For our second post highlighting experts available to journalists for comment on International Women’s day this year, here are a selection of entrepreneurs and business leaders working across the fields of technology, beauty, health, finance, education, travel and manufacturing who are ready to speak about the importance of celebrating women across the world.
Looking for experts in academia, charity and awareness-raising? Take a look at our sister post here.
Bukalo and Opeyemi Adeyemo, founders of OPV Beauty
‘There are still doors that need opening in the future for women.
Women need to be reminded of their power as well in order to adequately fight
gender equality, women’s voices are not being heard in politics, the law or
business, and women’s needs are not being met. We are far from equal in a whole
host of respects. It is very important to continue to uplift and celebrate the
women in our lives.’
Bukola and Opeyemi launched their cruelty-free makeup brand OPV Beauty in 2016 with the collection taking inspiration from their Yoruba background, wanting to
provide a brand that would be inclusive of all skin tones.
Bukalo and Opeyemi’s inspiration: ‘Our idol is
Kamala Harris, she’s the first ever female Vice President and breaking
barriers, inspiring younger women we can be anything we want to be.’
Eloise Skinner, entrepreneur and founder of One Typical Day and The Purpose Workshop
‘IWD marks an opportunity for unity, celebration and
collective action. In a world that often overlooks women’s voices, IWD is an
important moment to pause and reflect.’
Having practiced as a lawyer in the city, and after some soul-searching
(including a year training to be a monk), Eloise followed her passion into
existential psychotherapy. A published author, Eloise also teaches Pilates,
yoga, meditation, massage and nutrition. She also has her own podcast, ‘About Wisdom’.
Eloise is passionate about spirituality, meaning, purpose, social impact and
Eloise’s inspirations: ‘There are so many women I
admire: Kylie Shea (American dancer) for her passion, authenticity and
drive; Debbie Wosskow (co-founder of AllBright) for her community-focused
approach to supporting other entrepreneurs; and Karen Armstrong (author &
scholar) for her academic insights & focus on global peace. And many more!’
Jane Kenyon, founder at Girls Out Loud
‘IWD will be needed as long as women are still exploited,
violated, denied an education and unequal. We are still under-represented
across every sector, all public appointments, politics and the global peace
process. Until we can take our rightful place around these top tables and
be active and equal decision makers in how the world, our world works, we will
still need to have the opportunity to talk about these inequalities and
celebrate our successes.’
Expertise: Serial entrepreneur and social game changer Jane is the founder of Girls Out Loud which empowers and supports vulnerable teenage girls in the UK. GOL’s Big Sister programme targets the middle girls, the ones who are in danger of becoming invisible as they simply cruise through school trying to find their place. These are the girls who are neither seriously disruptive nor academically gifted so they tend to get lost in the noise and either hide in the corner or look for validation in all the wrong places.
Girls Out Loud sign up ‘Big Sisters’ who act as
role models to offer one-on-one guidance and support, to help vulnerable
teenage girls to step up, find their voice and shine.
Jane is a public speaker, trainer, coach, female champion and author of the books ‘Superwoman’ and ‘Diva Wisdom’.
Jane’s inspirations: ‘I am inspired by any woman who has overcome adversity and is now rocking her world and paying it forward. My living icon would be Oprah. I love her story, success, authenticity and wisdom. My icon of years gone by would be Eleanor Roosevelt, who was the power behind the man quietly getting on with changing the world. She was smart, dedicated, resilient and passionate about equality in all guises. Her legacy is pretty awesome.’
Bukola Adisa, founder of Career Masterclass
‘When I take a look at my phone on International Women’s Day, the images I see aren’t always relatable to me and my peers. This year, I would love to raise the profile of Black and ethnically diverse women’s achievements across the world and see images of my inspirational heroes sitting beside their Caucasian counterparts.’
Expertise: As the founder of Career Masterclass – the career growth platform for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse professionals – Bukola urges everyone not to make it about white feminism this year.
Bukola’s inspirations: ‘Michelle Obama, Former US First Lady, Author, Lawyer and Attorney – There are so many strings to Michelle’s bow, from lawyer to author to mother. She nails whichever career ‘hat’ she has on and inspires millions along the way.
‘Bozoma St John, Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix – Bozoma, one of the few Black women in tech C-suites, has some incredible brands on her CV including Uber, Pepsi and Apple and now heads up marketing at Netflix, while remaining authentic and staying true to herself. The streaming giant’s impressive marketing and soaring brand awareness can be in part credited to Bozoma.’
Marian Evans, entrepreneur and founder of Elevate BC
‘IWD is massively important
because there remains a huge injustice in gender. We think we have come a long
way but there is still a long way to go. We
have to highlight the injustice but we also have to encourage, support and
inspire more women to stand up and be counted. Women make
excellent business leaders, what we sometimes lack is the
self-confidence or opportunity to set a blazing trail.’
the ambassador for ‘Women On Board’, Marian is passionate about inspiring
ambitious and driven female entrepreneurs into the C-Suite. Offering executive
coaching and helping fellow businesswomen is at the heart of what she does.
Marian’s inspirations: ‘The two women who have
really stood out for me over the last 12 months have been Jacinda Arden (Prime
Minister for New Zealand) and Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx). They are
unashamedly authentic, empathetic and inspirational. They
demonstrate that emotional intelligence is a massive asset in leadership.’
Suzie Walker, co-founder The Keto Collective
‘IWD still matters. I’m in the minority of female founder
where being a woman’s helped me on my
business journey, as I was connected to investors and funds who were actively
looking for female founders to invest in. I’m acutely aware that this was
because of the hard work that women have done to raise awareness of this on the
entrepreneurial scene and in large corporates. Because there’s so much
more to be done in this space, IWD remains critical, as the opportunity to
share stories, educate and celebrate.’
Expertise: Award-winning health entrepreneur Suzie
can share her experiences of starting up as a female founder, building a brand, authentic
leadership and prioritising wellbeing and career.
Suzie’s inspirations: ‘I was fortunate to work with
female leaders early on in my career. Working closely with these strong, female
leaders meant that I was inspired to see what was possible.’
Vivi Friedgut, Founder and CEO, Blackbullion
‘IWD’s value goes beyond awareness
raising to centralising key women’s issues – in the workplace, at home, within
the economy. In financial education and wellbeing, we’re still not seeing
women’s’ confidence and financial behaviours move as quickly and strongly as I
feel they should.’
Expertise: As CEO of a
financial wellbeing platform for students, Vivi is passionate about financial
education for everyone and can talk on the challenges of being a female founder and securing investment (she’s been told to bring her male CTO into
investment meetings before and also not to be so “emotional”…) as well as
leadership and team culture.
inspirations: ‘My mum –
Growing up, she was a five-day-a-week senior leader in finance. She had the
discussion with my dad as to who would be breadwinner and built a partnership
of equals, which I think was amazing for the time.
‘I’m a huge fan of American
journalist Bari Weiss. I admire women who stand up for what’s right to them,
regardless of personal cost, and lead change for other women in doing that.’
Alessandra Alonso, MD and Founder, Women in Travel CIC
‘IWD provides an annual reference point in which to
canvas support and more importantly encourage commitment towards greater gender
diversity and equality in society and in the workplace. Employers are
especially willing to listen, so it is important we keep the pressure up in and
around the day!’
Expertise: Alessandra has spent the best part of 20
years supporting and empowering women – from the highly vulnerable to the
underrepresented – using the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as a
‘force for good’. Through Women in Travel CIC, the social enterprise she
founded in 2017, she provides mentoring, training and income generation
opportunities to women throughout London and the UK.
Victoria Brocklesby, Co-Founder and COO at Origin
represent one of the largest untapped talent pools, not just in manufacturing
but also in engineering and construction. I believe that education and
empowering women in these sectors will be critical to the future of these
industries, enabling a culture that improves their ability to innovate and
grow. As women, we should have the confidence to embrace who we are and define
and achieve our goals and aspirations, the future of these industries will
depend on this gender diversity. That is why I believe International Women’s
Day is still important to acknowledge as it acts as a marker to compare
Expertise: Victoria has a passion for innovation that
can impact climate change as well as the importance of technology for
sustainable manufacturing. She is interested in commenting on manufacturing,
female business leaders, working in a male-dominated industry and prioritising
people in a business.
Victoria’s inspirations: ‘I have been fortunate enough to be part of
a loving family and my memories of growing up are happy ones. My Mum has been a
huge influence on my life, understandably, but I am extremely grateful for that
as she is someone whom I respect, who carries herself with dignity, integrity
and authenticity every single day. She is truly an inspiration to me.’
Kate Hesk, CPO and co-founder, Cognomie
‘The pandemic has made IWD even more important than ever
before. The challenges faced by everyone, globally, over the last two years
have had a particular impact on women. Whether it’s homeworking during
lockdowns, supporting younger or older family members, supporting employees and
colleagues as they return to work, women are most often the mothers, carers and
human resources professionals who have been required to be there for others at
a time when they also need to be caring for themselves. Giving space and
acknowledgement to celebrate the role and work of women during IWD feels essential
Expertise: Kate is committed to making mental fitness
accessible to all and can speak on subjects including the impact of the pandemic on women’s careers,compassionate leadership, thefuture of work, the great
resignation and balancing leadership roles with home responsibilities.
Kate’s inspirations: ‘I look up to women I experience
as, or perceive as, authentic. For me, this also relates to women who care for
and enable others, are present for others and inspire through their presence.
It’s as much about “being” as “doing” for me and I look up to those I connect
to in my day-to-day life as much as looking up to women in the public eye, and
who I connect with through shared values and vision. That said, I couldn’t not
mention Brene Brown here.’
On the Journalist Enquiry Service you can reach thousands of expert sources in all sectors; this is just a snapshot of the calibre of exceptional and expert women, ready to talk about International Women’s Day or their specific areas of expertise that you can connect with today. If you particularly want to interview one of these individuals drop a line to email@example.com and we’ll connect you – otherwise, head to responsesource.com/send to reach these and many more people who can help you with a story today.