Jules Hillier, Chief Executive at Pause
Inspirational women on International Women’s Day
In preparation for International Women’s Day I have spent a lot of time thinking about the women who have inspired me. I have found it almost impossible even to get to a shortlist – there are just so many. I can’t even pick a category to choose from.
I could go personal and think about my family where inspirational women in every generation teach me that being a woman isn’t a barrier to anything that I want to achieve. I could think about the school teachers who helped me look at the world and see what was possible. I could reach into history or politics and try and select one from hundreds of ground-breaking, determined, brilliant women who made a difference to the lives of millions of people, then and now.
Then there’s my work environment. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t come into contact with a dozen inspirational women working in the social sector. Pause alone is absolutely full of them. I could look at fiction. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s so, if I’m honest, Christine Cagney fighting bad guys and personal demons all whilst looking amazing in a trouser suit is pretty close to the top of my list, and as for finding inspiration in books, well, that’s a whole other list altogether (special thank you to Judy Blume, though, of course).
When my thoughts turn to the women who choose to work with Pause, there, too, there are so many impressive examples. Women whose lives are difficult and who have experienced significant trauma, but who have found coping strategies and drawn on their resilience and kept going. The change they create in their lives and the extraordinary bravery with which they face up to the hard work of reflecting on their personal responsibilities stays with me for longer than anything else.
And then, finally, I am pushed to reflect on my privilege. Since the day I was born I have been exposed to inspirational women – my family, my education, my cultural references, my friends, my colleagues – half a decade of seeing and absorbing the impact of incredible women. But that isn’t the experience that everyone has and one of the things I am proud of on International Women’s Day 2020 is that Pause is supporting women to find inspiration through relationships, learning and experiences that are new to them. And I’d like to thank every one of them for inspiring us.
If you have any questions, queries or would like to get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org