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'Work in progress' - International Women's day.

Its March meet the maker and today it is ‘Work In Progress’

I was in two minds on what to write this week and although I have a great new product that I am working on behind the scenes, I decided there was something more important that I wanted to speak about.

Today is also ‘International Women’s day’. A global day that we can celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

Although we have come so far from the suffragette movement, we are 100% still in a ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’ situation to get gender equality. This won’t change overnight as we well know but everyone can help by doing such simplistic things.

So how can you help forge a gender equal world?

A really easy way to do this is to celebrate all women’s achievements and in turn helping to increase the visibility of them, while also calling out any inequality you see. Social media is a major part of most people lives, let’s use it for good and celebrate the positives but also make each other aware of the negatives!

To celebrate some of the most incredible women around me who have in some way change my life (however little or small it may be) I asked them to answer three questions for me:

1.) What would you say makes women great?

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other?

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today.

Here are some of their wonderful responses. Thank you to all of you! Just know how special you are.

To start off, my Mum. She was in the police force for 30 years, joining back in 1982. I think you can just imagine how strong and independent she is from the era she joined the police; it was definitely still a man’s world!

Having such an empowered female figure at the centre of my life has been such a blessing (although sometimes a curse, one-word teenage years.) My mum has made me so perseverant and confident in my convictions.

1.) What would you say makes women great? Multi-tasking, empathy, perseverance, single minded.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Have confidence in your own abilities and “just do it”

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: do what you want to do & don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t

Megan, one of my best friends. I met Megan at a time in my life where everything is changing and you are starting to become independent. I’ve travelled with Megan and seen some incredible things and throughout she has always been someone who has pushed me and encouraged me to be me. She makes me feel strong in being myself.

1.) What would you say makes women great? Maternal instinct - being able to effortlessly and naturally look after people and bring life into the world however still being able to be the bread winner and do whatever you see ‘success’ as. It is so powerful! Women have come so far over the past 100 years and can do whatever they like. Be powerful, you don’t have to let people walk over you. Be confident. Being able to manage a team / family (or both). Being able to care for a child who depends solely on you.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Be selfish, do things just for you, nobody else. Compliment people out loud instead of in your head. Smile at strangers. Be a good friend - listen to your friends

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: You’re beautiful the way you are. Do what makes YOU happy. Don’t let your happiness come from other people - it comes from you! Enjoy being young - don’t grow up too fast. Take advantage of having 0 responsibilities. Things will change, and things can always get better. Ask for help if you need it, don’t be embarrassed about anything.

Emilie is a fellow small business owner that I have been friends with for years now. I originally met Emilie back in 2013 when we both started our foundation course in art and design at the University for the Creative Arts. We both then went on to do our degrees at the University of the Arts London (but separate colleges). We have kept in touch throughout our separate University days and still now she is a strong support through questioning times.

1.) What would you say makes women great? So many things! But I would say strength, selflessness and ambition come to mind initially. All the women who surround me (including you!) have an inspirational drive to achieve their dreams

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Self-belief and self-confidence is paramount to empowerment, and in turn supporting each other and boosting each other’s confidence!

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: Be courageous, confident and follow your dreams.

My oldest and closest friend Anna. I have been close with Anna for well over 10 years. Anna has always been someone who is so confident, and believe me that rubs off on you. She is one of the main people who really made me think about starting this brand, and would always big me up on our t

ravelling adventures when anyone asked what I did. Anna is my cheerleader and I hers! I speak to anna daily. We use each other as almost a punching bag. Anything that’s been exciting, scary, positive and negative I get it all my chest in usually a rambling Voice Note.

1.) What would you say makes women great? I would say our ability to do anything and as a rule empower everyone around us men, women and children. I don’t think you can be great women until you empower.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Lift each other up, you can’t be a woman while slating other women. We must support each other through thick and thin.

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today. You need your girlfriends throughout whether it be good or bad times. Be kind and there of each other, relationships come and go but your friends don’t and my god you’ll need them!

Cesca is absolutely fantastic person who I met in New Zealand back in 2018. New Zealand for me has a special place in my heart as it was here, I decided to leave my full-time industry job and start CWJ London. I have to give credit to all the strong, fun and encouraging people I met and spent a lot of intense time with over there. Discussing almost every topic imaginable and really bonding with these people, I valued their opinions and they helped me get the courage (to quote Mum ‘just do it’). We don’t talk often but (when covid is over) meeting up with Cesca will feel like no time at all had passed and we would just have the most incredible conversation. So, about Cesca she is a recent Masters graduate of Organisational Psychology. Cesca is “a daily grabber of life by the balls” and when I say that quote is her, I really bloody mean it. Cesca has this aura that you just can’t help but love. She writes beautifully and when we had long bus journeys back in NZ, she would read clips of her ‘diary’ to us. You would be in hysterics and I would find myself in ore at how eloquently she wrote. I would highly recommend reading and subscribing to her great blogs. Click here.

1.) What would you say makes women great? WHERE DO I START? So many things make women great, our strength, determination, Uniqueness and ability to cone t to one another.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Empowerment can mean so many different things to different people but to me, I feel empowered when I live my values of adventure, courage, developing relationships and creativity. To empower one another = really listen and try to use empathy when communicating, we all have a story/things we are dealing with but it can make your situation feel a little easier knowing you have a supportive community behind you.

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: You are strong, you are unique and you’ve always ‘got this’. Never believe any different.

My sister Francesca. Sisters are always your first female friends, and with only 16 months between us she has been part of my life for a VERY LONGGGG time. Nobody will ever be able to understand your craziness like your sister. People may come and go but sisters have each other for life whether you like it all not. We couldn’t be more opposite and as we are 1 of three it is always a rocky road. (you other 1 of 3’s will understand). But ultimately, we look out for each other, help each other, laugh (usually at) with each other and sometimes cry. So, my first female friend here we go.

1.) What you think makes women great? We are fearless, strong, empowered and emotional, physically and mentally. Our bodies are designed for greatness. We fight for our beliefs and opinions and do not give up easily.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Women should and must stick together to empower one another in this current man’s world. When we come together to fight for what we believe we can achieve great things. Especially with the increasing number of women breaking the glass ceiling.

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: Do not listen to gender stereotypes or on how to act or look from anyone but yourself. “No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body. When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back” Kamala Harris

Australian Megan. Megan isn’t Australian she is from Manchester and I met her in New Zealand but she’s been living in Australia for the past 2 years now and as I have two Megan’s in my life, she’s become Australian Megan to me. I’m sure when she moves back to the UK (if she does) she’ll be northern Megan but for now Australian Meg is perfect. Now I clicked with Megan as soon as meeting and she is just hilarious. I have such great memories and thinking of them now I just smile. She is a strong and feisty girl. Megan will tell you what’s what and I LOVE IT. She’ll also like me take the absolute piss out of herself, and I’m sure you’d all love to see us two doing our best dance moves in the club (just to make clear best dance moves = full on dad dancing) She is fun, clever and a stunner.

1.) What would you say makes women great? Our inner strength. I think women have the ability to adapt and overcome anything life throws at us.

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? I think women should vote for more women in power and help more women be in leadership roles. The more strong female leaders we have, more decisions will be made to help women. This will then give us more power to make decisions which help women.

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today. That there is no one way that women should be. There is still an idea that we should conform to a certain path in life but there is so much more out there! Travel, see the world and everything it has to offer.

Portia, one of my best friends. Portia is that one friend that brings the extremely silly side out of me. We do it to each other, we suddenly become 10 years old joking around, dress up stupidly and laughing so hard it hurts. Together we are rarely serious and I love it.

1.) What you think makes women great? Well quite simply everything. Compared to men we are phenomenal – we can take a joke, raise children, multi-task, have a high pain threshold, and manage to get on with everyday tasks, without making a song and dance out of everything we do. “WELL, DONE DAVE, you put the dishwasher on”

2.) What women need to do more of to empower themselves and each other? Don’t listen to men be little other women, stand their ground and don’t let people shrug it all.

3.) One thing you would tell young girls today: Don’t let anyone tell you what or how you should be / feel. Be true to yourself.

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