This Saturday, March 8, is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is “Inspiring Change”. There are so many things that inspire us to keep fighting for every girls’ right to an education and striving towards our goal of educating 1 million girls.
One of the things spurring us on is the incredible example set before us by the women we know. We are so lucky to be surrounded by incredibly powerful, passionate and inspiring women, and to celebrate Women’s Day we wanted to reach out to a few of them and ask them to share what inspires them.
No matter what field or area they’re in, each of these women is creating change, doing something awesome, and following their passion. Each of them is working to make the world a better place.
And if there’s one thing we’ve come to know, is that when these 8 incredible women have something to say – we best be listening!
Aimee Marks, TOM Organic
Aimee is the amazing woman behind TOM Organic, Australia’s first 100% organic, chemical-free feminine hygiene brand. We love everything TOM Organic stands for, and their passion to see women live healthy, natural and full lives. TOM Organic lives and breathes by the philosophy that we as women, should never have to compromise the health and well being of our bodies and our planet. Can we get a hell yeah on that?!
Aimee says: “Follow your passion and do something that really inspires you, because ultimately that is where you’re going to have the greatest impact”
Lani Masuku, Founder of Phro Group
Lani is a woman fighting stereotypes about beauty one head at a time. Lani founded Phro Group, a hair care business that aims to make premium African Hair care the norm, and not just a side conversation. Lani’s vision is a world where black models are encouraged to rock their naturally textured hair in ad campaigns –making beautiful African textured hair less of a novelty and more of a normality.
Lani says: “The women I look up to have taught me that it’s my responsibility to create something that changes the world. Even just changing one person’s world is enough.“
Dr Elise Bialylew, creator of Mindul in May
Elise is a medical doctor and wellness innovator, who combined her passion for community, with expert knowledge in mindfulness to create Mindful in May – a social movement where people pause for a cause – completing daily mindfulness meditations, while supporting clean water projects. Our team did Mindful In May last year and were totally blown away by the difference the daily meditations made..and we can’t wait to jump on board again this year!
Elise says: “Meditation has been a key ingredient in supporting deep positive change in my life and in the lives of women I have worked with through my coaching practice and through Mindful in May. When you take a pause, observe what’s going on inside rather than constantly reacting to it, and let go of striving for things to be different to how they are, paradoxically change happens almost without you noticing. Meditation is the training ground for deep happiness and wise living.”
Hannah MacDougall, Dual Paralympic Athlete
Hannah is a Dual Paralympic athlete, Medalist at both Paralympic Games and World Championships, and is aiming for 2016 Rio Paralympics in Cycling. She’s captained the Australian Swimming Team at both a World Championships and Paralympic Games, completed a double degree in Sport Science and Sport Management with Honours, and still manages to find time to locate coffee hotspots around Melbourne. Not bad at all for a 26 year old! We’re so inspired by Hannah’s passion, determination and skill – this is a woman at the top of her game.
Hannah says: “Ride with a purpose, ride with a smile, ride in the moment. I am also a firm believer in that if you want something badly enough in life, then you have to get up off your butt and do something about.”
Tammy Butow, Managing Director Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne
Tammy Butow is a self-confessed geek, and we love it! She works as a Senior Digital Strategist at NAB, but when she’s not doing that, she’s a blogger, girl geek and all-round advocate for women’s empowerment. Tammy’s passionate about the role technology plays in empowering women and helping them to achieve their dreams – and organises Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne, a community of women who come together to rock all things tech. She’s currently organising #SheHacks, Melbourne’s first all-female Hackathon which managed to raise over $600 for One Girl’s projects, Ka-pow!
Tammy says: “Imagine what the internet would look like if there were more women building it! Tech companies employ an average of 12.33% women engineers. I want to find out what women wished the internet looked like and I want to help them figure out how to build it.”
Laura John, UN Youth Representative
Laura is the definition of a go-getter. She might be young, but her age hasn’t got in the way of her already making a huge difference. In the past she has worked with National Youth Week, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, amongst many others. She’s just finished a Law degree and hopes to use her legal powers for good, and wants to advocate for human rights and challenge current refugee policies.
Laura says: “Because I am a woman, society tells me that I deserve to be paid less, that I cannot compete with men in the workplace, that my place is in the home. But because I am a woman, I know that’s not right. Because I am a woman, I will change the world.”
Emma Seibold, Founder of Barre Body
Emma embodies the idea of following your bliss. After working in marketing for 10 years, Emma picked up and left the corporate world behind to embrace her enormous passion for all things health and wellness. As a certified yoga teacher and wellness coach, she founded the juice detox program Urban Remedy Cleanse. After the birth of her son Xavier, Emma added barre conditioning work to her yoga practice – and having experienced the phenomenal change in the tone and shape of her muscles, she founded Barre Body to share the technique with others, as well as her philosophy for a life full of balance and health. Emma’s success is such a testament to the power of pursuing your passion and letting the rest flow from that – so inspiring!
Emma says: “Women have a special super power that they must use: LOVE, GRACE & DIGNITY. With that, everything else just falls into place.”
Renee Carr, Executive Director of Fair Agenda
Renee is a campaigner and strategist passionate about growing social movements. She currently heads up the new gender campaigning group Fair Agenda. Fair Agenda is an independent community advocacy organisation working to bring about a fair and equal future for women. We can’t wait to see Fair Agenda grow and begin working to change the conversation about women in Australia, and create opportunities for meaningful change – something we know that is desperately needed. Thank you Renee for the important work you do in standing up for women everywhere and fighting to ensure a fairer future for everyone.
Renee says: “The past few years have held some pretty confronting and depressing moments for Australians. But they’ve also held something that I think offers a lot of hope. Because in moments of injustice, people have come together to respond, and to drive change.
It’s a joy and a privilege to stand alongside these amazing women, each of us working in our own unique ways and following our own paths to changing the world and making it a better place. We hope you feel inspired and empowered to go out and create your own change in the world, not just on International Women’s Day – but every day.