Creative and design agencies have a reputation for being male-dominated, especially when it comes to the senior management positions. One of the things we’ve always been proud of at Red Bee is our representation of women – we actually buck the trend with 62% women across the agency, and 50% female representation in the leadership team.
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme of #EachforEqual inspired a discussion within the agency about some of the many inspirational women we admire:
Lauren Ridloff – Lisa Matchett, Head of Planning
I chose actor, Lauren Ridloff. She is off-the-scale talented, strong, generous and inspirational. Later this year Lauren makes cinematic history, as she becomes Makkari, the world’s first deaf superhero in Marvel’s The Eternals. Representation matters. And working with The National Deaf Children’s Society I came to appreciate just how much it matters and is needed by young deaf children. In her new role, Lauren will inspire a whole new generation - deaf and hearing alike - to dream big. Now that’s my kind of superhero.
Kayla Itsines – Aileen Madden, Deputy Managing Director
I’ve been following Kayla’s Instagram fitness feed for a couple of years now. The cynical side of me sees her perky smiles and flashy abs and rolls my eyes, but when you actually follow her and spend time reading her posts, it’s hard not to fall under her spell. She truly believes in empowering women to be strong (in body and in mind), in following through on your goals and in always remembering the most important thing in life is spending time with the people you love. When I feel scared for young girls’ role models on social media, I’m reminded of women like Kayla who are making social platforms genuinely positive and supportive places for women and girls alike. And also, her #BBG workouts are KILLER (Week 9 & 11 legs, anyone?).
Greta Thunberg – Fran Chang, Account Director
My inspiration for IWD is Greta Thunberg for her complete lack of filter and telling it like it is. For not bowing down to anyone, no matter how powerful. For making me more conscious about my role in the environment and thinking twice about what I eat, what I buy, what mode of transport I take. She’s a little rocket of inspiration and may change the world for the better.
Elizabeth Wordsworth – Charlie Mawer, Exec Creative Director
My choice for International Women’s Day is Elizabeth Wordsworth. Educated at home she went on to become the founding Principal of Oxford University’s first all-female college Lady Margaret Hall in 1879 - thanks in large part to the campaigning group the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women. Not content with that, when she inherited some money herself, she went on to found another college for poorer female undergraduates, St Hugh’s. How appropriate that Lady Margaret Hall is now the university home of Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Laurate and campaigner for female education in Pakistan.
Jameela Jamil – Ruby KEIGHLEY, Production Coordinator Red Bee
Former T4 presenter and star of The Good Place I chose activist Jameela Jamil as my International Women’s Day inspiration. She is constantly sharing truths that no one else is willing to address. She calls out people who bullshit on Instagram about losing weight by drinking meal replacement shakes and actually campaigned to stop the promotion of diet products to under 18s. Instagram consulted with Jameela on creating new community guidelines which rolled out in September last year. To counter the promotion of negative body image, she also founded the iWeigh movement on Instagram, a body-positive platform where people are encouraged to list all their values beyond their aesthetic.
Captain Rosie Wild – Nirvana Wright, Team Assistant
I have a huge amount of admiration for the mental strength, physical stamina and emotional resilience of this woman. At only 28, she has managed to become the very first women to pass the P Company course, a notoriously challenging exploit even for the toughest of men, many of whom have failed it. The physical challenges across the five days include an aerial assault course, a 20-mile endurance course and, if that wasn’t enough, an intense "Milling" boxing contest. Who says women can’t do stereotypically male jobs...
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Victoria STOUT, Design Director
The person I want to celebrate this International Women’s Day is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC. Alexandria is an American member of the Democratic Party and activist who serves as the U.S. Representative in New York. At 30, she is among the first female members of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to serve in Congress. AOC is the millennials’ woman of the moment; pushing for environmental reform, tax reform and medical reform in the US as well as advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Pretty inspirational.