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Celebrating International Women's Day

International Womens Day 04/03/2022

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. #BreakTheBias

Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

Cheshire and Warrington women share what their organisations are doing to be more inclusive and drive change, what a diverse and inclusive future would mean to them and who inspires them.


Helen Gopsill


"Celebrating International Women’s Day, Alex Danson-Bennett MBE inspires me – following a freak accident in 2018, in which a brain injury forced her retirement from professional hockey after an amazing 18-year career (she won over 300 caps playing for England), she began rebuilding her life.... Focusing on recovering her health at first, and later establishing herself as a motivational speaker, building her hockey academy to encourage youngsters to progress in the game, becoming an active ambassador for the brain injury association “Headway”, and now raising her own family.

As I am currently creating a new portfolio career for myself as Non-Executive Director and Adviser, and also having suffered a head injury that affected my own health for a period of 9 months in 2019, I find her positivity, bravery and her dedication to supporting and mentoring others truly inspirational."

Shirley Jaffrey, Owner, The Aftercare Company



"The industry I work within has been stereotyped and our customer group can face prejudice daily. As a company, we have challenged that belief system by our actions and behaviour whilst delivering new and sustained business relationships to companies outside our industry. I would love to see more companies wanting to ensure they have the most diverse and inclusive workforce onboard. Not just for being part of humanity (that should be a given) but that they realise how much they are missing out as business by not doing so. Diversity, equity, and inclusion provide a wealth of talent and knowledge for a company to work with and grow. As a growing company we want to be the best we can be, so value any opportunity to be part of an international future that supports inclusion for all."

Find out more about the Aftercare Company here.


Kerry Hall, Growth Hub Manager, Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub



"Who inspires me?. Well, lots of women. The older I get it is the smaller things that inspire me. Many people do and achieve in everyday life that resonates with me! So tributes to everyday women coping and doing everyday things.... Being mum, working, taking care of family, working, catching up with friends, fundraisers for the countless charities, doing what interests us. And there are too many to list, to be honest

But to name names......The suffragettes, Holly Tucker - Not On The High Street, Kate Bush, Emma Raducanu, Caitlin Moran - Colonist, Victoria Derbyshire - reporter, Sue Barnard, Freya Lewis - a survivor of the Manchester Arena Attack.

And yes got to say it my lovely daughters....."

Find out more about the Growth Hub here.


Phillippa Meachin, Digital Marketing Manager, Marketing Cheshire


"Jojo Siwa is a great role model and someone to be admired. She has always had a lot of confidence and her message to her fans has always been to be yourself. She has constantly been vilified in the media for the way she talks, dresses, her sexuality, the ways she acts even the way she wears her hair! and yet she has done nothing to change the way she is to fit into the ‘famous teen’ model. She is very talented, can sing and dance, and clearly has an eye for business as she has various product lines. In 2021 she came out as queer and was the first person to dance in a same sex partnership on Dancing with the Stars, helping to lead the change in dismantling stereotypes and giving LGTBQ kids (or any kids/young adults) someone in the public eye that they can relate to, look up to and encourages them to be themselves."

Find out more about Marketing Cheshire here.

Jackie Weaver, Ambassador for Compassion in Politics


"I have used the media platform that the viral Handforth Parish Council Meeting afforded me to speak on behalf of local councils to encourage diversity – especially to encourage women to get involved in local democracy. For me, a diverse and inclusive future would be one where we stop counting how many men/women/diverse communities are represented and simply see that ‘we’ are represented. Any women who promote others or stands herself for office inspire me."

Abby Finch, Marketing Assistant, Marketing Cheshire 



"As a young woman growing up in the digital age of social media it has become obvious that women have the feeling that they always need to be perfect or look like the model on a clothing campaign, and if they do not they are seen as outsiders. A woman that consistently inspires me is Winnie Harlow. She has consistently pushed herself to achieve her goals in the extremely judgemental modelling industry, battling all the odds and voices of males and higher bodies who discriminated against her and doubted her due to her race and skin condition but to now having achieved a very successful career doing what she’s always wanted to do while still loving the body she has and continuously making a stance by trying to change people’s perspectives of the “beauty standard” that so many people quote so regularly. She is the woman who inspired me to realise no matter the labels, stereotypes and beauty expectations that get attached to women, there is always a way of rising above it and achieving greatness and success."

Find out more about Marketing Cheshire here.

Katrina Kerr, Chair, Chester BID Company 


"Chester BID Company are still not doing as much as we should, although our board and staff has strong female and young representation. We will keep trying and bring forward a range of opportunities so that all members of our community get a chance to shine. Plus I'm about to lead a new recruitment process for another organisation I support so a good chance to practice what I preach.

My international inspirational women this year must be Professor Sarah Gilbert and Ozlem Turecki. Sarah believed she could make a vaccine to save people dying from Covid and within six months and after dozens of late nights filling in forms to keep the project going, she had. Many of her collaborators were also women who also believed they could do it. And this is a woman who has brought up triplets and now has her own Barbie doll. (Very jealous) Ozlem is the daughter of Turkish immigrants and was inspired to become a doctor by her experience of Catholic nursing nuns. With her husband, she produced a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 less than a year after the genetic sequence of the virus was released, an achievement cited as "one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of our time." She is now a billionaire, but she isn't on a yacht or a rocket or paying people a pittance. She is in her lab."

Find out more about Chester BID Company here.


Leanne Eaton, Partnerships Manager, Marketing Cheshire 


"I think that Geta Thunberg, the teen activist is a very inspiring young lady who has become famous all over the world for campaigning against climate change. As often is the case with people on the autism spectrum, social interaction is difficult for her yet her courage and determination has led her to become a world-leading environment activist. She has even been able to address world leaders on a face-to-face basis and has given a number of powerful speeches since she first started her #FridaysForFuture movement in 2018 where she skipped school to sit in front of the Swedish parliament to protest the lack of action on the climate crisis. After going viral, her campaign has inspired many more students movements across the world. She has addressed at various climate change conferences ‘Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more when no one is doing anything to save that future’. We still have a very long way to go but things are being done and I feel this young lady has helped to get these messages out there and inspired lots of young people along the way."

Find out more about Marketing Cheshire here.


Kitty Sadler, Sales and Marketing Director, Snugburys Ice Cream.


"Since 2016 we have been a female-led company-with 75% of our team being female. This is an extremely rare company structure in a male dominant industry and brings unique perspective from ideas to problem solving allowing us to drive change from flexible working to childcare needs."

Find out more about Snugburys Ice Cream here.


Donna Hitchcock, Executive Director, Colas Ltd


"At Colas we remain fully committed to promoting equality, diversity and maintaining a culture of fairness, transparency, inclusion, and respect for all; from our employees through to suppliers and the communities we impact. In working with organisations such as WISE, CITB Be FaIR, and our commitment to the Menopause at Work pledge alongside our policies to drive change, we will continue with our commitment to progress with our gender balance initiatives. I would like to thank all the women in our lives, at work and at home, on a day where we get to celebrate female accomplishment"

Find out more about Colas here.


Abbie White, The Pledge and Youth Fed Marketing Manager


"Rose Ayling-Ellis is a true inspiration to me. Rose doesn't let being deaf stop her and approaches life with positivity and determination. Rose is now also petitioning to have British Sign Language as an official language and to be given legal status in the UK. "

Find out more about Youth Fed here.

Find out more about The Pledge here.


Chloe Cunningham, Fleet Regional Operations Administrator, United Utilities,


"An international future that is diverse, equitable and inclusive would mean to me that I wouldn’t be scared to apply for those roles that may not be considered a role for me. It would emphasise the fact that we are all able to achieve the success that we dream of and encourage me to dig deeper for my goals."

Find out more about United Utilities here


Emma Dalzell, Enterprise Coordinator, The Pledge



"I run the Employer Diversity & Inclusion Group, which has kicked off a pilot programme for getting more girls into Computing, supported by employers within the group, such as CF Fertilisers, Driveworks, Astra Zeneca

To me, a future that is inclusive, diverse and equitable would be to see more female role models in tech and in the FTSE 100 CEO positions

In terms of inspiring women, mine would be Rachael Heyhoe Flint (OBE), English Cricket Captain, businesswoman and philanthropist. She captained the English cricket team to win the inaugural Women’s Cricket World Cup."

Find out more about The Pledge here.

Ceri Morgan, Enterprise Coordinator, The Pledge


"A woman who inspires me is Mary Beard. She is a historian who breaks biases and has worked hard to be at the top of her field. She isn't afraid to speak out about injustice and doesn't care if her opinions make her a target for online trolls."

Find out more about The Pledge here.


"I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many inspirational women both in my personal and professional life. They are strong, creatively minded and not afraid to go for what they want in life. I am raising my daughter to be just as strong-minded and creative."

Find out more about The Pledge here.