TODAY is International Women’s Day which means going all out to celebrate the achievements – social, economic, cultural and political – of women everywhere. Accomplishing gender parity is absolutely everything and while we’re a way off yet – change is happening. We, both women and men, just need to keep championing it.
To mark the occasion Push asked some incredible women to talk about the cause and what inspires them.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
“It’s a day to celebrate how far we have come and to salute our historical sisters; the ones who stood up, spoke up, trail-blazed, changed and challenged perceptions. But it’s also a time to reflect on how much work there is still to do towards gender parity.
“I love this year’s theme #pledgeforparity. It’s an easier one to get both women and men involved in because we can all take really practical steps toward achieving gender parity faster.” Kristi Edwards, Creative Director of Hesper Fox.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect and recognise the journey women have, and continue to make, globally.” Emma Hart, Creative Director of Push PR.
“International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the global sisterhood! Which is good, but really every day is women’s day at the moment because there is a great buzz around supporting women right now.” Molly Gunn, Philanthropist and Founder of blogzine Selfish Mother.
“It puts the spotlight on achieving gender equality because the reality for too many women is still a world of under-representation in politics, business and decision-making that affects their and their family’s lives.
“Until everyone has control over their personal finances, marital status, access to education and healthcare there is work to do.” Helen McGee, Head of Marketing at 3INA.
“I think International Women’s Day gives you an opportunity to use your influence, whatever that might be, to make something happen for women. It’s a day when everyone is prepared to listen and actively do something.” Linda Speldewinde, Founder of Sri Lanka Design Festival.
What change do you want to see happen?
“I would like International Women’s Day to have much more importance in the yearly calendar, and really influence the women in the world who need protection, education and a voice. We all need to be more proactive so that we can actually help do something, make change happen and raise awareness.” Dinny Hall, Founder and Creative Director of Dinny Hall Jewellery.
“I would say rather than change, it’s continued progress I wish for. It is happening and needs to keep happening – only when we reflect can we chart the progress.
“Having said that, there is still a long way to go. I consider myself very lucky and fortunate that I am in a safe and overall supportive environment – I hope that as time goes by more women can experience the freedom and support that I have and my daughter has and will have.” Emma Hart.
What is your daily survival mantra?
“Work hard and be nice to people. The first part is easy as I have a pathological hatred of laziness. The second part is easy 98% of the time, I have a generally sickening Pollyanna view of life and think politeness and niceties are the things that separate us from animals. The other 2% of the time, I have PMT and being nice is challenging.” Kristi Edwards.
“MAKE IT HAPPEN. Similar to Nike’s Just Do It. It means don’t over-think it, just get on with it and make it happen…” Molly Gunn.
“Life is all about contribution and the more value you can add to the world, the more it will give back to you.” Linda Speldewinde.
Who would be your ultimate female to spend an hour with from the past or present, and why?
“This may be a little cliché, but I would love to spend an hour with Coco Chanel”, says Alexia Jordan Creative Director of Alexia Jordan Jewellery.
“She was, and continues to be, such an inspirational woman who changed the perception of our gender, not only in terms of fashion but within society. She didn’t let the constraints of her time stop her being herself or standing up for what she believed in. “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” is still one of my favourite quotes.” Alexia Jordan.
“I’d bring back my maternal grandmother. Warmth, humour and wisdom in bucket loads. She made me believe that hard work and a consideration of others could take you a long way. She taught me the value of independence, the importance of being able to keep a secret and that being able to laugh will soften a lot of life’s blows. She’s been gone almost 20 years and I still wish I could pick up the phone and call her.” Kristi Edwards.
“Natalie Massenet, as I think she’d have loads of brilliant business/ brand tips to pass on… and I think she’s fantastic,” Molly Gunn.
“Melinda Gates. She’s taken brilliant business thinking focused on accountable outcomes that maximise ROI and applied it to making the world better in an extraordinary way for real people. She’s crunching numbers on getting things done and she’s dedicated the rest of her life with Bill to getting it done #GIRLBOSS #HERO.” Helen McGee.
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