Who inspires you and why?
I could list thousands but ultimately it comes down to three:
1. My Mother.
A feminist at heart and someone who would not tolerate anything other than equality and respect for all. This I feel was the greatest gift and opportunity for me in terms of laying the groundwork on what I could foresee as my own personal future. The importance she placed on education allowed for my hopes and dreams to be created by my own hands. Reliance on anyone other than myself was never an option. If you wanted it, you worked hard to achieve it yourself and there were no barriers to gender. The funny part is, she will never admit to being a feminist. It’s so second nature to her that she doesn’t recognise it in herself.
2. My husband.
IWD is not just a day to champion women, but a day to champion all those that champion us. Justin is one of them. I am very lucky to have found him. He not only believes in myself and our daughters, but encourages equality for women on a daily basis both personally and through his work. We can’t make change entirely ourselves so it is important to recognise those who are paving the path forward and allowing previous restraints to be removed.
3. Each and every woman not stopping at ’no’ and striving for more! Success doesn’t come easily and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Any woman trying to make it happen by pushing boundaries is someone who inspires me greatly!
Hope for women in 2022?
I’ll admit this is a scary and sad question to answer. I feel that we have done an incredible amount of work in terms of gender equality over the past decade, but sadly we have regressed in the wake of pandemic closures during the last two years. Whilst everyone has sadly been affected, women are far more vulnerable to Covid-19 related economic effects because of existing gender inequalities. Women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses (McKinsey.com) largely due to the domestic responsibilities of women during lockdown. Whilst the health of the economy is categorically proven to be linked to the equality and employment of women, we must do all we can to reverse this. Our future depends on it and my daughters depend on it. 2022 presents an opportunity for us to recognise this and change. If we don’t, we stand to regress and lose all we have achieved over the past decade.