International Women’s Day 2017

I was asked to write a Blog for the business page for International Women’s Day. I couldn’t post it on the work website and personally I felt it would have been a waste not to post it anywhere. People have told me for so long that I should write and so my Blogging adventure finally begins.

When I saw women unite around the world for Women’s walk, I couldn’t stop myself from being overwhelmed by sheer pride that together and individually, woman, really are wonderful. I am so glad I am a woman, because we are incredible. I mean really, just stop for a minute and think of everything women can do that men can’t. Oh my days are we lucky!

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year the motto is “Be Bold For Change”. Change can be driven by yourself as an individual or by organisations but it starts by being aware of the need and being bold. Challenge conscious or unconscious bias, encourage gender-balanced leadership and ensure women and men’s contributions are valued equally.

As a woman in business, I face challenges daily, because I am a woman. Do I let them bother me? No! There are things that bother me, I am only human but these challenges because of my anatomical make up, make no difference to me. I know they make a difference to other women and I strive to be a person that can help these women. To strengthen them, to offer them hope where they fear there is none.

I was raised by a passionate, proud, stubborn woman. I have all those traits in me, all of which I am immensely proud of. My Gran rocked. My Gran is still today, my reason for continuing on my journey. I know she would be proud of me and I only wish she could be here to help me celebrate my successes. I will continue to be passionate and to work hard because that is what my Gran did until the day she died at 96 years of age. I am lucky, I have had so many women in my life that have inspired me. Teachers (my art teacher in particular, whom I have recently got back in touch with and she is as inspirational now as she was then) colleagues old and new, acquaintances and friends from all walks of life. Ones that have guided me, that have stopped me, that have encouraged me. Ones that have taught me wonderful lessons and ones that have without doubt made me who I am today. Women that show me sides to life that I never knew existed. Not everyone has their tribe behind them, driving them to get the best out of life. That is why it is so important on days like International Women’s Day that we unite and celebrate every single woman around the world. To make the women with no close by tribe, realise that we are one tribe together striving for the same outcomes.

I am sure that many 1000’s of people like a certain Piers Morgan hate that women have “March for Women” days. Days when we are visibly seen to be supporting and empowering each other. I am sure Donald Trump hates the fact that there are women all around the world that would stand up to him and take him down in a simple sentence. By challenging these opinions, by working together and showing a united front we can change the mind set of such people. That is why we need to empower one another to do great things. Simple acts lead to great achievements.

It is 2017. Our sisters before us did not give up and they have come so far, yet we have still so far to go and that is OK because it offers challenges and chances. Many would say “it will never happen” or “it is unachievable”. It is not. Rome was not built in a day. As with anything in life there will always be doubters, pessimists, “Dementors” that take everything and give nothing and see no possibility of change. To them I can only say, as a woman, change can either offer you challenges or it can threaten you. Your beliefs pave your way to a successful life or they block you.

As a tribe, united in passion for equality, we can move forward with momentum and achieve more great things. The Suffragettes did not give up. Malala Yousafzai, did not give up. They stood up, they faced up, they charged forward and they spearheaded change. Let us do the same. I want a world where we value every single woman. Where we are equal regardless of ethnicity, social background, political choice. It is a mountain but every summit can be reached whichever path has to be taken to get there. Nothing is unachievable. Whether you are a Homemaker, a women running multi million pound company or a women in Africa setting up their own businesses to sell their beautiful crafts to simply provide food, shelter, an education for their families, ultimately we are all driven by the same things. Passion, pride and love. Take a chance. Hold on tight to your values and goals and take a risk. Be a role model and everyone else will follow.

Whether you are a Mother, Sister, Aunt, Grandma, Entrepreneur, Activist, Feminist, Actor, Homemaker or Artist, individually or together, like it or not, women are changing the world. In unity there is empowerment. For our future women we must unite to empower.

“The problem for all women is we’re identified by how we look instead of by our heads and hearts” Gloria Steinem

Special Notes – I would just like to give a special mention to the following women who have literally, in your own ways, whether you know it or not, made me who I am today. Whether I have known you forever, or for a short time, you have somehow shaped me. For that, I thank you with all my heart and I owe you a gin. Or chocolate. Whichever you prefer!

You beautiful, luscious, wonderful women!

Linda – You taught me the life skill of swimming. I love swimming. I love water. I love you. You are now my workplace rock and I couldn’t do any of it without you at my desk.

Marion – You saw “a girl with eyes like saucers” that was a little bit vulnerable and hugely scared of life. You believed in me. You guided me and I will be forever grateful. I am so glad we are back in touch after 18 years. I don’t think you will ever truly know the positive impact you had on my life.

Alice – That a woman’s body is amazing and never to give up because it does happen. Even when you really don’t think it ever will!

My Divas – Really, need I say more. You are all unique and offer more than even I can put into words.

Gill – You utter rock. I don’t believe I need to say any more than that.

Lynda B – You taught me to be brave. You motivated me to step outside my comfort zone and I did. And hey, look at me now form up there in the clouds!

Stacey – You taught me acceptance. You are an amazing Mummy to all three of your beautiful boys, with all their needs, you never moan, you simply set out to give them the best. Always.

Kim – Your strength and independence inspire me. You taught that the life path we want for ourselves may not be the one that is meant for us and that embracing what life throws at us makes us who we are and makes us stronger. You taught me that life gets us down but staying down is not an option. You have also taught me that it’s never too late to go on adventure of a lifetime!

Jane – You see beautiful souls and you saw mine. That made me believe I was a good and worthy person when for years, in fact nearly all my life, I had been told I wasn’t. Thank you for seeing beyond the exterior wall.

Bianca – The epitome of inspirational. You have made a legacy that has and will go on to help thousands of people either directly or indirectly. Without you there would have been so many lost and scared families. Because of you and what you have built, they have never had to be alone. You inspire me daily. You also taught me to be humble.

V – You taught me more about love than I ever knew possible but mainly, that it always finds a way.

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