In honour of International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD) and the theme of #ChooseToChallenge, we’re choosing to celebrate the inspirational women in our community.

We recognise that supporting each other and shining a light on the extraordinary women in our industry is essential, which is why we’re proud to put our hands up in honour of IWD.

From celebrating our achievements to the mantra’s we live by, here’s what our community had to say:

Charlie Webster, Broadcaster, Presenter & Mental health.DA/CSA survivor

What achievement are you most proud of? “I’m proud of so many achievements and they all mean slightly different things to me. I’m proud of what I’ve come through after being critically ill, relearning how to walk and finding myself again with PTSD. A year later I ran the London marathon with my best friend. It was the slowest marathon I’d ever ran but my proudest (I even fell over before the 5k mark!).”

Viviane Gut, Head of Sustainability, On

What advice would you give to women considering a career in your field? “Sustainability is very complex and requires a lot of cross-functional alignment. You have to get uncomfortable getting comfortable working through this environment and if you do this while staying true to yourself you can bring a lot of change!”

“Believe in the direction you are going, back it and fight for it. Work with passion and kindness in equal measures.”

Kelly Cundell, Co-owner, Sports Factory Ltd

What mantra do you live by in both your personal and professional life? “Believe in the direction you are going, back it and fight for it. Work with passion and kindness in equal measures. When it comes to family (and friends) – Love without judgement and always unconditionally.”

Layla Smith, Managing Director, Aspire

Why is International Women’s Day important to you? “Covid, lockdown and homeschooling has really shone a light on gender inequality in everyday life…at home. Women are already all too often on the backfoot when it comes to equality in the workplace, then having children can mean opting out of a career altogether or moving away from any real progression in order to manage a family, home and work.

I’m passionate about maintaining gender quality in relationships and households. Campaigns such as International Women’s Day help remind us of the challenge that women still face every day, even at home and we must challenge it at this level to support change in future generations.”

Esther Newman, Editor, Women’s Running

What drives you to succeed? “The Women’s Running community. Their passion for running, their support of each other, and their brilliant – and honest! – feedback inspires me to continually seek out the best content to encourage us all to run better and to feel part of something BIG.”

Linda Connor, Operations Manager, Nuasan

How have you been supported by the women in your industry? “I am lucky to be surrounded by a number of key women in our industry that are highly knowledgable, creative and best of all want to share their knowledge and creativity with me to help make the Nuasan brand better! I’m proud to say that all my key contacts in manufacturing, ingredient sourcing, packaging, marketing, logistics and PR are all female. Go ladies!”

Josh Puttock, Junior Account Manager, Aspire

Can you tell us about a female role model who has inspired you? “Serena Williams. She’s always been at the very top of her sport – earning complete respect from female and male players. Her attitude and work ethic has always been brilliant and she’s somebody who is dedicated being a role model off the court, too. No matter what sport you play, she’s somebody who everybody can look up to!”

Becky Hepworth, Marketing Manager, Aspire

How have the women in your life supported you? “Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have met and made many lifelong friendships – these wonderful and wise women have inspired me to believe in myself, encouraged me to push boundaries and have shown me unconditional love – the power of sisterhood is strong!”

Vikki McGill, Account Manager & Media Relations Lead

Why is International Women’s Day important to you? “It’s an important day to reflect on how this day has actually come about and the sacrifices that have been made to get us to this point. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing women from the mums at the school gates that look after their families and hold down important job roles to my fabulous work colleagues.”