Today, the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, an important day for all guys, gals, and non-binary pals around the world to share the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Here at Hattrick, it’s particularly close to our heart — 10 out of our 11 colleagues are women, with founders Malin and Karen launching Hattrick back in 2011 as a modern agency that supports flexible working that fits around life, regardless of gender or circumstance. Most importantly, running their own business has made them address some of the challenges around being “working parents” at home to ensure this means shared responsibilities.
We’re also proud of our “Sweden-chester” roots — Manchester being the home of Emmeline Pankhurst who became a leader within the British suffragette movement; and Sweden, a global forerunner in gender equality and featuring one of the world’s highest representations of women in Parliament.
In celebration of IWD, I went around the office and asked the team to share stories of some of the women who have inspired and shaped them in some way. Here are those stories.
I’m inspired by my nan. Her husband left her not long after she had had her two children as he refused to go to war. It was very rare back then, to suddenly be a single mother and need to get a divorce. He’d sold all the fixtures and fittings in the house, then he also sold the house so suddenly they had nothing but the clothes on their back and had to go live with her mother, my great-grandmother. Eventually they got accommodation through the council but it was rough — damp, cold, the bare basics. She had to work two full time jobs to support the family but she got through it all and never held a grudge, never had any hate. She was the happiest person in the world.
— Anita Wareing, Office Manager
I’m inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. I think she has had an amazing career. Regardless of what you think of her book “Lean In” it was a very bold move to write something like that from a female perspective. It changed how a lot of women approached work, which was revolutionary for the time. It was a book where I felt inspired as a business woman. She has a lot of personal tragedy recently and still keeps a great perspective on her business and home life. She’s my go-to woman!
— Jessica Matthewman, Head of Innovation
I’m inspired by my mum. I’ve never met anyone with that level of resilience, which is something I believe I get from her and something I am still growing into. She’s endlessly inspirational, if she didn’t provide that example of inner strength then I don’t think I’d be where I am now or be as ambitious as I am. She supports me and I can tell her anything, she always tells me we can get through it together.
— Megan Bradley, Community Manager
I’m inspired by Karren Brady, who was at one time the youngest Managing Director of a UK company. Her ability to carve out a senior leadership in football was incredible at the time. She champions women in business.
— Karen Adams, Director of Client Services
I’m inspired by the brave and doggedly determined political activist Greta Thunberg. She’s overcome great personal challenges to become a leading voice internationally on global warming at the tender age of 16.
— Malin Cunningham, Managing Director
I’m inspired by my mum and my grandma. They’ve made me who I am today and always made me feel like I could be whoever I wanted to be. Thanks to them I’ve never felt like I couldn’t achieve things just because I was a woman. They’ve been through so much and still keep pushing through. I look to them for guidance when I make my own life decisions.
— Laura Connelly, Content Manager
I’m inspired by Amal Clooney. She is a force for human rights and gives energy to help other people. She bravely goes to countries where women don’t have a voice and brings their issues to the international platform.
— Sara Houghton, Senior Outreach Manager
I’m inspired by Marie Curie because of her sheer determination to pursue her dream and the achievements she secured on the back of that perseverance. To be the first female Nobel Prize winner (and then went on to receive another) is noble in itself but her work in radioactivity was an important milestone in leading the fight against a disease that has touched most families, including my own. She is the first woman I remember learning about in primary school and she has left a lasting impression – not just on me but on generations of women to follow.
— Rachael Crowe, Head of Content
I’m inspired by my mum and by Claire Wineland. My mum taught me how to stand up for myself, to have compassion for others, and make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. Claire Wineland is so incredibly important to my own journey and healing. She was so strong in the face of uncertainty and provided a beautiful perspective on life. She’s helped me make peace with my own illnesses and inspires me to open and honest.
— Hayley Jordan, Senior Client Services Manager
I’m inspired by Michelle Obama, who completely changed what it meant to be a first lady. With her warmth, good humour and determination, she used her platform to effect real change on important issues such as education and physical health. She continues to empower girls and women everywhere to defy expectations and make a lasting difference to the world we live in. I keep one of my favourite Michelle Obama quotes on my desk: “People who are truly strong lift each other up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”
— Rebecca Spence, Content Manager
Thanks to all the women before us and alongside us who continue to inspire and drive this movement forward.
Later we’ll be celebrating in true Sweden-chester style with afternoon Fika as we reflect on the inspirational stories that have come to the fore this 2019 event.