“A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.”
IWD, celebrated annually on March 8, acts as a focal point for the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. While the day brings much needed attention, it also acts as a celebration of women’s achievements across the social, economic, cultural, and political landscape.
Marking International Women’s Day this year with #EmbraceEquity in mind, Aspire is shining a light on the inspirational women we have had the pleasure of working with in recent times:
Founder of women’s empowerment sportswear brand, MAAREE, Mari Thomas encapsulates what it is to #EmbraceEquity. At the very heart of her brand, Mari is passionate about empowering women by creating products that allow women to comfortably reach their full sports potential with equality in mind.
To mark the launch of its newest addition to the MAAREE collection, and in line with Mari’s ethos of supporting women, a percentage of every pre-sale of the new Battle Bra was donated to The Fawcett Society – a leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life.
Sharing the same ethos, Aspire admires all the work Mari is doing to close the gap and recognise women as equal. Mari embraces equity every day, and you can feel the sentiment run through her brand.
Tasha has become an important figurehead in the running community, as she continues to break down barriers and inspire black women everywhere to start running. She champions our ‘movement works’ ethos in every way, and spreads positivity wherever she goes.
Tasha lives by the rule that you should ‘run your own race at your own pace’ and encourages her community of strong, inspiring women that a shared love of movement really can make the world a better place.
Esther, Editor of Women’s Running, is passionate about promoting running and empowering women to take ownership of their physical and mental wellbeing. Since she relaunched the magazine over four years ago, one of Esther’s proudest achievements has been the development of the Women’s Running Podcast which has been going from strength to strength.
Not only has she turned the podcast and magazine around, she is also taking to the stage and talking at a number of shows and exhibitions on the subject of women’s equality and other important female topics.
Esther is supporting the development of safe spaces for women who exercise as part of the Enough: Be Part of the Change campaign introduced by the Avon and Somerset Police.
JENNY CROMACK (BEASLEY)
Jenny has over 20 years’ experience in the gym and leisure industry. A driving force within motive8, Jenny has extensive experience as a Personal trainer and has been instrumental in the development of motive8 and its service delivery.
Aspire are nominating Jenny as she brings an informed, progressive and innovative approach to all areas of the business for motive8, and is instrumental in supporting wellbeing as well as celebrating woman’s achievements across the business.
Jenny is passionate about equal opportunities within the fitness industry and as a keen duathlete and triathlete who represented Great Britain for her age group, champions all efforts from large event organisers to local clubs to make participation sports such as running, cycling and triathlon as open and accessible for all women.
A deaf coach, personal trainer and fitness creator and writer, India is committed and passionate about raising awareness of accessibility and inclusion within the fitness space.
India works hard to break down barriers to ensure the world of fitness and wellbeing is accessible to everyone. She campaigns for better accessibility in gyms for deaf people and champions an ACTIONS rather than WORDS approach, believing every fitness space should give its instructors basic deaf awareness training.
Aspires admires her energy, her passion, her positivity and her ‘nothing will stop me’ attitude to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to get fit.
Last but by no means least, Aspire is nominating journalist, swimmer and speaker, Ella Foote.
Ella hosted Aspire’s Moving Communities panel conversation, Movement is for Every Body. Ella kicked off the discussion with a really moving reading of ‘She Chose’ from the book Stripped by Cara Alwill Leyba and ended with her ‘What If’ poem which you can be read below:
We’re always trying to change who we are.
We strive to be prettier, thinner, blonder, or better.
We’re always trying to fix, and nip, and suck and tuck.
We’re always living under the assumption that there is an ideal woman we should emulate; a gold standard of beauty to attain.
But what if our goal was to simply look in the mirror and say,
There is no one else I’d rather be. I’ve never met a woman better than me.
She communicates an inspirational message of breaking down barriers of perception in our industry, glows with self-belief and confidence and brings her true self to the room, full of knowledge, expertise and warmth.
Ella is a great woman in our industry, who is doing a wonderful job of valuing and supporting difference.
Thank you to all the inspirational women in our lives.
Together we will #EmbraceEquity