Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day!

March 8, 2019

This year for International Women’s Day, I asked UpRising staff  ‘Who is a woman leader that you look up to and why? (In history or present day)’ Here is what they said:


“I look up to Missy Elliot as a leader. She's broken many barriers for black female musicians publicly as a star/rapper fighting against the idea that conventional beauty standards should play a role in the success of your musical career. Not only this, but she has broken barriers also behind the scenes for female producers and sound engineers. Legend!” - Chyoma, Birmingham


Anita Roddick, who was a British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, probably best known as the founder of The Body Shop. The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with developing countries. She created The Body Shop with the aim of making an income for herself and her daughters while her husband worked away, with the idea of providing quality skin care products in refillable containers and sample sizes. She was one of the first female businesswoman I remember hearing about growing up and it could have been a big risk to create an ethical company as your first business but it proved to be the right move and she continued to break boundaries and support people throughout her life.” - Louise, Cardiff


Elizabeth Fry (Maiden name Elizabeth Gurney - also my maiden name and who I was named after!). Beyond being an ancestor of mine, she inspires me as a woman who stood up for what was right. She was instrumental behind legislation to make prisons at the time more humane and help reform prisons. She also did lots of humanitarian work including setting up homeless shelters, campaigning against the slave trade and opened a training school for nurses. This is a woman who reacted to the horrors she saw and made significant change both for the time and the future.” - Beth, Birmingham


“A female leader I look up to is Adwoa Aboah. I usually don't pay much attention to models, but she has recently started a podcast called Gurls Talk which focuses on a different topic each week such as gender, addictions, eating disorders, which society often considers 'taboo' yet she tackles them openly and honestly. I think it's a really important podcast because some of the conversations are difficult to navigate in terms of using the correct terminology, but she breaks down that barrier by admitting that we do get things wrong, but if we have respect it's OK to do so. I think she's a great role model for young people and feel she uses her status and following for good causes.” - Charlie, Birmingham


“For me, a modern female inspiration is Lilly Singh, she used her creativity and humour to support herself out of depression while sharing her talents with loads of people around the world. She is super passionate about rights for women and girls and tirelessly promotes initiatives to bring about a more equal world. She is the brilliant blend of working hard, having fun and getting results.” - Mikayla, Birmingham