Today marks the return of International Women’s Day. A day dedicated to celebrating the achievements, stories and struggles of women – past and present – throughout the world. It’s a day to salute the progress made by women in society. Whilst recognising the inequality which women continue to face today.
To celebrate this fantastic day our team here at Red Media UK wanted to use International Women’s Day to honour the women who have inspired us. There are thousands of wonderful women shattering glass ceilings, breaking down gender stereotypes and creating a new path of opportunity for all genders. So, why not take a moment to celebrate these admirable females?
With this in mind we got to work asking the women behind Red Media UK just who inspires them in their lives. Here are the results!
Anna Whitehouse – Writer & Activist
Allow us to introduce you to the first leading lady in our line-up, Anna Whitehouse. Otherwise known as ‘Mother Pukka‘ online. The choice of our Digital Marketing Manager, Dawn, who admires the gumption, drive and sense of humour Anna demonstrates throughout her work and life. Whitehouse is an advocate for flexibility for all in modern working life. Through her campaign ‘Flex Appeal.’ Including, most especially, single parents. A demographic which is often demonised for their parenthood and the demands which single parenthood has upon their schedule.
Being half-Dutch Whitehouse experienced a very different approach to work-life balance from that of the UK in her childhood. The Dutch culture prioritises time spent with family. It doesn’t shame its people – especially its parents – for needing to mould their work around their lifestyle, and kids.
She champions the introduction of flexible working for all across the UK. In every business where it is appropriate and possible to do so. Not in the begrudgingly permitted flexible working patterns which are given to a select few in the UK at present. Instead introduce a working culture which allows anyone and everyone – regardless of status – the opportunity to build the life they want. Waving goodbye to draining 9-5 working patterns. Which don’t tend to bring out the best in people in terms of professional productivity or personal wellbeing. What a woman!
Emily McGorman-Bruce – Comic Creator
Our Designer, Kirsty, was quick off the mark in naming Emily McGorman-Bruce as the woman who inspires her. You may have heard of this little thing called ‘The Beano’, Britain’s longest running children’s comic.
Well, Emily McGorman-Bruce is one of their resident Cartoonists and has bagged herself a consistent weekly page spread in this coveted magazine. As well as the opportunity to design The Beano’s front cover for The Times Literary Supplement. During The Beano’s 80th birthday year, no less! An opportunity our very own Kirsty described as “gold dust” to aspiring comic creators nationwide.
Whilst Emily’s success within the illustration and graphic design industry is certainly something to be admired. Regardless of gender. Emily was unfazed by this male-dominated industry and sought out ways to achieve her career aspirations regardless. It was her persistence in pursuing her ambitions and her passion for the creative industry which Kirsty applauded in her most.
Having first sent her artwork for consideration to The Beano in 2013 and receiving no response. Emily refused to give in to self-doubt continuing to develop her skills and creativity in the wider comic world. So when The Beano contacted her in 2017 to work on a half-page strip. Emily grasped the opportunity with both hands as proof that hard-work pays off. From this point Emily invested all of her creative talent into her work at The Beano. Allowing her to develop the career she has today. This is a woman who has built her life on the pillars of passion, persistence and practice. Making her a great addition to today’s line up!
Kelly Oxford – Author & Activist
Next up is our Photographer & Designer, Christina, who chose the wonderful Kelly Oxford as her inspirational woman. Oxford did not have an easy route to the success she has earned today as an author and screenwriter. Moving from her home of Canada to California in pursuit of her dreams to become a writer. Spending several years dedicated to honing her craft before eventually being able to sell scripts to the likes of CBS & NBC. Alongside a New York Times Bestselling book, ‘Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar.’
However, Oxford’s triumphs don’t stop there. Following the 2016 US Presidential Election results – you know who we are talking about. Oxford started the #notokay campaign. A campaign which got women to tweet Oxford their first experience of assault which in just days gained millions of responses. It encouraged solidarity amongst victims of sexual abuse. Empowering them with the knowledge that what they experienced was not and will not ever be acceptable. The campaign became the predecessor of the now global ‘Me Too’ movement of 2017.
Not to mention, in 2016 Oxford became a single mother of three young children. A huge personal life change which she has not allowed to impact her abilities, career progression or general amazingness. For Christina, Oxford is the epitome of not allowing anything to hold you back from making your life work for you. What’s more, she stands up for what she believes in and for people in need of a voice. Firmly establishing her as one truly inspirational woman to celebrate today. It’s also fair to say that Kelly Oxford is most definitely hair and glasses goals.
Jameela Jamil – Actress & Activist
When asked who inspired her our Digital Marketing Executive, Keren, had a handful of women who she considers some of her biggest inspirations. However, before long it became clear that the front-runner was activist, presenter and actress, Jameela Jamil. A number of years ago most people in the UK would recognise Jamil from her presenting career on T4 or BBC Radio 1. However, today it’s an entirely different story. Having established herself as a prolific figure in activism for women’s rights, female empowerment and disability inclusion.
In particular her hugely successful campaign ‘I Weigh‘ on Instagram. The campaign encourages people to send in photos of themselves to the page. With the photos labelled with all of the things which make them who they are. It’s about celebrating every other aspect of being human, other than your physical weight. A sentiment which is very often lost, especially with the introduction of social media.
The campaign fights back against the destructive beauty standards of today and the diet culture which permeates western media and society. Jamil is also the queen of calling-out people – famous or otherwise – for discrimination in any form. Or drawing attention to anyone who pushes diet culture onto their followers – think skinny teas and detox cleanses – which only cause further problems. Ensuring that everyone plays their part in creating a more inclusive society.
However, for Keren, the most admirable part of Jamil’s activism is her approach to it. Jamil always remain articulate and unyielding in her activism, but above all, compassionate and open-minded. Her willingness to put herself – and her career – on the line to fight for what she believes in so strongly. That being the rights, safety and appreciation of all bodies makes Jameela Jamil one very inspirational lady to complete the line-up.
What a line up!