Meet the women who inspire us

Forget “one size fits all” – true equality recognises that everyone’s path is unique. That’s why we’re showcasing phenomenal women who are making a difference to our team this International Women’s Day, each with their own inspiring story. Below, you’ll find out more about them, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the incredible change they’re driving in our lives.

Beverley

The woman who inspired me? Not a celebrity, politician, or activist, but simply my magnificent mother, Marlene. She instilled values, boundaries, and ethics in me, passing on her exceptional sense of humour. Lucky……no, just extremely fortunate

Lisa

I’m very lucky to still have my indomitable mother by my side. My grandmothers shaped much of my adult life without my realising it. They lived to 103 and 89 and were both widowed the year my parents married, so I only ever knew them as single women, each the cornerstone of their respective families. They were so different from each other in almost every way imaginable, and they became friends thrown together by accident for their children’s love and, to some extent, world events. 

One, a Holocaust survivor born in what’s now Ukraine, grew up in an orphanage in Vienna, came to London on a domestic work visa before the war, spoke at least five languages, and was the life and soul of every party. The other was a quiet, dignified, softly spoken ladylike Londoner from the East End who had seen, I believe, substantial material comfort as well as a life of hard work, and was a demon when it came to word games as well as being a great quiet observer of people. 

These women gave me the strength and backbone to work hard and raise three children alone when life gave me lemons!

Emma

My inspiring colleagues, Lucie and Cassie, have profoundly impacted me in just a few years. My boss, Lucie, has always recognised my potential and supported me wholeheartedly. She exemplifies what women can achieve in business through hard work and determination. Working with her feels like being part of a team rather than just an employee. Her flexibility with my post-maternity work hours demonstrates how much she values me and my family.

Cassie, our secret weapon, is the woman I hope my daughter becomes. She and Lucie have an incredible partnership and welcomed me with open arms. Cassie’s behind-the-scenes contributions are irreplaceable. I rely on her support daily, and she always delivers without hesitation. Her knowledge seems endless, and she will go above and beyond to find a way to do it.

Stephanie

Fatima Whitbread always inspired me as she forged her way in athletics, winning many medals in her chosen field, the javelin. What I just learned about her recently was her work for children in care. She was inspirational for me when she took the stage at the Sports Person of the Year awards to openly talk about her childhood, time in the care system, and the work she now does to help make children’s lives better.

Varun

My mum is my biggest inspiration. She is one of the bravest people I know. From moving to the UK alone to further her studies and make a better life for our family to bringing me up alone in a strange country while studying and managing to work a full-time job, it is still one of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed. Her unwavering support and nurturing nature have shaped me into who I am today.

Anna

Someone who inspires me is Dame Helena Morrisey, particularly when I heard her speak recently – she has had roles at the very top of some of the UK’s biggest finance companies, has set up and runs TheThirtyPercentClub, a highly effective lobby group for more representation for women on executive boards, and is an undaunted and relentless advocate for women climbing the career ladder or returning to the workplace. In the meantime, amazingly, she has nine children and has managed to maintain a really out-there interest in fashion on social media. I admire her for her consistent pressure, which has brought about real change, all while keeping her sense of self and humour.

Harjot

I have three women who truly inspire me. Firstly, my Mum:

Honestly, no words can describe her. My mum is more like an older sister in how we argue and care for one another. From the simple things of having a cup of tea ready for me before leaving for work to sitting on the floor holding me whilst I have a breakdown.

At 19, she married and left her family to join her new family. She moved countries and started a new life with my Dad. She went from not knowing English to running her own businesses alongside my Dad. If I turn out to be 10% of the woman she is, I would be happy.

Secondly, my Dhadhi Grandma):

Never in my life have I met someone as strong as my Dhadhi. She lost my Dhadha (grandad) and was left to raise three children on her own. Not to mention that pay for women wasn’t good during these times. No matter what happens in any of our lives, she will always be the one to hold us together.

Lastly, my Nani (Grandma):

My Nani is like the definition of a child at heart; when I’m with her, she never fails to make me laugh or turn a bad situation into something funny. My Nani is another strong woman figure in my life, from losing a child to surviving stage four of two types of cancer. After numerous appointments, surgeries and chemotherapy, she has beaten cancer, and I could never be more proud of her.

Me, Gayatri

My mum is my ultimate inspiration. From her bold decision to leave behind an arranged marriage in India to forge a new life in New Zealand and marry my Dad to her talent for fixing anything with her food, she embodies strength and resilience.

What truly sets her apart is her unwavering commitment to making a difference, whether breaking glass ceilings, championing the underrepresented, or giving a voice to those who need it most. Her recognition as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit is a testament to this. She has become a true pioneer for Indian women.