by Elizabeth Farry | 24 February 2016
Last year I wrote an article on International Women’s Day. This for me, is something that stands out in the calendar and should be something acknowledged each year. International Women’s Day is a global day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and politic achievements of women. Find out more about the day here.
This year’s theme is #PledgeForParity and deals with the progress towards gender parity. Everyone; men and women, can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender equality more quickly, whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership. Respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias.
This year I wanted to revisit our top five prominent women, who I felt have had considerable influence on ensuring men and women are equal, whether in society or the workplace in 2015/2016, and here is what I came up with:
- Oprah Winfrey is an American chat show host. She was the first women to own her own talk show and book club, focusing on issues facing American women
- Angeline Jolie Pitt is an Oscar-winning actor, film director, humanitarian ambassador and author, and has become one of Hollywood’s biggest names. She has publicly spoken about carrying the breast and ovarian cancer gene. In 2011 she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency which she has conducted over 40 field visits in this role
- Anna Wintour is the editor-in-chief of American Vogue since July 1988 and was named Artistic Director of owners Conde Nast in March 2013. Anna has been responsible for launching the careers of many of fashions biggest designers and in 2008 she was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her service to British journalism and fashion
- Karen Blackett runs the largest media agency in the UK, MediaCom. Karen controls £1.2bn of media billings, managing over a thousand people and in 2014 she led the agency to win over £119m of new business. Karen is also a Trustee of the adoption charity Adopt a Better Way and in June 2014 she received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to Media & Communications
- Nicola Sturgeon is the leader of the SNP and is the only woman to hold the post of First Minister of Scotland and the first to lead any of the devolved UK administrations. She became an SNP member at the age of 16 and by 29 she was elected to the new Holyrood parliament in 1999, as a Glasgow regional MSP.
What all these women appear to have in common is the proactivity in speaking out against gender discrimination as
You can start supporting International Women’s Day by running an event celebrating women to raise awareness for gender equality, participate in local activities and campaigns and wear purple clothing.
Whatever you do – celebrate women!
Will you be celebrating International Women's Day? Discover more about the progression of women in the workplace in our Women in Finance blog series!