In 2018 to celebrate 100 years of women getting the vote I was named as one of the 50 greatest women in Gloucestershire amongst some pretty impressive women that had made a difference to business, politics and charity work, which mine was for. Later that year to celebrate the same event I was named as one of the Top 100 women in the West and awarded the title of Most Outstanding Woman in the Charitable Sector in the West. I am extremely proud of those titles and even more honoured by the MBE I was given last year.

We women are powerful and having such titles gives me, I feel a platform to speak out, not with arrogance or aggression but with some sensibility and reason.

Is it right that

In Business and Entrepreneurship only 7% of CEOs of FTSE 100 companies are women?

In Science and in the Covid 19 response women make up 70% of health and social care workers but only 30% of the leaders in the global health sector are women.

Only 22 countries have women as Heads of State and 119 countries have never had a female leader.

Despite women making up 50% of the population worldwide they are not represented equally on any level, and in many cases certainly not paid equally in line with men in their chosen careers.

Media plays an important role in the portrayal of women but with only 27% of top management jobs in media organisations held by women it is unlikely that women will be represented fairly and equally.

On a positive note in sport the women leaders inspire women and girls to strive for their dreams and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo the female athlete participation is heading for almost 49% but we do need to highlight the difference in wages and prize money for competitions.

This years Women’s International Day is all about celebrating Women as Leaders in all forms and encouraging and calling women across the world to claim their place in leadership and decision making. Let’s encourage our daughters, nieces and any females we come into contact with that want to use their voice in a useful, positive and demonstrative way to bring more females into top roles across all walks of life. Lets give them encouragement, support and strength.

In the words of the first black congresswoman in the US…..

‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair’ Shirley Chisholm

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