03 Mar 10 Women Who Inspire Me: Part One
10 Women Who Inspire Me To Do Better (part one)
International Women’s Day is coming up and you know I don’t need an excuse to champion the amazing women in my life. My list could go on forever so I’m limiting this post to ten women who are out there working to make the world a better place. PS. This picture was taken at my keynote speech at the United Nation’s Girl Up Leadership Summit last year – an honour to be asked to inspire young women to fight for what they know is right.
My list is made up mostly of the magnificent women who I invited to talk at my Sustainability Sessions; a series of live community panel talks to inspire more meaningful conversation on sustainability across food, beauty, health, careers, travel and fashion. They inspired me with their advice and positivity and I’ve taken on a lot of their words of wisdom across my everyday life, and I hope their words will do the same for you.
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Skye Gyngell is a food hero of mine and head chef at Spring restaurant in central London. She is a real advocate for sustainable food and for eating with the seasons and supporting local farmers. She’s eliminated single-use plastic in her kitchen and her delicious zero-waste pre-theatre ‘Scratch’ menu repurposes ingredients that would otherwise end up in the bin. Come and see us talk at Heckfield Place on 24 March.
I am loving Anita Rani’s work raising awareness around plastics and the damage single-use plastic is having on our planet. Her War on Plastics BBC1 documentary with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall last year is well worth a watch. If you want to start reducing plastic too, here’s my starter guide to going plastic-free in the kitchen.
June Sarpong, broadcaster and now the BBC’s first Director of Creative Diversity, is not only a lovely person but killing it in her career and now working really hard to level the playing field for people of all backgrounds. Her advice? Encourage diversity in your own workplace and befriend a colleague you wouldn’t usually speak to. Conversations matter!
Conscious beauty connoisseur Khandiz Joni is a beauty expert on a mission to promote ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable beauty. Go to one of her incredible The Art of Letting Go beauty workshops – they’re not beauty workshops as you know them, they’ll teach you to let go of the quest for ‘perfection’ and embrace feeling internally beautiful.
Charity Surf champion and environmentalist Sophie Hellyer is an ambassador for Get Out – an outdoor education charity that gets inner-city kids out of London and into nature. She gave some great advice on how to travel more sustainably, including how to offset your carbon emissions (if you have to fly) by planting trees. Read more about sustainable tree planting organisations here.
Awe-inspiring creative director of Fashion Revolution Orsola de Castro is making waves in the world of fashion, demanding more transparency from big brands and better working conditions for the people who make our clothes. Get involved in this year’s Fashion Revolution Week starting 20 April and read these tips on how you can begin to reduce your fast fashion.
Women’s Health Expert Emma Cannon came along to my Sustainability Sessions to talk about all things health and truly celebrating all the gloriousness of our bodies. She’s a fertility expert, not necessarily to help us women have children, but to get us feeling more abundant and fruitful. One thing she says that stuck with me; “we’re not part of nature, we are nature”, yes Emma! Read more ways you can get back to nature.
Romy Gill MBE is an incredible chef and inspiration to many in the food industry. Her food is outstandingly delicious, she is an advocate for women and home-cooking and she’s just about to star in the reboot of (my favourite childhood cooking programme) Ready, Steady, Cook!
Bryony Gordon, is a good friend and founder of a wonderful community organisation close to my heart, Mental Health Mates. They organise free monthly walks for anyone struggling with mental wellbeing all over the UK and there are now some internationally too. Join a free Mental Health Mates “walk and talk” near you. I’m an ambassador for these walks and mine is the second Sunday of every month in Hackney.
Poorna Bell is an award-winning journalist, author and powerlifter. She’s now writing another book on finding your strength through physical activity and how it can help you mentally. Check out her @seemystrong IG account covering stories of fitness across all colour, culture, age and body size. Really empowering whether you ‘do exercise’ or not.