The dawn of the 20th century was a radical and frightening time of social change, and underground debates were causing unrest amongst the world’s female population, who were feeling increasingly oppressed yet more and more enlightened. In 1908 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. The movement spurred a wave of excitement around the world, and in 1910, International Women’s Day was born.
The idea was that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day to highlight the women’s cause and to end discrimination.
Since its birth from within socialist roots, IWD has become an apolitical day of recognition and celebration across the world, and is now an official state holiday in over 20 countries, where men traditionally use the day to honour their mothers, wives and daughters with flowers, gifts, love and respect!
With the ultimate aim of ensuring and safeguarding an equal and safe world for girls and women, IWD has witnessed greater equality in legislative rights for women and more women in the boardroom since its inception, and with female astronauts and prime ministers, young girls have much to aspire to.
Speakers Corner has a rich and varied catalogue of brilliant, brave and innovative women who have, in their own ways, made a difference in the world. From entrepreneurs to sporting icons, from smart thinkers to technology visionaries, adventurers and comedians, here are some of our favourite women who have made their mark, and the reasons we (and our clients!) love them:
• Sahar Hashemi: Sahar's story is interesting, inspiring and real... she is completely natural and continues to demonstrate the ability to think differently in business. Her down-to-earth attitude and manner make her instantly likeable and relatable to other entrepreneurs.
• Debra Searle: Debra’s story is so powerful. She is a fantastic example of female will, grit and determination in the face of the (seemingly) impossible, and her story is told with a beaming smile on her face still – a marvel.
• Gemma Godfrey: Gemma takes the notion of an economist or banker and turns it on its head. She is often underestimated in the male-dominated world in which she exists, and I love that she goes out there to challenge common stereotype misconceptions!
• Natasha Baker: A true inspiration, Natasha has never allowed her disability to hold her back or achieve her goals. She has such valuable lessons to impart about what’s important in the world and that you are in control of your own destiny.
• Jo Malone: Jo’s story is unique. Not only is she self-taught with no educational qualifications, she has also faced the turmoil of selling her business (and her name!) as well as fighting cancer head on. A success story, certainly, Jo is also an example of a passionate, ambitious and determined business woman.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016