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March 8th 2018 marks International Women’s Day. This annual, global event celebrates the social, cultural and political achievements of women. Observed since the early 1900s, a time of population growth, industrialisation and expansion, this day calls for gender equality and highlights the ongoing issues that women face.
In celebration of women who break the mould of gender stereotypes, Cornerstone is taking a look at inspirational females from a range of industries and backgrounds.
Cornerstone’s Head of Design, Sarah, said: “I think to help break down gender stereotyping, it’s really important that young girls are encouraged to learn and seek out typically male dominated subjects at school from an earlier age. Studies have shown that by Years 8-10 the subject and career choices of pupils were already gender-segregated, so we need to be starting sooner to help change these pre-formed conceptions.”
Sarah’s favourite female designer is Carolyn Davidson.
Carolyn was just a student when she created the famous Nike swoosh logo back in 1971. In the 1970s, the sports design industry was very much a male environment, making this logo even more iconic of an achievement. She was paid just $35 for this logo but has since received shares to the tune of $1 million.
Cornerstone graphic designer Dave Edgar and his wife recently welcomed their first child into the world, Emmeline. “Her name actually came from us searching ‘strong female role models’ when looking for inspiration and it’s quite apt that we named her Emmeline with the 100th anniversary of the suffragettes. We intend to raise her in a way that lets her know that she can be or do whatever she wants to and to not put any limitations on her. Hopefully the world will allow her to do so, too”.
Another such role model is Sabrina Pasterski as chosen by our client Liz Crossley at LTE Scientific. Liz said: “Pasterski is a really inspirational woman. She has shown what hard work and determination can achieve. She took her first flying lesson at age 10 and built her own kit aircraft and flew solo at the age of 16.”
It’s not just the professional and educational worlds where gender inequality is a problem. It was revealed that there are two million fewer 14-40 year old females taking part in sports regularly than men, despite saying that they wanted to be more active. *
#ThisGirlCan is an ongoing campaign launched by Sport England to encourage women to challenge cultural assumptions about femininity with slogans such as ‘sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’ and ‘a kick right in the stereotypes’.
#ThisGirlCan has fronted some fantastic campaigns to break gender stereotypes. To feel inspired, watch this fantastic Maya Angelou, narrated video.
Another client Darren Grice of Link4Life said that “athletes like Nicola Adams, whose achievements in boxing, a sport traditionally associated with men and boys, are an inspiration to us all. I hope that her career, and that of others like her will give more women and girls the confidence and conviction to follow their talents and make their own unique contribution to the sporting and cultural industries.”
Adams has been selected as part of the Barbie ‘Shero’ range designed to honour inspiring women. The ‘Boxer Barbie’ has boxing gloves, boxing wear embroidered with her Lioness nickname and her distinctive hairstyle.
One of our videographers’ Kat’s favourite videos is ‘Da Da Ding’ by Nike which was created to encourage Indian women to take part in sport. Kat says: “Everything about this video makes me feel inspired. I love how driving the pace is. It’s a powerful piece which depicts strong women in every type of sport, including cricket and basketball which are typically male dominated.”
Finally, a word of advice from marketing coordinator and designer, Mica Wood of client, Fineline Interiors: “When I left school I enrolled on a construction course at Oldham College as I originally was interested in becoming an architect. During college I was the only girl in the class. When it comes down to something you love doing in a male oriented environment, don’t be scared! Show everyone that you’re there and that you mean business. Stand your ground and always be you!”
We’d love to hear about who inspires you? Maybe it’s an industry professional, an athlete or a family member? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
Happy International Women’s Day everybody!