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International Women’s Day: 7 Inspirational Women Who’ve Shaped History

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Today on International Women’s Day, we want to reflect and showcase the inspiring women that resonate closely with our team members. These women broke misconceptions, mastered the art of resilience and achieved outstanding accomplishments.

 

Dot Robinson

Chosen by Izzy

In 1939, Dot Robinson created Motor Maids, a community of women riders across the USA. She rode all over America and recruited 51 females, and to this day, Motor Maids is still alive with the premise that women who own and ride their own motorbike remain the organisation’s backbone.

‘The Australian female motorcyclist inspired me to learn to ride a motorbike. Never a hair out of place (and never without make-up), Dot proved you could be a lady but still ride a motorcycle’ – Izzy.

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Chosen by Waseem

In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran for congress in the U.S., where she challenged incumbent politicians by representing the views of ordinary everyday people. She threatens the status quo by redefining the traditional leadership style by using empathy rather than competitiveness.

Not only is she the youngest woman ever to serve in congress, but she breaks the stereotype by being her authentic self, using her working background to unite and empower people.

 

Saalumarada Thimmakka

Chosen by Meera

Saalumarada Thimmakka is an Indian Environmentalist who planted and nurtured 384 banyan trees along the stretch of a highway. Every day she and her husband would carry heavy buckets for a back-breaking distance of 4 kilometres to water the trees.

They used the little resources they had to plant, water and protect the saplings. This became the daily routine of Thimmakka’s life, despite this not helping her impoverished situation. However, this incredible act of environmental service led her to achieve the National Citizen’s Award of India and the Padma Shri award.

 

Shakuntala Devi

Chosen by Meera

Shakuntala Devi was an Indian prodigy who holds a record in the Guinness Book for being able to do insanely large mental calculations. The equation that landed her into the book was in 1980 when she was asked to multiply two 13-digit numbers and answered it in just 28 seconds.

Incredibly, she was self-taught and actually recruited her calculating abilities while performing card tricks. In 1977, she also wrote a pioneering book on homosexuality, the first of its kind to be published in India.

‘Awesome woman’ – Meera

 

Erin Brockovich

Chosen by Rebecca

Erin Brockovich has dyslexia and struggled in her early education, but due to some excellent teaching experiences, she was able to become a globally renowned lawyer. She helped win the largest lawsuit in U.S. history in 1996 and, during this, had to read through thousands of pages of records and briefs, which she found challenging to do.

Brockovich states that it’s dyslexia that helped her to work as a lawyer and remains an advocate for those with literacy differences in the workplace and education.

 

Miriam Makeba

Chosen by Ashleigh

In 1965 Miriam Makeba, along with other artists, vowed not to have any “personal or professional association with the present Republic of South Africa… until all its people – black and white – shall equally enjoy the educational and cultural advantages of this rich and lovely land” (Boycott, 1965).

The Grammy award winner openly opposed South Africa’s apartheid regime and lost her citizenship living in exile for over 30 years because she was an activist. “Mama Africa” introduced the world to South African music and ensured her music highlighted the injustices happening in her motherland.

 

Valentina Tereshkova

Chosen by Corey

Valentina Tereshkova was the first time a woman travelled into space on the Vostok 6 spacecraft in 1963, and she remains the only woman to have been on a solo space mission.

She also was a spokesperson in the Committee of Soviet Women. In 1986, Tereshkova had gained permission to speak at a National Congress of Women and dedicated a public discussion of women’s issues in the Soviet Union. She considers this event to be one of her biggest achievements.

 

We also want to give this opportunity to show gratitude to the women who support Global Diversity Practice. Without their continuous contributions, collaboration and hard work, GDP would not be in the position it is today.

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