holly Pither“International Women’s Day conjures up mixed feelings for me. Firstly, and in a positive light, it reminds me how far we have come, but also unfortunately it also makes me reflect on how much further we still have to go to reach gender parity. I recently found out from an event put on by My Confidence Matters that The World Economic Forum estimates that we are still 108 years away from gender equality. That is crazy sad, most of all because, for me, it means that my two-year-old daughter still won’t work in a world where we reach the tipping point for equality. Over the last year I have followed my dreams and started my own PR agency, I have achieved things I never thought possible and have loved every minute. My work/ life balance (although I prefer to imagine it as a pendulum swinging back and forth) is now much more in favour of life and I am totally content that I am able to manage being a working mum, running a business, whilst being an inspiration to my daughter. IWD is a good time to sit back and reflect on our successes and consider what the future holds. I hope I can encourage other women to make the leap and begin to love their jobs again, because for me, making the leap was the best thing I have ever done.”

HOLLY PITHER, MD & FOUNDER, TRIBE PR


Tessa Mardon“On International Women’s Day, I’ll be reflecting on how proud I am to work for an agency that actively supports and promotes equality for women at all levels of the business. As a full time working mum myself, I am critically aware of the benefits this level of inclusivity provides not only to individuals, but also to the health of the business.

TESSA MARDON, HEAD OF CLIENT SERVICES, AVANTGARDE

 


Naz Bashir“I love the fact that women are supporting each other and that there is a day of recognition on women who are willing to listen to one another. This day has a special place in my heart as culturally for a mother, it is the ‘norm’ for us to stay at home, look after the children, cook, clean, wash and keep the house in working order. My children are my world and I would never compromise my kids. I hold my cultural and religious values however I have always wanted to do more for myself. I have always had a passion for skin care, beauty and that is when I decided to enrol into a course to become a skincare formulator. Whilst working full time, still doing all the chores in the house and still looking after my children after school. I never gave up on my dreams as I was surrounded by strong women who also had the same dream as me. I would like to always remain humble and remember where I started from. I love to help others who felt the same as I did and encourage them in their journey or dreams! It’s time to get recognised for all the hard work and good luck to all those strong women who never give up!”

NAZ BASHIR, FORMULATOR & FOUNDER OF SOLO SKIN LONDON


Esme Rice“International Women’s Day marks an opportunity for us all to reflect on the steps those before us have taken, to open the doors that we now walk through. There is still so much further to go as we create spaces for all women across our companies. From trans women’s rights to improving educational opportunities and balancing representation at all levels of business, I use this day to reflect on how much further we have to go to ensure equal opportunity for all.”

ESME RICE, MARKETING DIRECTOR, TAILIFY


Louise Robertson“International Women’s Day is a fitting time to reflect on the progress made, both for and by women in recent years.  However, despite the remarkable advances made, there is still such a way to go to ensure gender equality for all women and girls. Today serves as a poignant reminder to continue striving for more. The actions we all take today will ensure a better future for women and girls everywhere.”

LOUISE ROBERTSON, CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER, TAILIFY


Wendy Martin“We’ve made great steps towards gender equality in the UK, but when it comes to securing equal pay and ending the vitriol and abuse hurled at women in the spotlight, there remain fundamental challenges for women, both at home and in other parts of the world. Throughout my career, I have experienced first-hand the progress of women’s rights in the workplace. When I started in the advertising industry over 20 years ago, 90% of senior positions were held by men. The few women in leadership roles tended to feel pressure to act like pseudo-male ball-breakers.  Unfortunately, Mad Men was scarily familiar. And I shudder to think of the pay gap back then. Today the workplace is very different.  Our own team has as many women as men in senior positions, and zero pay gap. We’ve also built work-family life balance into our ethos. These aren’t political tick-box decisions. It’s a deliberate approach that’s led us to attract and retain exceptional talent. Not every company in my industry is there yet, but encouragingly more and more are. So, we must keep speaking out, keep campaigning, keep holding the ladder out for younger women coming up. Small steps lead to huge progress.”

WENDY MARTIN, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, REED WORDS


Caroline Dilloway“Both personally and professionally, I’m inspired every day by the great women in my life. I love that the drive for gender equality and championing women and their achievements is gaining momentum. International Women’s Day is shining a light on the stories of so many amazing women who have changed the course of history and shaped our lives but without attribution or celebration. A dedicated day is a great start but it’s clearly not enough in isolation – it must become more than just a single day. Proof of its success must be seen in a genuine change in mindset and behaviour, across the world.”

CAROLINE DILLOWAY, CLIENT SERVICE DIRECTOR, STORMBRANDS


Bahar Shahidi“IWD is an important day for raising awareness and visibility of the global conversation around gender equality and women’s achievements – what we learn is not forgotten after the 24 hours are up. We need to use the conversation to motivate and mobilise, so we can carry that knowledge and inspiration into making every other day of the year better for women.”

BAHAR SHAHIDI, STRATEGIST, STUDIO OUTPUT

 


Rowena Curlewis“March 8th is growing in significance every year, marking a day where we stop and think about where we are – and where we need to be – as women. The #MeToo movement has helped shine a brighter light on the under-representation of women in key decision-making roles in government and business across the world. Last year our (female owned and run) drinks design business took action by designing a wine brand “Hear Me Roar”. In the wine industry, more than 50% of graduates are women, yet fewer than 10% remain in the industry after 10 years. The reasons why are many, each one of them concerning. The profits of Hear Me Roar went to a program run to assist women to flourish in this male-dominated industry. Every little bit that every individual can do, will surely help change things for ourselves and, importantly, the next generation.”

ROWENA CURLEWIS, CEO, DENOMINATION


Claire Blyth“International Women’s Day is important as it gives women around the world a focus to celebrate and support each other, however it shouldn’t exclude men. I’ve just set up the Brighton chapter of Jessica Walsh’s ‘Ladies, Wine & Design’ with three other creatives in Brighton – it was an idea that was sparked on IWD 2019! It’s one of 280 groups worldwide that brings together women in design, but the Brighton chapter is the first in the world to explicitly include and invite all genders. Equality can only be achieved by discussing the problem openly with everyone.”

CLAIRE BLYTH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, RED SETTER


Vicky Lopez“International Women’s Day each year is a reminder for me of the work we must do as women to support each other and find our place in industries traditionally dominated by men. I believe we need to always be looking to help other women. The more we focus on creating an equal environment for both genders the quicker the working world will balance.”

VICKY LOPEZ, FOUNDER &  DIRECTOR, DE-ICE

 


Victoria Day“International Women’s Day acts as an annual reminder of the rights and opportunities women have achieved throughout history, but also that sadly there is still a long way to go. There is still much to be done before women, both in the UK and around the world have equal rights, pay, opportunities and lives. Until we gain that equality, each one of us needs to hold ourselves to account and ensure that we are making every difference we can; in the way we treat others, the way we run our businesses, and the way we raise our children. Talk is cheap, action is what’s needed, and we all have a crucial role to play in creating change.”

VICTORIA DAY, HEAD OF ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT, OGILVY UK


Jane Asscher“International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to applaud those who are championing the cause. As the co-founder and CEO of a purpose led creative agency in a male dominated industry, IWD means a lot to me professionally and personally as a mum of two daughters and a feminist son. This year’s focus on ‘enabling’ is really timely; we all need  to work hard to convert awareness into action. In the advertising industry, we still have a long way to go to diversify the work force and those of us in a privileged position have a duty to extend the ladder down and enable and encourage women from all backgrounds to step up.”

JANE ASSCHER, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, 23RED


Sarah Glover“Yes, I could tell you the one about how I went from being a creative director among many female creative directors in NYC to being a senior copywriter in London below younger, less experienced male leaders. Yes, I have stories. But something tells me that having a chip on my shoulder, working twice as hard or talking more in meetings to prove myself doesn’t actually inspire all these amazing female creatives just getting into the industry. Honestly, I welcome their enthusiasm and passion with open arms. It’s time to usher in a new diverse generation. I’m desperate to talk about something else!”

SARAH GLOVER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAGAS DELANEY


Mira Woods“International Women’s Day is a day to shout about the incredible achievements of women across all sectors – especially with the rise of women on boards and in executive management roles. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for technology companies! Women’s skillsets are what we need to improve the future of technology, and getting more women involved in the R&D community is a vital next step.”

MIRA WOODS, MARKETING EXECUTIVE, APSTRA


Katherine Ramo“As a global Technology & Media Lawyer and Disability Advocate, the annual IWD celebration is a clarion call for hope, action and transformation. In 2020, with a decade left to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, #EachforEqual’s clarion call continues to feed and regenerate our global collective unstoppable movement for equality in every aspect of the lives we lead. We vigorously progress our equality in leaps and bounds irrespective of our age, origin, colour, religion, disability and/or sexual orientation. We are women of difference who are making a difference demolishing archaic stereotypes and eradicating prejudices. We are women on a mission for a meaningful lasting change. We are #EachforEqual.”

KATHERINE RAMO, TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA LAWYER; CMS FOUNDER & CHAIR, CMS ENABLE (DISABILITIES & WELLBEING) NETWORK


Dr Jane Leonard“International woman’s day to me represents women supporting women. Celebrating their success and supporting them in challenges and failures. No – one can do anything alone. Close-nit support and support from the wider social community can mean the difference between a woman feeling alone and giving up or learning and challenging themselves further to reach their goals.”

DR JANE LEONARD, DRJANELEONARD.CO.UK

 


Kari Lindsey“International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate the tenacity and intelligence of our female pioneers globally and this can truly be found in healthcare and medicine.  It’s important to show how far we have come by regrouping and taking stock of progress, a part of our journey to advancement.”

KARI LINDSEY, DEPUTY CEO & EVP CLINICAL OPERATIONS, ONEWELBECK

 


Charlie Smith“Until recently, women made up just 17% of leadership roles in the creative industries. So, you’d be forgiven for assuming that I, the creative director of Charlie Smith Design am a man. I’ve faced the situation more than a few times in my career. It’s always been met with pleasant surprise, but surprise all the same, which speaks volumes about expected gender roles at the senior level. For as long as assumptions like this exist, there will be a need for International Women’s Day to help raise the issue of equality. My own business is 80% women, and this works brilliantly for us. The day gives me a moment to reflect my own achievements as a female woman leader in the design industry and is an important reminder for other businesses about the equality they need to aspire to.”

CHARLIE SMITH, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CHARLIE SMITH DESIGN


Dr Qian Xu“Women are naturally giving and nurturing, and often our hard work go on unnoticed or unacknowledged, whether it’s at home or at work. It’s not about taking the credit, but it’s about feeling like we are making a difference and doing something worthwhile, so we can do more of it. Let us take this opportunity to feel grateful for what we already have, and to remind ourselves that we possess the power to make this world a better place for us and the future generations.”

DR QIAN XU, FOUNDER AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SKIN AESTHETICS


AMANDA MURPHY“This year’s International Women’s Day theme really resonates with me. We all have an important part to play in creating an equal playing field so that everyone can get benefit from a better, more enabled society. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been focused on creating a more diverse leadership team because this will ultimately enable us to deliver the very best financial solutions and advice for our customers. There’s more to do but I’m delighted with how far we’ve come.”

AMANDA MURPHY, HEAD OF COMMERCIAL BANKING, HSBC UK


Ruth House“International Women’s Day is a day of reflection for me, reflection on how much we’ve accomplished and how far we have yet to go to achieve gender equality and universal respect for human rights. It is the pinnacle of [email protected] annual commitment to empowering women throughout their career. This great initiative enables us to have a larger platform to share inspirational stories, hear from motivational speakers and engage our people with relevant training across the agency. Additionally, members of the group provide time and resources to help women’s charities that normally wouldn’t have access to media and communications advice. As women, it’s about our unity and how we live and celebrate our lives. I’m extremely proud that Wavemaker is a workplace that embraces diversity and champions the empowerment of women.”

RUTH HOUSE, STRATEGY LEAD, WAVEMAKER UK


I have been attending International Woman’s Day events since before I started working, and have found them fun, inspiring, thought provoking and a confidence builder. They have encouraged me in two main ways: the confidence to ask what I need to feel fulfilled and valued at work and also to not shy away from pursuing a line of work that I find interesting just because there is a lack of females working in the area.

PRIYA MINHA, RESEARCH MANAGER, OPINIUM


Jo Timmermann“What encourages me about IWD, is the stories that come to light. The showcasing of the great achievements women are making in all sorts of fields, whilst highlighting the juggling lives they often lead whilst doing so.”

JOANNA TIMMERMANN, HEAD OF CREATIVE, CONTENT & INTEGRATION, BABEL

 


Jessica Gibb“International Women’s Day is a brilliant movement that is encouraging a groundswell of support and shining a light on Inspirational women who might not otherwise be recognised.”

JESSICA GIBB, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, ST. LUKE’S

 

 


Kathryn Blanshard“International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to pause and reflect; it provides a moment to take stock, something that easily gets lost in the day to day. On International Women’s Day, it’s important to consider the progress we’ve made on advancing female leadership in our business and celebrate that, but also to explore the next jobs to be done, not just in advancing female leadership but making our business more inclusive because we’re just getting started. This means bringing our male allies along on the journey too!

KATHRYN BLANSHARD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, C SPACE


Paola Cuneo“Every day I get to meet impressive, talented women who are joining the financial services industry. Their skills, determination and confidence are remarkable, and they give me confidence that there will be a long pipeline of top senior female leaders for the future. This is why for me, International Women’s Day is about far more than a single day, rather it is a legacy for the next 12 months and beyond. As much as I am a woman supporting women – female entrepreneurs, founders and industry leaders – I am passionate that on this day, we celebrate both the women and men who are supporting women by helping them and their businesses to reach their full potential, both in terms of securing the right investment at the right time or the best support and guidance available.”

PAOLA CUNEO, HEAD OF ADVISORS AND INVESTORS, ELITE – LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP (LSEG)


Astra Duke“International Women’s Day to me is about congratulating and recognising the hard work and great initiatives that my female colleagues and peers do every day. It’s important that there is a day for women to be recognised for their contributions and success in a company, no matter how big or small.”

ASTRA DUKE, DIRECTOR, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, EMEA, LOGICMONITOR

 


Alice Young“For me, it’s a time to take a step out of hectic schedules to read about and acknowledge all the great things people are achieving in the world every day. To ensure that everybody on my team (regardless of gender) feels that they have equal opportunities, a plan of where they want to be, and that we are helping them get there. International Women’s Day has prompted me to make sure we are constantly discussing the incredible things that are being done across the world and also locally in our office. It enables the team to learn, celebrate others’ success, and find inspiration to drive them forward.”

ALICE YOUNG, EMEA DIRECTOR, LOGICMONITOR


Nancy Smith“I see immense value in initiatives such as International Women’s Day. I have worked with highly motivated and dedicated women throughout my career, and I find that the best qualities in people really shine through when dynamic business ecosystems create opportunities for them to stretch and strengthen their capabilities.”

NANCY SMITH, CEO, ANALYTIC PARTNERS

 


Julie Petard“Marketing often acts as a mirror to society; our relentless focus on producing the best work means we must always be one step ahead of cultural change. Putting our fingers on the pulse of changes to societal norms is our imperative. Moving from France via Italy, I perhaps have a different perspective on changes in attitudes to gender in the UK. Elsewhere around the globe, it’s not uncommon to see the old world of Mad Men advertising; chauvinistic behaviour, men-first promotions, and more. This backwardness is frankly embarrassing in 2020. Encouragingly, the UK seems to be a lot different when it comes to workplace equality. We’ve just seen Unilever reach gender parity across its global leadership team. And working for Coley Porter Bell, a brand and design agency led by an inspiring woman, Vicky Bullen, and with a leadership team also of gender parity, has been inspiring for me personally. There is of course always more work to be done – here and abroad. More female senior managers and board members can help ensure a new generation of women feel empowered to lead and not apologise for doing so. I’d also like to see fewer women behave like men in top positions; we can and should be caring and loving while leading extraordinarily well. It’s heartening to see our industry come a long way since the awful days of ‘show her it’s a man’s world’ marketing tropes. Such changes we’re seeing in the UK in marketing messages are thankfully more than window-dressing. It means our industry is changing and along with it, British society at large.”

JULIE PETARD, CLIENT PARTNER, COLEY PORTER BELL


Am Golhar“International Women’s Day is almost like a celebration to show how far we as women have come to fight for Equality, Strength and Power.  It is a day we can all come together and celebrate each other…but also raise further awareness of the continued work that needs to be made Globally especially in countries where women and girls have no rights at all.”

AM GOLHAR, CREATIVE BUSINESS MEDIA STRATEGIST, WWW.AMGOLHAR.COM

 


Nevsah“I think International Women Day is an important day for women to remember who they are. I am a strong beleiver that “when a woman remembers who she is, when she is connected with her feminine divine energy, she can change the world. Women, in their nature are more connected with their soul, their essence, their creative energy than men. That is why we give birth and they dont. A woman is sacred, a woman’s body is “the temple of God”, she gives birth, creates, can connect with The Creative Power directly, without needing anyone or anything. And knowing this, remembering that power will give women the power to create whatever they want and live extraordinary lives.”

NEVSAH, A TEACHER DEDICATED TO EXPANDING HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS


Louise Hosking“IWD highlights positive stories, success and role models across the world. It promotes women and men working together to achieve work/life balance and personal potential. As a business owner, as a Health & Safety Professional and as an IOSH VP I hope I can provide a positive example for others. If you can see it, you can be it!”

LOUISE HOSKING, IOSH VICE PRESIDENT & FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, HOSKING ASSOCIATES


Rebecca Oatley“It’s important to have a day like International Women’s Day to celebrate and remember the struggles that women have endured to be considered equal in our society and best in class in our companies, in our government, in our public institutions and in our homes.  It’s a day when we can learn from their strength and recognise their achievements. Yet it’s even more important to recognise and put pressure on those countries and societies where women are still struggling against institutional bias. Remind yourself that on this day you too can make a positive change.”

REBECCA OATLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHERISH PR


Shazia Ginai“International Women’s Day for me has a real sense of celebration. It’s about everyone coming together to take a step back and realise exactly what has been accomplished so far. Women around the world have demonstrated a real drive for positive change. From scientific discoveries to feminist philanthropy initiatives, women are manifesting that the world can become a more equal and respectful place for all. But there is a lot more to be achieved and International Women’s Day marks the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and envision the future. Every woman has unlimited potential. By standing together and supporting one another, we can realise the potential of the true empowerment of sisterhood.”

SHAZIA GINAI, CEO, NEURO-INSIGHT UK


Vanita Badlani“This international woman’s day I feel privileged and grateful to be an integral part of the change towards sustainability in a highly polluting industry like  fashion -especially with LaBante London leading the way in use of new age materials like Apple Leather in its cruelty free handbags. Bringing sustainability into the fashion conversation has been a life long dream of mine and it’s amazing to see it happen- I truly believe that we as women should strive to be the very best version of ourselves on a daily basis which allows the universe to give us all the opportunities that we wanted in the first place- Breathe, Believe and let nature make it happen”

VANITA BADLANI, FOUNDER & CEO, LABANTE LONDON


Francesca Griffin“On this international women’s day I’d like to pay tribute to two special women – my mum and Bellygoodness co-founder Gail Robertson and my 91 year old grandmother Doreen. My mum’s quiet strength, kindness, courage and honour has taught me so much. She has taught me how to do the right thing above everything else and conduct myself with grace and dignity, even when faced with situations when that isn’t the easy choice. She is and will always be an inspirational woman! I’d like to also pay tribute to my 91 year old grandmother who was part of a 1960’s trade union battle for equal pay for women working in a factory where men doing the same job where paid more. She paved the way for both my hard working successful mum and myself to be independent, free thinking and hard working!”

FRANCESCA GRIFFIN, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, BELLYGOODNESS


Katherine Pearce“A must-see exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery explores the recurring visual motif of women enclosed in ornate spaces. This all-too familiar trope is especially prevalent in Victorian paintings, replete with images of entrapment where women function as powerless decorative objects. However, contemporary women artists resist and subvert this, and the exhibition reveals the complex depiction of female subjects in art up to the present day. Not all of the historic pieces are quite what they seem, but the reinterpretations directly ‘speak back’ to tradition of trapped women, particularly those created by women artists who critically engage with the legacies of Orientalism. The works are inherently alluring yet sinister, often glamorising scenes of female imprisonment and inviting us to consider the historic threads which connect us to our ancestors – social, political and gender-based. The show aims to examine and critique this obsession with the so-called ‘gilded cage’, acknowledging the tension between the beauty of these works and their problematic subject matter. As we reach International Women’s Day 2020, we may well ask ourselves if much has changed. Featuring a breath-taking variety of talent, the exhibition presents over 70 works by major artists from across three centuries – including Edward Burne-Jones, John William Waterhouse, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Lady Hawarden, Evelyn De Morgan, Maisie Broadhead, and Fiona Tan.  Painting, furniture, photography, film, sculpture, and installation interweave to dazzle the eye and provoke thought in equal measure.”

KATHERINE PEARCE, CURATOR, GUILDHALL ART GALLERY


Denise O'Leary“International Women’s Day is a day in the year to pause and celebrate, to take stock and review my journey, to offer congratulations, to be there for those struggling, to revisit how we can all support each other. I usually speak at an event, host a webinar or type my support out on my social media channels. The chance of tea and cake with friends is also willingly embraced! I provide my Introduction to Magnificent Marketing online course for free with a special code each year – giving something back, encouraging those who are just starting out on their business journey.”

DENISE O’LEARY, FOUNDER, PURPOL MARKETING


Teresa Boughey“International Women’s Day is a vital time to celebrate the achievements of women and provides a pivotal opportunity to inspire others and get everyone involved in the conversation. As a teenage mother I endured the challenges of judgmental social labels levied at me by others and, like many women, I suffered discrimination and had to fight hard to break through the glass ceiling whilst trying to maintain a good work life balance and support my family.  The words ‘you’ll never make anything of yourself’ cut deep, and in truth I still bear the scars today.  However, these words have driven me to continually improve myself professionally and I have championed diversity and equality all my working life. With targets being set by FSTE companies to balance the boardroom I made a conscious decision to be the change I wanted to see in the world. In the Autumn of 2019 I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director and find myself as the only female in the Non-Executive team despite advancements in this area.  I do also believe that its important to be an ambassador and ally for all, so for me we need to make sure we are not pitting genders against each other but we are valuing the gifts and talents that we all bring which are unique.  I’m therefore encouraged that the 2020 IWD theme is ‘each for equal’ so that we are widening the theme and getting everyone involved in creating platforms so everyone is able to succeed.”

TERESA BOUGHEY, FOUNDER, JUNGLE HR & INCLUSION247


Naomi Jane“I am proud to celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s important to me to make time to acknowledge and honour the phenomenal progress that women have consistently made in a world that was not built by or for us. As a white cis-gendered queer woman running my own business in London, I have faced a variety of challenges andI am also mindful that I have a huge amount of privilege to unpack. If your feminism isn’t intersectional – it is trash! We have a long way to go and lots of work to do to ensure globally women of all backgrounds are able to build lives they truly love, as I am. But I am 100% here for it and I really hope you are too! I look forward to spending the rest of my career helping other women tap into their limitless potential and achieve their personal & business ambitions.”

NAOMI JANE, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, A LIFE LESS ORDINARY WANTED & AFEMMERA


Aliya Vigor-Robertson“For me, International Women’s Day is about reflecting on how far we’ve come in terms of gender equality, but also acknowledging how far we still have to go. As a woman, a businessowner, and a mother, it’s important to me that everyone – not just women – considers the importance of pursuing greater equality in all aspects of life. Everyone needs to think about how they can help build a more equal, a more diverse, and a better society, and then act upon it. I’m proud to have helped so many businesses to create new ways of supporting working mothers, to revamp their hiring process to drive out any biases, and to work with amazing companies that are dedicated to championing gender equality.” 

ALIYA VIGOR-ROBERTSON, CO-FOUNDER, JOURNEYHR


Olga Andriendko“Women often define themselves through their roles – whether that be as mothers, wives or employees. Social roles however, do not alone manifest a woman’s personality, emotions or state of being. A sole focus on these roles doesn’t necessarily reflect a woman’s happiness, but only defines a value in relation to other beings. I wish for more women to be happier with themselves; only for who they are and not what they bring for others. The portrayal of women in the press, TV shows and story books across the world is very influential in accentuating messages which tell women and girls how they should act and who they should be. Unfortunately, the world is not equal yet, and we must ensure that the key message pushed to children, parents and all people is that an equal world is an enabled world. This is why I pride myself on being a leader who chooses to be surrounded by other strong, influential women. Whatever path she follows, it’s her own. To all women out there, thank you for inspiring me, for being proud of who you are, for having strength and for never giving up.”

OLGA ANDRIENKO, HEAD OF GLOBAL MARKETING, SEMRUSH

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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