The women who inspire us

 
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Before founding INLU, It really did feel like life was so much easier. 

Of course, it wasn't, I mean there were still so many challenges, but now it just feels like they have doubled (and then tripled once I became a mother, but I’ll leave that topic for last).

Being a woman in today's society should, in theory, be easier than say less than 100 years ago when it was unheard of for a woman to even be seen as independent from a man. When women weren’t even allowed the right to vote, to own property or even to work in certain roles, the gap between women and men was immense. 

But with the way society evolved, it instilled the need for equality, the idea that both men and women should be able to fulfil their dreams and be whoever they want to be, without gender bias.

To today’s children, the question of gender equality seems like such a basic right, at a young age there is already an understanding that gender shouldn't control the way a person is treated in their work and everyday life. 

As you can see in this incredible video made in Norway, where after giving kids (male and female) the same amount of work they compensate them differently and document their reactions. Their reactions are both on point and hilarious! As they put it “Unequal pay is unacceptable in the eyes of children. Why should we accept this as adults.

Although there are still far too many gender-based differences happening in the workforce to this day, things like unequal pay, domestic work, work opportunities, etc.

I wanted to focus on a more positive note, the incredible women shaping both the way we challenge inequality and how that is reflected in the corporate world on a day to day basis, paving the way for other women to stand up, speak out. 

These women are constantly advocating for their fellow women and inspiring others to aim high and achieve whatever they want to achieve, one strong woman at a time. 

Here is a list of the incredible women who have inspired me. 

The first one on my List has to be:

My Mum

If you are also one of those people lucky enough to have a supermom as a role model, your bar is high. You understand that as a mom, your role is never clear cut you can accumulate several jobs in your day-to-day life: psychologist, nurse, teacher, coach. And you realize there is no perfect moment for being a mum alone.

 My mom taught me how to be strong, resilient and compassionate and that anything is achievable when you really focus, she is one of my fiercest supporters and someone whose advice I value the most. 

He For She - Emma Watson 

I truly believe that the only way to true equality for both genders is to get men on board. If they are the ones who own the biggest % of leadership roles in the world, then only through their help can we truly obtain equality. 

Emma Watson is one of the biggest public supporters of equality and an advocate for women's rights, as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma is the ambassador of HeForShe campaign, a movement that states it is crucial to incentivise man to back up on women.

Emma openly identifies as a feminist, the word feminist has so many negative connotations to it, so for some people it can be translated into “Women against men” but the reality is if you are a feminist then its because you believe that there should be gender equality and as Gal Gadot so eloquently put it “Anyone Who Is Not A Feminist Is Sexist” 

The LOLA pop-feminism website published a tongue in cheek video with a tutorial on five things that men can do for women and feminism. 

Their 5 Pieces of Advice: 

1 - Do not be an ally in the street and a chauvinist in bed

2 - Listen and learn

3 – Face your colleagues

4 – Use your privilege for the good

5 - Rethink your masculinity

Work-life Balance - Arianna Huffington 

If there is someone we should listen to is Arianna Huffington. an astute businesswoman and an incredible entrepreneur.  While we can get distracted by a myriad of things we should do in order to succeed, Arianna reminds us of one of the most important: Get more sleep. 

In her book The Sleep Revolution she teaches us on how to turn sleep into your secret weapon, something that she learned first hand since, overworking herself to the point of exhaustion in 2007.

Huffington says that it’s a “complete delusion” that if you get little sleep and take poor care of yourself, you are going to be more productive. That doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed by burning out. But you can succeed much more effectively, and much more sustainable, and with much less damage to your health and your relationships. 

As Huffington says “That’s why they tell you on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on first.”

Be You. Be Real – Greta Thunberg 

Greta has shown us that conviction has no age or boundaries. You can be fierce and strong-willed and show deep understanding and have the drive to bring change even at a younger age. She is only 16 and she has been raising awareness on a world level as a climate activist, talking directly with high profile politicians and speaking on an international level through digital platforms such as Facebook, she has stood up and made it impossible to not be heard and taken seriously.

Even at her young age, she is a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to young women (and old) worldwide.

The Truth About Motherhood - Kristina Kuzmic

As I said, I was going to leave the topic of motherhood for last. Not because it is less important, but because not all women are mothers and that's oks ok, but for the ones who do tick this box I advise you to follow Kristina Kuzmic

 She talks honestly about what day to day is like and is real about the difficulties of motherhood in a way that it’s impossible to not like it. Starting with a blog called “Truth Bomb Mom” which says it all. She admits that she doesn't love every minute of motherhood and that's ok. Kristina Kuzmic wants moms to push the guilt aside and remember motherhood is hard. Reminding moms, to pat yourself on the back, you're doing just fine!

Additionally, as all women have these fantasies on how great mothers and happy they will be the whole team until …. I Was The Perfect Mom Until I Had Kids.

If your curious to know a bit of my experience, here is a little bit about my experience in a heartfelt blog post that I made on Linkedin.

As a last comment, let’s not follow the same mistakes over and over again by having a one size fits all role model. 

Take Mattel's “Barbie” after years of controversy for promoting an unrealistic ideal they pivoted and started introducing a more realistic doll, this year going one step further and launching a special collection on women ́s day with 17 New Dolls Based on Powerful and Inspiring Women.

To conclude, women have come a long way in the fight for equality, while we are not all the way there yet we are lucky to have more and more incredible examples around us who continue to inspire us.