What stigmas or adversities have you experienced in your career, industry, or in life, that you would like to see dismantled? The lack of inclusion and intersectionality in the fashion and beauty industry is still very much apparent in 2023. It is exhausting to keep fighting to be seen, heard, and valued in these spaces. I think the only way we can ever dismantle these barriers is if we change our attitudes to wanting to fix it and commit to specific actions around it. 

What is the action or decision you've made that you're most proud of? I'm proud of many things, but I think the decision to remain hopeful and still dream big dreams despite all the challenges thrown my way is top of that list! It's easy to feel jaded or disillusioned right now, given that collectively, we have all been through so much since 2020. We should all be proud of waking up, still grateful to be alive, excited to create and dream, and hope for better days and show up. 

How can women better empower each other to succeed? In all honesty, look at your friendship circles first. Do you have POC friends? As in people who are in your core group of friends especially? If not, ask yourself, how come? 

What is one small act each can do that supports the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity? Look up and understand what the word intersectionality means and reflect on how we can embody that in our own lives. 

If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why? Michelle Yeoh. She is the definition of an icon to me. Watching her finally get every recognition, accolade, and adoration she is getting in 2023 inspires me! She is so graceful, tough, elegant, and badass and reminds me that dreams have no timeline, passion is everything, and you keep doing what you love no matter what.

Jess wears the Melinda Sleeveless Linen Maxi Dress in Optical White.