International Women’s Day 2023

by Handy Mag
Published: Updated:

Celebrated on 8th March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a chance to come together and recognise the incredible contributions of women. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

We asked some of our own female business owners and leaders to talk about what International Women’s Day means to them.

Zoe Metcalfe

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

I’m incredibly proud to be a women and female Commissioner here in North Yorkshire, and International Women’s Day to me is a celebration of all women’s achievements and the opportunity to raise the profile globally.

I didn’t set out to be a leader, but I knew I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives and that a move into politics would give me the platform I needed to help those in similar situations to me.

Quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” – We need to cultivate and encourage female leaders from an early age.  Until this is embedded, women will not be where they belong.

Nicola Spence

Nicola Spence is the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer at DEFRA and based in York.

[International Women’s Day] is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the incredible talent and resilience of women in every part of society.

One of my biggest challenges was balancing family life with a science career […] You need determination and support to find ways of balancing work-life. Flexible working is certainly helping with this challenge.

My advice is do what you love, even if you don’t yet know what a future role or career might be, a passion for the subject is the most important thing.

Kate Tyson

Kate Tyson is owner of Harminis and Yorkshire Coast Female Entrepreneurs and Women in Business.

We are so lucky to live in a free society where women have almost equal value to men. I’m thankful for all the campaigning work that generations of women before me have accomplished. I have fallen into natural leadership, and where I see something that is missing or needs doing, I go and do it!

[My advice is to] 100% surround yourself with positive people. Invest in yourself. Pay for a business coach, hire help in and offset some of the workload, and finally don’t let fear of a big tax bill stop you from growing and scaling your business!

Natasha Jones

Natasha Jones is Artistic Director at Helmsley Arts Centre

For me International Women’s Day is the day in the year where collectively we can shout from the rooftops about how incredible women are (although I do that for the other 364 days of the year too)!

On a more serious note, it’s about raising awareness of the need for a gender equal world, calling out discrimination and seeking out inclusion. It’s everyone’s responsibility and we can only achieve that by educating and lobbying for positive change.

I am privileged to be surrounded by inspiring women in my creative work as a director and musician. It’s a joy to elevate, celebrate and empower women everyday. There is a very long way to go to reach gender equality across the world. It’s time for change, and it starts with embracing equity.

Audrie Woodhouse

Audrie is a life coach, speaker and actress. She is organising an event in Malton on 6th March called Magnificent Women to celebrate our own inspirational women.

These days we could easily forget why [International Women’s Day (IWD)] is so important and it is for that very reason we need to keep doing it. For me, IWD reminds me of how far women have come and how much further we can go in our pursuit of equality.

I respect that there are challenges for women leaders but I have never been one to accept defeat or turn away from a barrier. It seems to me that humans of all kinds face barriers in varied degrees, the act of challenging them is key to our evolution and progress.

Venetia Wrigley

Venetia Wrigley was High Sheriff of North Yorkshire from 2021 -22.

During my year as High Sheriff, I was lucky enough to traverse our enormous county and meet many quite extraordinary women and learn for myself, how they, during Covid, had achieved ‘the Impossible’. They had lead their voluntary organisations from the front and ensured that the elderly, vulnerable and ill members of their communities were never without food, their medication and, most importantly, felt loved and cherished throughout the pandemic.

I would encourage anyone to follow their example by […] becoming a volunteer. It is the most rewarding and satisfying experience.

Marianne Long

Marianne is director of Moonriver Publishing, publisher
of the Handy Mags.

Like many, I initially started my business to fit around my family. I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband, who has always been a great sounding block, and my amazing children.

In my businesss, I’m a big advocate of flexible working for myself and staff so that we can all be as effective as possible at work.

Being a leader—male or female—is always about compromise and working with great teams. Women can bring a different style of leadership to men but we all need support.

On this International Women’s Day, my advice is to dream big, believe in yourself and your own ability—and people will also trust and believe in you too. Don’t give up!

Kim Hume

Kim is a Chartered Management Accountant and owner at The Numbers Business in Malton.

Focussing on the positives is something I really believe in and on International Women’s Day, I think we should be reflecting on how much progress women have made in the business world and celebrating what has been achieved so far.  Not just collectively, as ‘International Women’ but through our own personal successes, no matter how small they are, as all these small successes add up to make us the successful women in business that we are today.  There is always something positive to celebrate, every day, even if there is still a lot to achieve too!”

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