Inspiring women

International Women’s Day is a focal point for women’s rights, with a rich global history of protest and fighting shared struggles – much as all sorts of brands and organisations now like to try and convince us that you can fight for women’s rights simply by indulging in their product with the word ‘feminist’ shoved in front of it. 
I am proud to work for a company that is 73% women and non-binary people in its make-up, with women well represented in the Senior team too (not that we don’t have more work to do to be a better company, because we do). The women I work with inspire me (and make me laugh) everyday, and are always pushing for things to be better. In honour of women who have pushed the boundaries, here’s a quick read of some of the other women that inspire all of us at Puzzle…
Three we don’t know personally:
  1. Gina Martin, who made upskirting illegal and in general has a really positive effect on the social media world!
  2. Ruby Tandoh, who does amazing work around mental health, eating disorders, body shaming, access to food and eating what you love. As a woman of colour who got her ‘break’ on Great British Bake Off, she’s had to deal with all sorts of abuse, the ugliness that comes with being a woman with a voice and the intricacies of coming from a programme “steeped in the symbolism of an old-fashioned, implicitly white Britishness” (her words, but I agree). She doesn’t back down; but is also open about her vulnerabilities. 
  3. Verity Lambert, who was one of the founders and original producers of Doctor Who. She had no children, once telling an interviewer, “I can’t stand babies—no, I love babies as long as their parents take them away.” TV & film producer Sydney Newman said of her: “I remembered Verity as being bright and, to use the phrase, full of piss and vinegar! She was gutsy and she used to fight and argue with me, even though she was not at a very high level as a production assistant.”
And 3 we do:
  1. (Community Manager) Ella’s Grandma Joan.  When she first met her husband, she stormed over to him and asked why he was looking at her, but hadn’t asked her to dance (to which he replied that he couldn’t dance – he then had dancing lessons so he could dance with her properly.) She raised 4 teenage girls alone after he died and was never fussed about sticking to so-called ‘traditional’ gender roles. She’s still a fighter today.
  2. (Production Executive) Sophie’s Mum, Sylvie, who is all-round amazing and always strives for things to be better. Having come from a traditional family with the belief that ‘women just get married/become a housewife’, she’s built her career from the ground up, alongside raising Sophie, without help from others. She’s a real advocate for the phrase ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’.
  3. (Founder) Francis’ Mum, Liz, who is the powerhouse behind everything good – his word! – he has ever done. Her life was sadly too-short, but in her 49 years she made a huge difference. A passionate fighter for human rights, Liz worked two menial jobs to raise Francis and his brother, taking the box room in their flat when the boys got too big to share. She went on to become an expert in her field and did everything from giving evidence to Scottish Parliament to drafting legislation that is now policy. She was strong, kind, and pretty much the only person he’s known to genuinely suit incredibly short, day-glo orange hair. He is so proud to call her his Mum.
To quote Audre Lorde: women are powerful and dangerous <3
Last off – we know you have Google (other search engines are also available), so we’re not going to tell you when International Men’s Day is – but Richard Herring over on Twitter might?
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Lauren White