Yesterday, International Women’s Day was marked by both inspirational moments and a clear message that we still have a lot to do. From the recent uncovering of abuse in Hollywood to the discussion of the gender pay gap, women are still fighting for support and an equal voice. Much like the suffragette movement, this is a time of empowerment and a movement for change.
Located in the heart of the City, The Sybarite joined other fabulous industry women in the Garden Room at the private members, Devonshire Club, for the Wonder Women Brunch. Hosted by Tamara Gillan CEO of Cherry London, together with Stylist Editor-in-Chief Lisa Smosarski, an impressive panel of women, each successful in the respective fields, assembled to demonstrate how conversation can be transformed to purposeful action.
Arriving to a sea of 100 successful and very glamorous women, I must say, I was a ball of excitement and a little intimidated all at the same time. However, with a glass of champagne in hand and inspirational women all around, the panel were greeted by standing room only. Introduced by Lisa Smosarski, the panel included Samantha Bond, successful English actress, best known for her roles in James Bond (the Pierce Brosnan years) and Downton Abbey, Rochelle Humes, television and radio host and the newest patron for the Mothers2mothers campaign, Tanya Joseph, the creator of ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, Sonoo Singh Associate editor of The Drum, Athena Stevens, writer and spokesperson for the Women’s Equality Party and Emma France, mothers2mothers Global Development & Strategic Engagement Director.
The panel each wearing a ‘We Are All Wonder Women’ t-shirt, engaged in conversation about creating positive change and how we as individuals can make an impact. “If you see something that is wrong, call it out”, implores Tanya Joseph, creator of ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. With the profile of inclusion raised by Oscar winning actress Frances McDormand, the panel reiterated the importance of presenting women with equal opportunities within the workplace. “ I would say never compromise on talent, but if you are more senior and have the opportunity to recruit people, employ some brilliant women, there are lots of us out there”, says Tanya.
After an inspiring and insightful Q&A with the panel, expressing the need to help women without a voice, whilst also supporting the inclusion of men in this drive for change. Founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001, Mothers2mothers (m2m), is an international NGO. The campaign employs and trains inspiring women in Sub-Saharan Africa, who have overcome the challenges of being diagnosed with HIV, to deliver health services and support to others going through the same experiences. In support of the charity we discussed some of the challenges faced by women all over the world and the inspirational work by the mothers2mothers mentors. Actress and mothers2mothers patron, Samantha Bond says, “I am honoured to be a Patron for m2m and to join the 1,600 Mentor Mothers that are committed to creating a generation free from HIV”. Emma France echoed Samantha’s passion for the cause and the vital work of her charity mothers2mothers. m2m aims to eliminate paediatric AIDS, through women helping other women. M2m are also working on educating teenagers (boys and girls) about choices, safe sex and the support that Mothers2mothers provide.
Emma then graciously asked us to become advocates for change, promising to shout about this great cause through our various channels and making International Women’s Day the everyday. To do our bit, we each made a donation or pledge to the charity and in exchange we received beautiful Wonder Women cards to share with the inspirational women in our lives.
From our fabulous cover stars, to the incredible content our contributors and influencers create. The Sybarite heralds the hard work of both men and women. Whilst this week see’s women at the forefront of news and social media, we do not want to see the global issues surrounding gender, simply swept under the rug. “We cannot have equality with just 50% of the population”, says Stylist Editor-in-Chief Lisa Smosarski. Don’t be that person who says “Just let them have their day”, because everyday should be about driving for the inclusion of minorities, no matter their gender, race, belief system or sexual orientation. This year, we commemorate 100-years since women gained the right to vote, lets all join together in the campaign Press for Progress and take action for the things that really matter.
Whilst many prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, perhaps you could think about making a Mother’s Day pledge? Fancy rallying your wonder women together (mothers, sisters, friends) for tea and cake? Fund-raise from the comfort of your home and help the wonderful work by m2m? Visit m2m here.