9 women on the woman who inspires them the most

To mark International Women’s Day 2023, we asked women to tell us about the woman (or women) who inspire them the most. Here’s what they had to say.

International Women’s Day may be dedicated to furthering conversations about gender equality, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to celebrate the incredible women in our lives.

It’s not often that we get the chance to sit back and reflect on just how big an impact the women we know and love have on us on a daily basis – whether they’re a family member, friend, colleague or public figure.

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So in the lead-up to this year’s International Women’s Day, we asked women to share a tribute to one of the women who inspire them the most. Keep reading to check out what they had to say – and once you’re done, take a moment to think about the women who inspire you, too.

“Jennifer Coolidge”

“I just love her joie de vivre and the fact that she has worked and worked and is finally getting her recognition as an actor, which she is totally owning. She clearly doesn’t take anything other than her acting seriously and you can’t help but love her. She is a Hollywood icon, but remains relatable.” – Pam, 48 

“My friend Greer”

“Greer inspired me to become a Samaritans volunteer just by being herself. Without realising it, she’s a role model for kindness, patience, humility and making time to help people around you – including strangers. The world’s a better place because Greer is in it.” – Ally, 33 

“Misty Copeland”

“As a dancer and fitness instructor, one of my biggest inspirations is American ballerina Misty Copeland. Starting her training relatively late in an industry that was not known for inclusivity and diversity, Misty Copeland was the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history. 

“Her work and career has been a symbolism of opportunity, passion, drive and hope for ballerinas around the world at all stages.” – Eloise, 31 

“My co-founder (and work wife)”

“My work-wife Kelly Fort inspires me every day. She is relentlessly optimistic about the difference we make, and thanks to her dedication, the charity we started at the beginning of the pandemic has supported 3,000 people in poverty (mostly mums and their children). She has a huge heart and is the best person to laugh, cry and learn from mistakes with. I wouldn’t want to be on this challenging journey with anyone else.” – Kirsty, 46

“My mum” 

“Her strength of character is so inspiring. After a troubling childhood, she left home at the age of 14 in the hope of forging a better life. As a mum myself now, I can’t fathom that. Soon after, she met my dad and they set up a home together.

“After having four children, she began working in a car manufacturing plant. She worked tirelessly, instigating new initiatives that saw her bypass male counterparts to senior management positions and pave the way for other women in the company.

“Although she was never shown how to love as a child, that didn’t stop her from doting on her children and grandchildren. She is courageous, protective and I am so proud of her.” – Clare, 43

Clare and her mum.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

“She is an inspirational American lawyer and jurist, a phenomenal partner to her husband and mother to her children. I have always looked at her in awe; a true ceiling smasher in education and law. She successfully fought against gender discrimination and unified the liberal block of the court.” – Jennifer, 50

“My colleagues” 

“Working for a women’s magazine means I’m constantly surrounded by inspirational women: they celebrate my wins, support me during my low points and make me laugh every day. What more could you want?” – Lauren, 25

Lauren and her colleagues.

“Reese Witherspoon”

“I love Reese Witherspoon, especially the way she creates better roles for women in her industry and allows for more gritty and imperfect characters. I really like her work!” – Laura, 41 

“My step mum” 

“The ‘step mum’ stereotype is universally portrayed as cunning, manipulative and even villainous, and yet, this couldn’t be any less true of my own step mum, hero and role model who, before going in for a life-or-death surgery, ripped off her monitors in the hospital to save my siblings and me from an abusive birth mother. Her title changed from step mum to super mum that day.” – Geeves, 28 

Images: courtesy of contributors

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