So another International Women’s Day is upon us. I always love this day: there are so many inspiring and celebratory blogs, tweets and stories to be found from colleagues around the world; the extraordinary WOW Festival sets the Southbank on fire; and of course it’s March so that’s January and February done with for another year!
Yesterday I was presenting at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s own International Women’s Day celebration. We were recently working in Nigeria and Indonesia with them, gathering stories to support their impact reporting on a mobile phone service that supports female entrepreneurs. We met some inspiring business women on our travels and when the stories are published later in the year we will share them.
It’s not their stories I want to talk about here though. We often tweet, blog and post about the inspiring people we meet as part of our jobs, from the brave and amazing Maisy in East London last week to the likes of Sister Sarah in Uganda. But we rarely mention the extraordinary people who make our trips possible.
It occurred to me as I was preparing my notes for my presentation yesterday that, drivers aside, virtually all of the people who made these trips happen were women. And they were young, passionate, ambitious, sometimes feisty and always inspiring women at that!
In Nigeria there was feisty ‘Agent Peace’ who notices (and analyses!) the tiniest detail; Social Media Queen, Ifeoma; and the quieter but ever observant Ngozi. In Indonesia we had Ruth, calm and poised in the face of Jakarta’s crazy traffic; Nancy, tenacious translator and a font of all knowledge on Indonesian fruit and vegetables; and Stella, fresh out of University and super keen to learn.
This amazing group of women were planners, facilitators, translators, impromptu lighting assistants, runners, tour guides and most of all good fun. Thanks to all of you for your time and humour during our recent visits and may you all have long and successful careers in development – or whatever other path you choose.