What does International Women’s Day mean to you? It’s about lifting up all the incredible women around me, as well as shining a light on women who have been marginalised and may not have been afforded the opportunities and respect they so deserve.
What stigmas or adversities have you experienced in your career, industry or in life, that you see dismantled? I really, really felt as though women were taught to make themselves smaller (when I heard the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie excerpt in Beyonce’s ‘Flawless,’ I really felt it). I worked in a female dominated business, but it was always the men having the final say. I’m seeing that shift now, finally.
What is the action or decision you’ve made that you're most proud of? Walking away from a toxic work environment at the age of 23. I was being taken advantage of and put in positions no one should ever be put in. When I finally spoke up I was made to feel small and as though my voice meant nothing, which is an experience shared by so many women I know. It was at that point that I realised I needed to get out- it was scary, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
How can women better empower each other to succeed? Invite marginalised women to the table with you. Help them climb the ladder with you. As a white, straight, CIS woman, I’m afforded privileges that other women aren’t. I need to do more to lift those women up with me.
Why do you think diversity and inclusion in the workplace is so important? Diversity and inclusion in the workplace isn’t just important- it’s essential.
If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why Honestly, I’ll take up any excuse to have dinner with my mum. She’s the best.
Gemma wears the Isobel Organic Cotton Cashmere Knit Tank in Black, and the Sophia Silk Cotton Palazzo Pant in Chocolate.