WWW… That’s Wonderful Women Worldwide

In honour of International Women’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to dedicate a blog to all the wonderful women I know. And I know quite a lot…

I have to start with people who have nurtured, influenced and supported me in my life – my Mum, my Gran and my Step-Mum. They are all amazing and wise women who have often given me strength in tough times and shared many a joyful moment too.

Aside from these three, and the many lovely ladies I’m lucky enough to call my friends, I feel I was fortunate to grow up when I did, in the place I did, and attend the school I did (standard comprehensive with average results). I came across a great many strong independent women as role models in my teachers both in the latter part of my secondary education and in the sixth form.

I’ve talked about this before with female friends I was at school with. We all agree that it was always expected, and never questioned, that we as girls, would go on in life and attend university (if we could) and have good careers that we would be successful in. We never had the idea that we couldn't or wouldn't do that. What great confidence encouragement like that can give.

So, thank you to all those wonderful women role models I have known personally and thanks to many more worldwide who continue to inspire young women everywhere to achieve their full potential. I think particularly of the school where I am a governor and where all children are inspired learn and grow every day by some amazing role models…. A bit like these…



I've been watching the TV series Mr Selfridge recently and it's been interesting to see and try and understand the position of women at the time of the suffragette movement. Miss Revilliers the head of the fashion department said something in last week's episode, which put the situation for women at the time in a nutshell:

“It can be a difficult lot for us women. If you don’t find the right man, you have to work forever. If you do find the right man, you can’t work. It’s so unfair when you consider how capable we are.”

It reminds us how far we've come, but there are still challenges for women in the working world, as this graphic shows…



It seems there’s even more of a challenge in terms of women in power in the public sector. The Sex and Power report published recently shows that the number of women in senior positions is decreasing. Anyone interested in exploring these issues in more detail tomorrow can get involved in the Guardian’s Live Chat between 12-2pm: Where have all the women gone?


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