Recognising the women that inspire us this International Women’s Day

March 8, 2024By C8 ConsultingInsights

Today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day, and it is important to remember the women that have impacted not just us personally, but society in general. Too often in history women’s achievements have been misattributed to or even just stolen by men, leading to women not receiving proper credit for their achievements.

For example, Rosalind Franklin was the first to describe the structure of DNA, before having her work stolen by Watson and Crick, who took all the credit for the ground-breaking discovery. The goal of International Women’s Day is to make sure stories like this are a thing of the past, and in honour of the day we have asked members of our team to tell us about the women that inspire them.

First of all, our MD Paula Elliott says that, as a firm follower of fashion and design, she has always loved Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, the renowned French fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, and was credited in the post–World War I era with popularising a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style. Paula also said that she has more recently found inspiration in Billie Eilish, the American singer-songwriter, after seeing her perform live. She was impressed by how someone so young could hold such a large audience, with Eilish being only 20 years old at the time.

Following on from there, Senior PR Director Jim Pople cited Paula as one of his biggest inspirations. Paula’s achievement of successfully founding and running a PR agency for 20 years is hugely inspiring to him and, as they have worked together for the past five years, Paula has had a huge impact on Jim’s development as a PR professional. Jim also acknowledged his partner for her strength, support, and ability to put things into perspective, and his mum for instilling a strong work ethic in him.

Account Manager Ameesha Patel provided a long list of women that inspire her, starting with Preet Chandi, also known as Polar Preet. As you might guess from her nickname, Polar Preet is a former British Army medical officer who made worldwide news for completing the longest solo unsupported one-way polar ski journey in January of 2023, which also made her the first woman of colour to walk solo to the South Pole. She is an excellent example of how you can truly achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Going further back in history, Ameesha also cited Rani Lakshmi Bai as a woman that inspires her. Serving as the Rani (Queen) of the Indian state of Jhansi from 1853-1858, she resisted British invasion by training and leading her own troops into battle, and is often depicted fighting off the Western invaders with her infant son on her back. Both of these are great examples of how being a woman is not a specific set of characteristics, and can manifest in many different ways.

Account Director Destiny Gillbee mentions Ada Lovelace as a historical figure who inspires her. Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer who is renowned for her work on one of the first computers, Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. She is sometimes called the first computer programmer, which is an incredible achievement considering how male-dominated the field is to this day.

This list of inspiring women does not even come close to representing a fraction of the huge number of amazing women, from around the world as well as throughout history, that deserve to be recognised this International Women’s Day. It is vital to spread awareness of any women who may have been forgotten in a world still dominated by men, and to make sure that women and girls are given the praise that they deserve, to make sure they can achieve whatever they desire. As Coco Chanel once said: “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants”.