Monday 20 March 2023
Select a region

OPINION: Looking for inspiration on International Women's Day

OPINION: Looking for inspiration on International Women's Day

Wednesday 08 March 2023

OPINION: Looking for inspiration on International Women's Day

Wednesday 08 March 2023

Ahead of International Women's Day I thought I'd best write something (preferably inspirational) about what it means to be a woman and the challenges we face, but it proved to be quite difficult as I am still trying to work out what it means to be a woman myself.

An article appeared on my Twitter feed which I was lured to read, and it told me how women should be lionesses and should roar about their successes.

I've had plenty of successful moments in my life, many of which I have shouted about. I've also had many I've not shouted about. I feel like I'm done with shouting about my successes in life now - especially when those successes now seem much smaller than once they were.

It seems as though younger women are overtaking me in the professional and personal sphere - maybe I should feel compelled to keep pushing myself to achieve more success so I can shout about it publicly? Meh. That feels like a lot of effort! Particularly when I am quite happy to let those younger women overtake me while I focus on other goals. 

Is this an age thing or an aspect of "becoming" as Michele Obama may say? 

“For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end,” - Michelle Obama, Becoming.

I've not read Becoming yet, it's on my 'to-read' list which is almost as long as my 'to-do' list, but I feel less inclined to rush through either nowadays - I'm happy to just keep moving forward, evolving, to see where my journey takes me. 

Another quote I like is: "Never complain, never explain" - something which the late Queen probably never said, but is irreversibly associated with her family.

It's definitely something I should try to do more of, although by choosing to "never complain, never explain" it feels like I would be going against the ethos of what International Women's Day stands for.

By not complaining or explaining, would we perpetuate any remnants of horrendous trains of thought that women should not be outspoken or push themselves forward or stand up for themselves, and each other?


Pictured: IWD is "a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women".

In considering what International Women's Day is about I found that: "The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality."

Celebrating and rallying are rarely quiet activities, and while I'm quite happy to be in the background I am all for loudly celebrating those women who want to be at the forefront. 

Where I once strived to be the boss and strived to the best and strived to be first, now I often find myself not caring as fiercely about those things which had previously seemed so important. It's not that those things aren't important anymore, it's just that things I previously thought were important to me are less so now while other priorities have grown in relevance. This must be part of my own 'becoming'.

While I feel inclined to take a step back from any limelight I may have sought or been given, and work quietly towards some personal and professional goals, there are many other women of all ages and outlooks also striving to meet their own personal and professional goals and I really want to support them.

One of the best things about IWD and the wider ethos around it is that we all support each other whatever our individual aims as we all benefit when we lift each other up. 

I feel so proud of and for all of the girls and women I know who are working towards their ambitions and realising their goals. Be that studying for school exams, choosing, or changing careers, planning their weddings, raising their babies, and all of the countless other milestones we mark our own and each others' lives by. 

When the Women in Public Life group asked for nominations for inspirational women of the future last year I was pleased to nominate two. When I returned to the Express fold in September last year I found myself working with another of the inspirational women of the future. I also know a few of the others through work or their parents or via other means. How lucky am I to know so many inspirational women of the future?

So to all of the Maisie's, Harriet's, Poppy's and other inspirational women of the future - here's to you. I can't wait to see what you and all of your peers achieve in your careers and personal lives - let's celebrate all you've done and all you will do. 

Sign up to newsletter


You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?