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To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016 we asked people in our office to let us know what women who have inspired them. From Dragons’ Den business leaders to scientists, sportspersons and civil rights activists, there is inspiration in abundance.
1). Cecilia Payne, the women who discovered what the sun was made from
There is a well-documented fight for women in science to get the recognition they deserve, along with a woeful lack of women entering the STEM industries. But it seems that this isn’t a new challenge. Say hello to Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, the women who first discovered what the sun was made of (and indeed every other star). Yet her achievement went unnoticed after she was advised not to present her findings. The same person, who gave that advice, published a paper on the topic just four years later. Read more here.
2). Mina Holder, the Bristol women who ran the length of New Zealand
A self-confessed ‘normal’ women, Mina became the first woman to run the Te Araroa trail, which is a 2,031 mile trail running the length of New Zealand. Amazingly, she doesn’t come from a hugely sporty background and only discovered running eight years ago after running the Bath Half Marathon. In 2013, she moved to New Zealand and heard about the Te Araroa trail (Maori for ‘The Long Pathway’). Only two men had run its full length at that time and no woman had. Read more here.
3). Rowena Cade, Creator of the Minack Theatre
This incredible lady built a theatre out of the cliff face on her property in Cornwall. The first performance was “The Tempest” in 1932, as a favour for a friend who needed a venue. But from there, an idea was born and Rowena Cade continued to work on the theatre before and after the Second World War. Rowena Cade worked away improving the theatre every winter, in all weathers, until she was in her mid-eighties. She died in 1983 just short of her ninetieth birthday. The theatre is now owned by The Theatres Trust. Read more.
4). Rosa Parks, the first lady of civil rights
Civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, which went on to spur a city-wide boycott, and eventually a change in the law. Although eventually Rosa was awarded for her action, at the time it cost her her job, a sign that often the right decisions are the most difficult. Read more.
5). Michelle Mone, business women and founder of Ultimo
A former model who gave up her career after her first child, Mone went on to found lingerie company Ultimo and is now an inspiration to female (and male!) entrepreneurs everywhere. She’s even received an OBE for her work and has gone on to become a highly sought after motivational speaker. Read more.
6). Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star
We’re unashamed fans of all of the Dragons, and love nothing more than seeing which deals they’ll take. But Deborah was the first woman in the den, and one of the longest standing entrepreneurs to take part in the show. Firm but fair, Meaden made her millions running a family holiday business. Read more.
Who inspires you? Let us know over on twitter @synergycreative