She Inspires Me (Part 6)

She Inspires Me (Part 6)

It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March. Many of our contributors share their female role models and the awesome women who have helped shape their life and career with us.

Tim Ramsey

Tim Ramsey

Executive Director, Just Like Us

It’s incredibly cheesy but without a doubt it would be my mum. She is such a selfless individual who spends her life helping other people. I think that characteristic has been instilled in me. She has a real sense of the importance of helping other people, no matter how small the action may be. That has had an impact on everything I have done so far, from volunteering and career wise.

Emma Ziff and Juliette Prais

Emma Ziff and Juliette Prais

Pink Lobster Dating & Matchmaking

Emma Ziff, Director of Pink Lobster Matchmaking
I look at people like Ellen (US talk-show presenter), who I think is funny, gracious, humble and she just loves people and making a positive difference. I love her work. Someone like that is fantastic. For me, I look at other women like Hilary Clinton, who at the moment has a chance of being the next US President, amazing. She’s done a lot for women and the wider community. Growing up I never really looked up to anyone, but I enjoyed meeting different women who all have different qualities.

Juliette Prais, Founder of Pink Lobster Dating
I was very much like a gay man trapped in a lesbians’ body when I was growing up. I’ve always said that. I liked Cher and Kylie. I liked their confidence and loved their sexiness. I thought they were really strong women, not so much Kylie though. Angelica Huston was another person I loved, her and Cher looked quite similar. I used to find them all attractive, although I don’t now. They didn’t give a shit about what others thought of them and I loved that. On my very first holiday when I was 17 I went to Ibiza and actually dressed up as Cher for a Karaoke contest, singing ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’. I was wearing the full get up, the big wig…I didn’t win though. I’m a singer too so when I was young I loved singing, I had my own karaoke machine. I loved singing Cher songs and I always felt quite powerful singing her songs, they have a lot of power and attitude in them.

I found Kylie to be a very independent woman and she quickly became a prominent figure in the LGBT community. I liked women who weren’t scared to be different and standout from the outside world.

Growing up I had no lesbian role models. There was no one who stood out to me and there were no out LGBT people in popular culture. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I started to see lesbian role models that I identified with, as I was getting more in to literature and politics – things you perhaps care less about when you’re young. I tried to like men but it wasn’t happening for me.

Kieran Stanbridge

Kieran Stanbridge

Co-Founder, Being Me Campaign

I have always been inspired by the amazing lady that is Jodie Marsh. Her courage and determination to be herself and follow her dreams has always given the the strength to follow mine. Without a doubt she is the most inspirational and kind hearted person I have the pleasure of calling a friend. Remember it’s OK to BE you!

Jordan Gray

Jordan Gray

Singer and The Voice UK 2016 contestant

My mother, pure and simple. She has ploughed her love and support into me for two and a half decades and I truly feel like an example of her life’s work.

Alison Dickie

Alison Dickie

Teacher and SNP candidate (Edinburgh Central, 2016)

I actually think we need to celebrate ourselves more. In a way we need to be the role models. I’m conscious that we’re in a culture where there is so much celebrity idolisation. I look at Nicola Sturgeon and you see lots of people going “Nicola, Nicola, Nicola” and although I have every admiration for her, I’m not in to this culture of putting people of pedestals. Being around celebrities doesn’t really do anything for me. We’re all at the same level and we’re all role models.

Closer to home, my gran was one of the most-feistiest women I have ever known. She was an ordinary woman but she spoke to me and encouraged me to be myself. We should find the good in the people around us.

I do get concerned about the influence mainstream celebrities in pop culture can have on young people. The over sexualisation of young people and the loss of childhood is concerning, and another story.

Funke Abimbola

Funke Abimbola

General Counsel and Company Secretary, Roche

My parents were both my role models when I was growing up – both very hard working and exceptional doctors who were driven and ambitious yet supportive of my goals and ambitions. They both supported me to reach my full potential, believed in me and what I could achieve and made tremendous sacrifices to educate me and my siblings privately. Role models are essential – they give you your frame of reference and show you what is possible. Had I not had my parents, I might have really struggled to see what was possible for me, especially as a black woman and a mother.

Catherine Lyn Scott

Catherine Lyn Scott

Founder of London Flair PR (fourth from left)

My role model was my mother; she was always strong, supportive, fun and a remarkable woman. Sadly she passed away of cancer many years ago, but I think without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Find out more :

International Women’s Day sees thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. It’s always a popular day for network groups to support. If your network or employer is doing something to celebrate the day, we’d love to hear from you. We can help share and celebrate your work. Get in touch with us here.

You can find our more about the day and see if there’s an event near you at www.internationalwomensday.com

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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