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Celebrating International Women's Day

International Womens Day 07/03/2024

Hear from Cheshire and Warrington women

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion.

Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity.

IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.

Cheshire and Warrington women share why the above is important to them, what their organisation is doing to inspire inclusion and who they think truly inspires them.


Lydia Sharkey, Guardian of the Marketing Marshes aka Head of Marketing and Media BeWILDerwood


"I would say Lek Chailert who runs Elephant Nature Park in Thailand inspires me! I worked there once, got to meet her and saw a truly inspiring talk she did. Not only does she rescue elephants (and other animals) from the tourism trade, but she helps animals across the country and further afield, raising awareness of this globally – her work and everything she has done is truly inspiring. Everything she does is about inclusion from the staff she employs, to the people and animals she supports and the people who visit her park. As well as having volunteers from around the world."

Find out more about BeWILDerwood, Cheshire here >



Wami Cracknell, Marketing Intern, Marketing Cheshire


"For me, inclusion means creating a space where the opinions and voices of everyone are heard and valued. Every individual has a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective on all things in life that has been shaped by their lived experience. Real inclusion within any setting whether it's work or social settings, means truly listening to the experiences of others, allowing what they say to challenge your thoughts and to shape your future actions."

Lisa Buxton, Centre Manager, Tomorrow's Women



"Tomorrow’s Women is a charity that is led by women, for women that provides targeted interventions, activities, courses and support sessions for a variety of women’s issues.

We offer support to women experiencing domestic abuse, those struggling with substance misuse, women involved in the criminal justice system who may be on the periphery of offending, those who are experiencing struggles with their mental health and so much more.

We understand at Tomorrow’s Women that the above do not discriminate therefore it is vital that inclusivity is embedded into the work we do and is outlined in our mission statement “we will support and empower women and young girls from all backgrounds, facing any personal issues to live equal and fulfilled lives"

Find out more about Tomorrow's Women here >

Hannah Dobbie, Accountant and Fractional CFO - Angel Accounting Solutions



"At Angel Accounting Solutions Ltd, we admire Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes, she’s an inspiring leader through her unwavering commitment to inclusion. By creating an organisation dedicated to encouraging young women and non-binary individuals to pursue careers in STEM. Her approach, blending mentorship with accessible educational programs, not only breaks down gender barriers in STEM but also cultivates a culture of diversity and empowerment. We celebrate Stemettes’ efforts to create an inclusive industry where digital, tech and science are open to all"

Find out more about Angel Accounting Solutions here >

Karen Jervis, Product & Marketing Manager, Ambiance Bain


"Karren Brady is renowned for championing the cause of women in business.  Having joined West Ham FC where there were no women in the boardroom, she is now proud to say 50% of the board are female.  As far back as 10 years ago, Karren Brady wrote an inspiring piece for The Guardian promoting the fact that it is up to those at the top to bridge the gender gap. Brady went on to be named as one of the most inspirational women in British sport, along with many other awards throughout her career.  Karren Brady leads by example and is pure inspiration for women in business today with a can do attitude which leads others to drive inclusion in all types of business."

Find out more about Ambiance Bain here.

Ana Cantu, Founder, Little Green Paper Shop


"Sustainability and inclusion are inherently linked, with inclusive practices playing a crucial role in achieving sustainable outcomes. Inclusive sustainability ensures that environmental efforts benefit all members of society by considering diverse perspectives, addressing intersecting inequalities, and fostering community engagement and resilience. By integrating principles of social equity and diversity into sustainability initiatives, we can create more effective and enduring solutions that address both environmental concerns and social justice."

Find out more about Little Green Paper Shop here >

Nicola Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Powdr



“Inspiring inclusion in the technology sector (with inclusion usually alluding to the lack of woman) is a hot topic in many technology led companies right now. I must admit, I accidently fell into the world of technology and only because a fab HR recruiter told me it completely suited some of my more natural skills such a logical thinking and application; an accident I am very thankful for today. I think that the technical industry often is just misunderstood. The vastness of roles that are available within the sector aren’t well known or understood and very often the thought of a job in “technology” leads most people to think about a young nerdy chap hidden behind a computer. So, what can we do to inspire inclusion… we need to break the thought of what a job in technology is. Whether this is by sharing different experiences of working in technology with schools, colleges and learners or by encouraging people we know with skills that so naturally incline to jobs in technology to just go for it!  The old, assumed picture of the guy behind a computer needs to be a thing of the past and when we talk about technology and technology jobs it should focus on the different roles that are available that wouldn’t be so obvious. In this way we can encourage people to think differently about the sector itself and thus hopefully inspire more inclusion!”

Find out more about Powdr here >

Kat Lennox, Managing Director, Rawwater Applied Technology Ltd


"At Rawwater, our mantra is simple: to always recruit the best person for the job – regardless of race, creed, age, disability, or gender. We lead by example and celebrate our incredibly diverse and talented team, of which the majority of senior leaders are female! ;-)."

Find out more about Rawwater here >


Janet King, Proprietor, Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre


"We have an environment here at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre where each individual has a sense of belonging and we empower them to achieve their full potential by including them in ideas, knowledge and perspectives to maximise success within the business."

Find out more about Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre >


Professor Eunice Simmons

Professor Eunice Simmons, Vice Chancellor, University of Chester


"Sustainability can’t be achieved without inclusion.  Disadvantaged communities are more threatened by climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse. In the UK we need more varied voices in the sustainability profession, with different insights and perspectives to find and implement solutions which matter to us all."


Find out more about the University of Chester here >

Anna Parker

Net Zero and Economic Programme Officer
Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership


"I don't think we can achieve any degree of sustainability without inclusivity and, luckily, they really complement each other. When we think of sustainability, we think of the reasons why we need to be sustainable: for the planet and for all people, everywhere. How we imagine we might achieve that degree of sustainability hinges on empowering societies to take action and have their voices heard. Inclusion leads to greater diversity of thought which can spark meaningful change and we need this if we are going to effectively tackle climate change. "

Find out more about sustainability and inclusion at Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership >

Holly Challinor, Founding Director

Cheshire Botanicals Ltd


"Inclusion embraces everyone, without distinction and it also encompasses the art of listening. Everybody has a voice that deserves to be heard. In business, that voice could contribute to growth and success! The ever-so important act of being inclusive, whether within a team of colleagues or an entire industry, involves respecting ideas, opinions and approaches - and showing support for them."

Find out more about Cheshire Botanicals >

Pat Jackson

Director of Skills and Education

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership


"Inclusion is very important to me. I am passionate about the need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential – where everyone is treated fairly and is able to have equal access to opportunities and resources. It also means challenging where we see that not everyone has equal access or equal opportunities.

For example, in Cheshire and Warrington, for at least the last 16 years, the academic achievement of young people from our disadvantaged communities is significantly below the national average and well below the academic achievement of their more advantaged peer group in Cheshire and Warrington.

We also know that across Cheshire and Warrington there is a wide range of jobs which need people with good digital skills and yet only 20% of our residents with higher level digital skills are female. We are working with local partners to try to address these issues. Inclusion is also one of the reasons I volunteer as a school governors in a school where nearly 50% of our students are eligible for free school meals."


Find out more about skills and education at Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership >