With so many unofficial celebrations swirling around cyberspace it is usually easy for me to ignore them. Yesterday was different – yesterday was International Women’s Day (IWD).
IWD has been celebrated for over a century now. It is the first year, however, that I have have noticed the impact this topic has within the world today. Now, (more so than ever), I feel the subject of gender equality – especially in the workplace – has pushed through the deluge of newsworthy items to become a forefront global issue. More and more female celebrities are beginning to speak openly about their salaries and the issue of equal pay which has led media outlets to research and pursue this theme all the way down to big business. Just google the term ‘gender pay gap’ and you will find news stories within the last few hours such as ‘Deloitte gender pay gap jumps to 43%’ and ‘Finance has a shocking gender pay gap’.
Whilst money does indeed matter, I don’t believe this is what IWD is solely about. If you are to look on the official website (something I had no idea existed until today), you will find a more comprehensive meaning. IWD is intended to celebrate the the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and it was this explanation that got me thinking. What women influence and inspire me? Quite a few people sprang to mind instantly and I decided to write my top five down and share them with you here. This is not a post designed to stroke egos or blow the trumpets of others but merely to celebrate (as IWD intended), and to thank just a few women because sometimes we need to humble ourselves and give a little show of gratitude now and again.
My lovely 2018 inspirations
‘Lib’ and I go way back. 2009 saw us working at a then thriving events company specialising in Christmas grottos. We bonded over Bombay mix and questionable music tastes and have never looked back since. When Liberty left the company she took her knowledge of events and mixed it with an insatiable passion, unstoppable work ethic and a creative talent that only few possess to create Fish Out of Water Events. Lib inspires me daily because she has made it work. She continues to survive in the UK’s ‘cut throat’ business world and she consistently puts herself out there coming up with new ideas in order to attract new and reoccurring business. Liberty is a prime example of just what women can achieve in the career world when they put their mind to it and I applaud her
Sarah, is mad as a brush. I met her through my significant other back in 2014 and I thought “now this is a girl who is comfortable in her own skin”. Isn’t that something we all wish to achieve? If you ever have the luck to meet Sarah you’ll see for yourself – she is a ray of sunshine. She bounces in on a little cloud of happiness and brings the ‘f’ into the word fun with her. Last year, she embarked on an adventure that set my little ‘wanderlusting’ heart aflame – she went to work in Australia. She managed to leave her nice stable life here in the UK and create a whole new one abroad. I followed in admiration her social media posts as she shared pictures of beautiful landscapes, crazy nights out, many new friends and the one reoccurring image – a happy smiling Sarah. Sarah is currently exploring South East Asia and blowing my mind with every update she shares. She is a constant source of comfort as I share my worries and fears with her about my upcoming solo trip and I appreciate her hugely because she inspires me to leave the safe and comfortable road for the challenging and unknown. She encourages me to be freely me.
I can’t remember where or when I met Lynne but it would have definitely been at something ‘Ronan’ related. Lynne is one of those people who tries to please everybody in life, sometimes to her own detriment. Lynne has overcome so many things in the time that I have known her that it beggar’s belief she is still going! This year Lynne took on a deeply personal battle with her weight, something that she has struggled with for some time. I know that Lynne won’t mind me sharing this with you (I have asked her!) because guess what? She is smashing her goal and winning that battle like a champion! Lynne helps to remind me that we are all fighting personal battles and it is never wise to judge anything by it’s appearance. Well done Lynne… Keep going!
Annmarie and Eveline Zweistra
Now before you send me back to school to learn maths, I know there are two names here. Whilst Annmarie and Eveline might be two people, they come as a package deal – they’re twins. I have never met two girls so comfortable with each other in my life. Now, I might need to start paying Ronan a finders fee because it is thanks to him (again) that I met these lovely ladies. We just connected not only on a musical level but on a life level. They’re my kind of people! We love discussing life over coffee (many coffees) and planning travels. Not only do these girls live together, socialise together, have their own business together but they’ve shown me the infinite beauty in scrapbooking! In essence, these girls remind me to live in the present, to embrace life and take chances. They are two of the most calming influences I have and they are genuinely happy in life. This is all down to their own creation – something which is to definitely be celebrated on IWD.
Last but by no means least is my Mum. My wonderful mother offers unconditional love even when I am at my most challenging. She comforts me in times of sadness and delights in my more happier moments. She worries for me as only a mother can but never seeks to prevent me doing anything. I can never succinctly put into words our relationship. I respect her immensely for the sacrifices she continues to make and I love her dearly.
- This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many other people that inspire and motivate me on daily basis.
What do I for-see for IWD in 2019? I predict they will continue with their efforts to recognise all the amazing women of the world and their achievements. Will we see the gender pay gap reduced? Will women feel more empowered not only in their careers but also in life? I hope so… I hope for many many things over the next coming year but nothing more so than love. Love for myself, love for my family, love for my friends, love for the whole wide world.