International Women’s Day: The Women Who Inspire Us

Ahead of  International Women’s Day, we asked some of the Propeller team to share insight into the women that inspire them. Below they have shared the musicians, actors, comedians, friends and family that have influenced the people they are today.

Rose Bentley, Director of Strategy

“I’m a great believer in the power of humour in leadership and in developing healthy business cultures. And I am a great believer in the special ingredients that women bring to leadership – empathy, emotional intelligence and focus. So funny women will always get my vote. Funny women with something to say, even more so. So I nominate Phoebe Waller-Bridge as someone who inspires me. Actor, writer, playwright and director and consummate reader of people. And all by the age of 33.“

Hilary Gray, Client Services Director

“Orla Guerin, BBC Middle East Correspondent when I was in my early teens. As a thirteen year old I really wanted to be like her, she was literally fearless – putting her life in danger to get news stories. Although I decided to take a less risky career path, looking at what she has done is always a great way to put your problems and fears in perspective and helps me to be braver.”

Alister Heywood, Marketing Executive

“When I was a teenager and watching comedy shows all the time, 30 Rock became my favourite programme. Tina Fey single-handedly derailed the heavy narrative I was receiving as a young man that ‘women aren’t funny’ and showed me you can be hilarious whatever background you have. Delighted to say that I work with loads of very funny women!”

Ben Titchmarsh, Director of Business Development and Partnerships
“American 1950s activist Rosa Parks is my personal choice of inspirational figure on International Women’s Day. As a teenager, I visited the museum in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to her Civil Rights bus boycott and memories of it have always stayed with me. Her simple act of defiance in the face of Southern racial segregation paved the way for other more well-known male figures like Martin Luther King JR to non-violently challenge injustice and studying US history modules at University years later, I was always touched by her decency and inner strength. ‘Rosa Parks’ is also an awesome Outkast track from 1998 that everyone should have on a Spotify playlist!”

Alysha Alibhai, Operations Manager

“It may sound cheesy but my best friend inspires me everyday. She has been through so much in her life but remains a sweet, sensitive, thoughtful & empathetic person. She is the strongest person I know and she motivates me to be a bigger and better person.”

Jocelyn Wright, Account Director

“Reni Eddo-Lodge – I’ve just read her book “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race” – she is a talented and eloquent writer who’s not afraid to have difficult conversations or speak up for what’s right. I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist and I now have a whole new perspective on things thanks to her book!”

Branwell Johnson, Director of Content

The category of ‘serious’ music was a bit of a boys’ club when I grew up in the 70s – but then punk erupted and gave the opportunity for a plethora of daring, original bold new voices – and many came from women. If you don’t know them check out Siouxsie Sioux or Poly Styrene and see what I mean. Without them paving the way we would not have had Madonna, Courtney Love or Kim ‘Sonic Youth’ Gordon in the 80s/90s and Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and co now.”