“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.
How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality”.
Inspired by the 2021 IWD theme we were going to share some of our own thoughts at Maier as to why this day of celebration is so close to our hearts. But then we decided to reach out to some of our inspirational clients and friends to share their own thoughts and feelings. They have expressed it so much better than we could have.
Thank you for inspiring and challenging us so eloquently and passionately.
IWD means so much to me. There is a cacophony of good causes all vying for breath currently, but on March 8th I have a chance to stop and concentrate specifically on what it means to be a woman in 2021.
I am so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many incredible females around the world and to have raised twin daughters. I celebrate March 8th in the knowledge that the fight for equality is far from over and I applaud everyone everywhere for continuing to press for women’s equality
Sim Scavazza, Non Exec Director Imperial College Healthcare Trust
‘For me IWF is partly about encouraging younger generations(my daughter, my son, and my nieces and nephews), to continue the pursuit of a level playing field, and challenge stereotypes and self-limiting mindsets. And it is partly about remembering the challenges that extraordinary women like my mother conquered in balancing an (unexpectedly) successful career with the responsibilities and social expectation of keeping house and raising children. I’m seeing inspiration across the generations and it is very rewarding’.
Rachael Dennis CEO Incommunities
‘When I think of IWD I think of it as day for us as women and how I can be a better ally and support to fellow women in everything they want to do. As a mentor, an advocate, charity supporter, leader and colleague.
Plus, there are so many things going on globally – #BLM, violent incidents against Asian women – sadly the list goes on making me think not only about allyship but how we can bring men on the journey too.’
Jamie Freed, Global VP Private Client Farfetch
‘IWD is important to celebrate as it gives us all the opportunity to think about what we’ve achieved, and how much more needs to be done. It’s particularly important this year as many women’s rights have been eroded in the pandemic’
Jane Shepherdson, CBE Chair My Wardrobe HQ
‘IWD is a moment for reflection on challenging myself to be a better role model for women, and a better ally for all women in the LGBQT+ community and for women of colour, particularly after this last year. Forever learning!’
Natalie Brett, Head of London College of Communications
‘International Women’s day has become an important date in the diary. It is a chance to remind ourselves how far we have come but also how far we still have to go. Adnams began to tackle this issue some years ago and has many Women in Board and Senior Management roles within the company. Our decision making, attitude to risk and overall business is stronger for making these changes. The work does not stop here we cannot ever become complacent about female representation and we must extend any learnings to wider underrepresented and disadvantaged groups in our economy’.
Andy Wood OBE, CEO Adnams PLC
‘I love that International Women’s Day is so celebrated worldwide! Being a mother of 4 daughters and an entrepreneur, it’s wonderful to see us all coming together, showcasing our strength, resilience and independence’.
Harriet Inglis, Founder & Director Spacemasks
Olivia & Elin Mendola, Sweden | Image source
Jacob & Jennings, Uganda | Image source
‘For me, International Women’s Day is a day to take time out to appreciate the achievements of women and think about the ways in which women around the world are acting to address the inequality which still presides’.
Sarah Thomas, Chief Operating Officer Catalyst Housing
‘While it might be an International Women’s Day, for me it starts close to home. It is a time of year when my mind turns to the brilliant women who have inspired, encouraged and supported me through my life: the arts teachers who turned an early enthusiasm into a life-time’s love and work, the ex-boss who gave me so many opportunities until I was ready to fly away, the trustees whose wisdom and generosity have shaped my work for the better, and the friends who combine laughter, love and just the right amount of challenge. And of course, my kind and smart teenage daughter and nieces. What we achieve together is so much more than we could ever achieve alone’.
Lindsey Glen, CEO House of Illustration
‘International women’s day gives us the chance to reflect on the inequality and everyday sexism women encounter.
Inequality and discrimination based on gender is still unfortunately commonplace, and as a male ally, I believe the most powerful way I can tackle it is to call out sexism where I see it, changing the culture in that moment’.
Greg Hackett, Director/Founder Spindle
‘We should all celebrate IWD, it’s very important that men recognise the role they have to play alongside their female colleagues and friends in promoting and developing the interests of women. I believe great progress has been made but we have to be honest – there is still so much more we can and should be committing to in the quest for equality and fairness’.
Nick Beighton, CEO Asos
‘While it reminds me of the many (many) systemic injustices to be overcome, it makes me grateful to be working at a time of open, supportive and, crucially, visible networks for women. Since I started working as a curator ten years ago, every year has brought more visibility for women creatives working today and recognition of the essential contribution of women to art and design history. As a socialist design obsessive, it reminds me of Karl Maria Stadler’s muscular poster for the fourth IWD in 1914, in which an uncompromising figure wields a billowing flag in an excellent floor-length black dress.
The poster is here on Wikimedia commons if you too would like to model your looks on vintage graphics…’
Olivia Ahmad, Artistic Director