Jacinda Ardern, Emma Watson, Serena Williams, Michelle Obama

Open Conversation: Who is your female career icon or source of inspiration?

Who is your female career icon or female source of inspiration? That’s the second question we put to our community in March for our Open Conversation feature, in celebration of International Women’s Day. There are so many incredible women around the world who are doing absolutely brilliant things for not just women, but for people of all genders.

Some of the obvious and common feminist choices, such as Jacinda Ardern, Michelle Obama or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) are of course undoubtedly paving the way for other women in their fields, challenging stereotypes and gender norms and demonstrating on the world stage exactly what women are capable of.

However, it’s important to remember that it’s not only big political leaders, athletes, authors or actors that we can draw our inspiration and motivation from; all women are worthy of celebration and admiration. To our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and female colleagues – we look to all of you as a constant sign of encouragement, support and motivation to challenge the system and going for what we want to achieve and change.

Read the community’s thoughts below and let us know your female source of inspiration on social media too.

Sally Hargrave, Manager – Project, Fundraising & Marketing

Sally Hargrave

There are many women I could point to as female career icons or sources of inspiration. From Michelle Obama who uses her voice to advocate for poverty awareness, education; Taylor Swift who writes intelligent lyrics addressing her critics with strong positive messages; Captain Hannah Graf for her work championing culture change in the British Army – the huge and varied list could go on…..What the many women who inspire me share, is their courage in challenging and speaking out for what they believe in – something we can all emanate.

Charlene Kristina, Mindset & Empowerment Coach

Charlene Kristina, Coach

I’m currently reading the book ‘Rich as F*ck’ by Amanda Frances and she is fast becoming a true inspiration to me! A self-made millionaire who is normalising wealth and financial empowerment for women.

Lawrencia Nelson, Brand Consultant and Founder, Lena Media Consultancy

Lawrencia Nelson

My female career icon is fashion businesswoman Sophie Amoruso. She created a business from nothing and went onto build a successful brand. In 2016, she was named one of the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes.

Isabel Sachs, Founder, I LIKE NETWORKING

I guess I am impressed by people who own their space and fight to change the world for others as well. My forever icon is Serena Williams for her insane drive.  But I am also obsessed with Lindsay Crouse, Billie Jean King, Liv Little, Jane Fonda. But also people close to me, friends and family, who have the guts to reinvent themselves against all odds.

Jen Bayford, Co-Founder & Marketing Director, Growth Animals

Jen Bayford

My role model is, hands down, Michelle Obama! Why Michelle Obama – because she is so true to herself, she allows herself to be vulnerable and honest even in the public eye which I feel empowers females to be authentic, to feel, to speak about challenges, and to strive. She encourages us to support one another, to look out for one another. She has used her position wisely to give voices to groups and communities that otherwise wouldn’t be represented. And she is funny!

Rosie Davies-Smith, founder of PR dispatch

Sharmadean Reid. Inspirational at running a business, driving a team and pivoting when required.

Kathryn Jonas, Director, Wild & Stone

Kathryn Jonas, Director, Wild & Stone

There are so many amazing female icons who I admire for many different reasons. Wangari Maathai who founded the green belt movement in Kenya – GBM – has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. GBM works at the grassroots, national, and international levels to promote environmental conservation; to build climate resilience and empower communities, especially women and girls; to foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods. Being able to have a positive impact on the environment whilst supporting women and girls is very inspirational to me.

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