Unless you’ve had your head in the sand over recent months, you’ll know that women around the world are standing up to different campaigns – #timesup, #metoo and more recently #weseeequal.
Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900’s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. I’ve always known that women had to fight for the right to vote but I never studied the suffragette movement at school. It’s was only in the last few years that I watched the Suffragette film and really understood what happened.
In order to celebrate International Women’s Day I thought I’d share some love for 6 empowering women in my life.
Sammy – my ‘little sister’
My sister is 12 years younger than me, but like me she is wiser than her years. In the last year she’s had a pretty tough time in her personal life which is not for me to share but the way in which she’s dealt with it has been incredible. She’s climbed the career ladder and now works in HR. Whilst working full time, she studied her butt off and graduated with a degree. On top of this, she also took up pole and is now an instructor, teaching a few nights a week. She makes it look SO easy as well! If there’s ever been a quote that reflects my sister it’s that of Shakespeare ‘though she be but little…she is fierce‘. This quote can be applied right from when she was a headstrong 3 year old right up to the women she is now. For the last few years, as her birthday present she has simply asked that we do something together as we don’t see each other as often as we’d like.
Anna – my partner in crime
This photo sums up me and Anna completely – a glass of bubbles and a ton of laughter. Anna has been one of my closest friends for probably 10 years now. We’ve been single together and then found our husbands around the same time. We’ve laughed together, cried together, been drunk together and been the talk of work Christmas parties for getting all the Directors on the dance floor whether they wanted to or not. I’ve never been more grateful to run my own business when Anna went through a very traumatic period last year. It meant that I could race over to be with her whenever she needed a friend or to take her little boy for a couple of hours so she could rest. Anna is dependable, will always be on the other end of the phone and never fails to make me laugh.
Sal Godfrey – Business Woman extraordinaire
Sal runs her own business as a blog consultant / freelance food writer. I met Sal a couple of years ago when she started #bathindiechat, an online community for Bath’s independent businesses. She’s offered me boundless advice for both blog and my business. She knows endless people in the area and if she doesn’t know how to help then she’ll know someone that can. I’m not sure she realises how much the #bathindiechat community depend on her. Sal also knows the best places in Bath to meet for tea and cake when I need her! (I thought I had a photo of the two of us from an event that Sal held last year but can’t find it anywhere…annoyingly!)
Frankie Shanahan – Love Audrey
I first met Frankie on our wedding day when she was wearing her Wedding Reporter ‘hat’. She wrote the most incredible story of our wedding day and captured so many moments that would otherwise have been forgotten. I’ve never met Frankie since that day but we ‘speak’ via social media most weeks. She’s self-employed, has 2 children, has a degree that she completed whilst being pregnant and having a tiny baby. In the last year, she’s battled with CFS and has been completely open and honest about how not only it has affected her, but her business and more importantly, family.
Victoria McGrath – InTheFrow
Victoria has been a blogging inspiration since I started back in 2016. She was one of the first ‘big bloggers’ that I followed and have seen her career absolutely go through the roof. She works incredibly hard to get to where she is today. Together with her other half Alex, they are the ultimate blogging powerhouse. Victoria is ALWAYS down to earth, completely grateful for every opportunity that comes her way and some of the pieces in her recent handbag collaboration with Strathberry sold out within a few hours. (A little disappointed I wasn’t quick enough to make a decision and actually buy one of them!) Not only does she write about fashion and beauty, she also writes about subjects from the heart. When she shared her #metoo vlog, it was told sympathetically and she wanted her followers to reach out if they had also been affected.
& last but not least…My Mum
She’ll probably not even realise that I’ve included her on this list as she’s not on any social media platform – neither does she read my blog (simply because it’s all a bit technical for her!!). My Mum and Dad divorced when I was 6 years old. I was extremely lucky in that I still saw my Dad every week and every other weekend. Mum has told me that when Dad left, she was clueless on things around the house. Dad took care of the money side of things and naturally did all the DIY / ‘man jobs’ such as cutting the grass etc. She had to quickly learn how to deal with all these things on her own in order to have a home for the 2 of us. She went out to work and I spent school holidays with grandparents. She’s taught me to be independent, to get out there and go for what I want and never give up. Mum thinks she’s isn’t an empowering woman at all but I know differently…
It’s been SO hard to narrow this down. I also want to give a shout out to include my not so wicked Step Mum Deb for always being there and encouraging me to chase my love of travel. My friend Lauren for making raising 3 children look so easy when I know it’s tough sometimes! Aleta for pushing me to my limit in fitness classes despite sometimes wanting to punch her when she tells me to go for a higher gear.
I know it’s not just me who is fed up of seeing so much ‘nastiness’ towards others on social media and in day to day life. We’re not in the school playground any more! It’s never been more important for us women to stand together, support each other, encourage each other and be each others cheerleaders.