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08.03.2018- Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s always great to celebrate inspirational women, and this year the sense of solidarity is perhaps more palpable than ever. 100 years after selected women in the UK were awarded the vote, the last six months or so have seen the birth of a new type of activism in the wake of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements; people finding their voices to speak about behaviour which has gone casually unpunished and unchecked for far too long. The commonality of harassment towards women- whether in the workplace, in the street and everywhere in between is no excuse for it to be explained away as ‘banter’ or ‘nothing to worry about’; indeed, when #MeToo went viral towards the end of last year, I found myself backtracking through instances in my own experiences- and getting angry with myself for not saying more about things which had happened to me at the time. I think the new culture of culpability and change which these movements are encouraging is brilliant- making anti-harassment and accountability part of the everyday conversation, calling misogynistic behaviour out at a grassroots level, rather than letting it slide and perpetuate ad infinitum. Putting women, their experiences and activism at the heart of the conversation is essential- and forcing change across global workplace and social culture is something which is long overdue. This sense of solidarity has also encouraged me to think about all of the inspirational women in my life- and today seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate them on these pages:

My Mum 
I feel like everyone’s mum is at the top of their respective lists, and rightly so. Mine is my number 1 and will be forever- a truly inspirational force in my life, and someone who I owe more or less everything to. The constant support and advice she offers me is something which I’d be truly lost without, and I’m eternally grateful to her for everything she’s taught me- the power of independence, the rewards which come from working hard and how important it is to do everything with as much positivity as possible. She’s also the one who still impresses on me the importance of looking after myself, and always knows what to say when I need some words of wisdom. After the year we’ve just been through, I feel more lucky than ever to have her in my life. (Also, how fitting is it that International Women’s Day falls in the same week as Mother’s Day?!) 

The Girl Gang 
Where would I be without these ladies? Truth is, I have no idea. I can’t remember how I first met Hannah, Michelle, Sophie, Lily and Elodie, but the chances are that it was probably at a miscellaneous blogging event (back when those were still a thing!) or other, having first encountered them via their online personas. Looking back, thinking about how we first met each other makes me really nostalgic for the community feel of those early blogging years, but I’m beyond thrilled that however many moons later we’re still friends- as much offline now as online. Whether it’s trekking to Putney for a feast and a Game of Thrones marathon at Hannah’s or visiting Elodie in sunny Marseille, spending time with these ladies is always a total joy. They’re always at the end of the WhatsApp chat for everything and anything, and there’s this collective sense of unspoken support which is always so quickly forthcoming whenever any of us needs it. I can’t wait to get away to Ireland with most of them later on this year! 

The Work Wonder Women 
Since starting working properly, I’ve been really lucky to be surrounded my some wonderful ladies at all levels- and I’m so happy to be able to call them friends rather than just current or ex-colleagues. The industry which I work in can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield, but the lovely thing about it is that almost everybody involved is super-passionate about what they do, as well as being fountains of knowledge which are always happy to be called upon as and when they’re needed. More than just being a bunch of total girl bosses crushing it in their respective arenas, they’re also brilliant company- so it’s always a joy to catch up with them and put the world to rights, whether that’s over lunch, dinner or a quick drink after work. 

Who are your inspirational women? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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