It's safe to say I have been panicking somewhat (read that as enormously) about what to write for International Women's Day this year. It's such a huge day in the Women Who Do calendar, I didn't want to do it an injustice by penning a lackluster blog post on a day that’s been created to bring about the celebration of women’s achievements and draw attention to inequalities all over the world. So I visited their website, on the hunt for some inspiration and found in the form of their campaign for 2018.
The campaign this year is #PressforProgress:
"Individually, we're one drop but together we're an ocean. Commit to a "gender parity mindset" via progressive action. Let's all collaborate to accelerate gender parity, so our collective action powers equality worldwide."
They have a selection of points you can commit to and I chose: "Celebrate women's achievements". So, I thought that rather than write a long blog post about all the things that I wanted to do this year, I'd reflect on the amazing women I have in my life, how they inspire me and what they have achieved, here they are:
When I first met Tasha, I had never met anyone who so instantly sparked my inner glow! Tasha is without a doubt, the most externally enthusiastic person I have met (besides myself in the centre of a shoe sale). Tasha runs a wedding photography business, but she came to me about an idea she had to create a group of wedding suppliers in Hampshire. Before I knew it, I had agreed to talk at her first networking meeting and found myself siphoning some of her enthusiasm to put back in to Women Who Do. Even when we text, her messages are buoyant and uplifting. She juggles two businesses with a family, keeps a smile on her face and has a great aura whenever you're around her.
Why she inspires me: her enthusiasm for her project; her passion, is so revitalising.
I met Liz last year through a friend. Liz runs The Mantique and interviewing her for WWD was one of the earliest blog posts I had written. Her gorgeous boutique for men often turns in to a sanctuary for the residents and workers of Winchester who will pop in for a cuppa and a chat and take a sneak peak at what stock she has coming up. Liz has created a little hub on Parchment Street, that always feel welcoming. I am always inspired by working mums, their drive and dedication is without a doubt something that continues to propel working women forward at an alarming rate and shift the dynamics of what a female role within a family looks like.
Why she inspires me: aside from always looking bloody fabulous, Liz has a amazing sense of self awareness and her love for her business and family is inspirational.
Meet Deborah (or Debs)
Debs has been one of the most important friendships I have ever had. Not just because she is a continued supporter of WWD (she is always sending me links to things she has seen that might be great for us and little messages about things I post - great spirit booster!). But also because, even after a pretty tough year, she is still so amazingly resilient and positive. Debs brings a sense of clarity to my madness, she always has calming advice (once or twice had to talk me out of doing irrational things!) and you just feel that she only wants the best for you. Debs and I are very different, but also, oddly, very much the same! My favourite thing is hearing little snippets of her LBE (Life Before Emma!), about her travels and the awesome things she has done, which always ends up with me booking an adventure (Cycling in Estonia, wild camping and canoeing in Sweden, VIETNAM!).
Why she inspires me: she genuinely makes me a better person, I often say "what would Debs say?!" and it usually stops me from doing something stupid.
Every single day, without fail, I read the story of another amazing woman; her struggles and successes. I’m in awe of the multi-tasking working mothers. I despair that I’ll never be able to do the same thing to their standards. To produce such awesome kids and work their butts off too. I’m in awe of the women that stand in front of a crowd and recite a powerfully written piece that moves the entire world, that brings their voices up higher than the men in place to quieten them. I’m in awe of the female soldiers, who don bullet-proof vests and stand on our front line. I’m in awe of every woman who refuses to be silenced. Who lift one another up. Who respect all humans, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexuality. It's not over, there is still so much more to go, from Period Poverty, to eradicating domestic and sexual violence and FGM. But it really feels like now is a time of change, slowly, but steadily, together we encourage, support, advise, empower and lift each other and we all hope that one day, all of our efforts will be part of the much bigger picture that future generations will only experience through reading about in their history books at school.