IWD: WOMEN WE LOVE!
International Women’s Day – celebrated annually on March 8 – is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women. This year’s campaign is represented by the #BreakTheBias hashtag and calls on people to work towards a world that is equitable, inclusive, and free from bias and discrimination so the playing field is levelled for women moving forward.
Here are just a few (of many) women we believe have played a pivotal role in breaking the bias.
Simone Biles is an American Olympic artistic gymnast who is considered one of the greatest and most dominant gymnasts of all time. She became the first female U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single game, and she was the first gymnast to win three consecutive world all-around titles (2013–15). Biles has a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals and is tied as the most decorated gymnast of all time. Her seven Olympic medals also tie with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals won by an American gymnast.
Not only is she an inspiring athlete but she is also an Author. Biles published a book in 2016 called Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, at the remarkable age of 19. Her book was a New York Times bestseller with over 1 million copies sold. Biles is a huge inspiration to both gymnasts and young women across the world.
Catherine Duddy Wood is an American investor and the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, an investment management firm. Wood has over 40 years of experience in researching and investing in innovative and disruptive technologies. Her investment portfolio is beyond impressive – In 2020, her flagship Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK) posted eye-watering gains of 153%, easily crushing the return of the overall stock market.
Her incredible success has been recognised through multiple accolades. Wood was a featured speaker at the World Economic Forum (China) in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she was selected by Bloomberg as one of the 50 people defining global business. In 2019, Fortune chose Wood to be one of the experts included in the publication’s annual Fortune Investors Guide.
The finance industry is typically a very male-dominated space and Wood is the female finance boss we all need to look up to.
Kamala Harris is the 49th and current Vice President of the United States. Harris is not only the first female to fill this position but she is also the first black asian female to be in office and the highest-ranking female US official.
She has made history by her victories and her personal story resonates with so many. She is the child of immigrant parents and experienced racism growing up, however, she overcame the odds that were stacked against her and is now the Vice President of the United States – she has become an icon and a beacon of hope for many.
Chloé Zhao is one of the worlds leading film directors! She was born in Beijing, China and went to boarding school in the UK before moving to LA to finish high school and then studying film at NYU in New York City. She is the first Asian woman and the second woman to ever win an Oscar in the Director category for the film ‘Nomadland’.
Her transient upbringing in many different countries allowed her to experience many different cultures, which played a pivotal role in her falling in love with telling other people’s stories. Like all the women in this article, Zhao has been recognised for her talent throughout her career – she was first recognized during college and now she has two Oscars under her belt. Zhao is extremely talented and paving the way for making directing a more diverse field.
Michelle Obama was the former US first lady who stole the hearts of millions and continues to do so. Obama rose to fame due to her relatability as a mother, her strong political views and her continuous voice and support for people of colour and women’s rights.
After leaving the White House Obama wrote her book ‘Becoming’ which sold over 1.4 million copies in its first week and according to CNN it is the best selling book of the decade. Her book was unlike other political memoirs, rather she shares her life experiences. Such as her experience as a mother, her fertility struggles as well as her frank political views. Her willingness to be so unapologetically herself inspirational for every woman!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, from 1993 until her death in 2020. She spent a lifetime flourishing in the face of diversity and made a huge impact throughout her career for women’s rights which made her a legal, cultural and feminist icon.
Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. She changed the way the world is for American women today and she will always be remembered for that! A true heroine.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation. She became an internet sensation after she protested outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 when she was 15. Thunberg inspired #FridaysforFuture strikes all around the world, where teenagers skipped school on a Friday to protest against climate change. Since then, she has become the face of climate activism around the world and has been nominated three times for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Thunberg also addressed her Asperger’s syndrome, which affects the way people interact socially, calling it her ‘superpower’ – also raising awareness and breaking the stigma around Asperger’s syndrome.
Thunberg has accomplished so much at such a young age and is one of the world’s most famous climate activists in the world and a role model for many.
Sarah Blakely American inventor and entrepreneur. She created Spanx, a brand of body-slimming women’s undergarments. In 2012 became the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire which is impressive, to say the least. Blakely was named in Time magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, she was listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Not only is Blakely is one of the worlds leading businesses women but she is also a philanthropist. She has her own foundation which supports women through entrepreneurship, education, and the arts. Blakely is a business mogul and her undeniable success is admirable.
Livia Firth MBE is co-founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age – the leading consulting and creative agency specialising in integrated sustainability. She is also the founder of the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC), which is an initiative to get designers and brands to make sustainable gowns that can be displayed on the red carpet.
Eco-Age clients include luxury names like Chopard, Erdem, Stella McCartney and Gucci, as well as non-fashion companies like Welltower, the FA and Wembley stadium. Firth is also a global ambassador for Oxfam whereby she has shone a spotlight on the major issues within the fashion industry and is an advocate for ethical fashion. Firth is on a mission to make a real change to the fashion industry and we are completely on board.
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