International Women’s Day 2019

Friday is International Women’s Day. We can’t even begin to pretend that we are gender balanced here at Juliettes. This is a company that is unashamedly owned by women, run by women and predominantly staffed by women. We would say ‘manned’ but that opens up its own can of worms. When your whole language is gender-biased, where do you start? Well, that’s probably a conversation for another time. Right now, we are celebrating everything that women have achieved over the centuries; politically, socially, culturally and – in our case – entrepreneurially.

 

#Balance for Better

Friday 8 March is International Women’s Day and while we celebrate the achievements of women, not only within our own company but worldwide, we also realise that there is still some way to go before we achieve a true gender balance. And this is the focus of this year’s International Women’s Day. Their #BalanceForBetter campaign is more than just one day. It’s a whole year of positive action to drive towards a more gender-balanced world. It is a call to action, whatever your gender, to highlight that gender balance is not just a women’s issue – it is a business issue. This means aiming for gender-balanced board rooms, government, media coverage and sports coverage, a more equal balance of employees and a more balanced share of wealth.

 

Make a Positive Difference

The aim of #BalanceForBetter is to motivate ourselves and others to make a positive difference. Whether this is tackling unconscious bias in the workplace or encouraging our daughters to believe they can be anything they want to be (and should be treated equally), find something you feel passionate about and work out what you could do about it. Pledge to do something to improve gender balance at home, in the workplace or in the wider world.

 

How are we marking International Women’s Day?

In a great many countries, it is a public holiday, sometimes for the whole country and sometimes just for women. No such luck here in London. For us it is just another day with our noses to the grindstone. Actually, it will be the last day of our inaugural Design School Interior Design Course so our enthusiastic participants will be putting the finishing touches to their room designs. In lieu of a day off, we thought we’d ask everyone which woman (living or dead) they most admire and what has been their own greatest achievement. Some surprising answers…

 

International Women's Day, first Interior Design Course, Balance for Better

Our first Interior Design Course. Just taking a quick break from all that concentration. Clockwise from bottom left: Juliette Thomas, Tanya Dunbavin, Sally Stickland, Gemma Oganian, Stacey Sheppard, Alison Gibb, Karen Joseph

 

Juliette Thomas

International Women's Day, Juliette, Balance for Better

Owner, director and founder of Juliettes Interiors

 

Which woman do you most admire and why?

Irena Sendlerowa. She risked her life to smuggle children out of the Warsaw ghetto during WW2, giving them new identities and placing them with Polish families or in Catholic orphanages.

Your greatest personal achievement?

Giving birth to my 4 children!

 

Micaela Rossi

International Women's Day, Micaela Rossi, Balance for Better

Award-winning Design Director, globe trotter and linguist

 

Which woman do you most admire and why?

The woman I most admire is any mother, able to keep her family together, raise her children, work hard and professionally, and be happy

Your greatest personal achievement?

The biggest personal achievement is to be able to do what I love and at the same time to start building the basis for a family.

 

Piret Pärna

International Women's Day, Piret Parna, Balance for Better

PA, Administrator and unflappable organiser

 

Who do you most admire and why?

That’s a difficult question. I could say my mother Elli, or maybe my good friend Kristina, or maybe Annie Lennox, but I think every woman’s daily achievements should be noticed and celebrated. We are all on a journey of being a woman.

What is your greatest personal achievement?

Being true to myself, every day.

 

Tish McWalter

International Women's Day, Tish McWalter, Balance for Better

E-Commerce Manager, multi-tasker and cheerful problem-solver

 

Who do you admire and why?

Jane Austen. Very much an inspirational, influential strong woman. Not just an author, but an icon. She led a quiet life, but still managed to write with the wit, intelligence and humour which was so forward thinking for her time. One of the first authors that suggested women should marry for love, not rank or money, she gave her characters the right and her best wishes to be happy.

Your greatest personal achievement?

My new home. I still pinch myself every day.

 

Karen Joseph

International Women's Day, Karen Joseph, Balance for Better

Copywriter, bibliophile and grammar geek

 

Who do you admire and why?

Malala Yousafzai for risking her life simply by asking for an education, and for refusing to be silenced by ignorance.

Your greatest personal achievement?

Being the first person (male or female) in my family to go to university.

 

Tanya Dunbavin

International Women's Day, Tanya Dunbavin, Balance for Better

Interior Designer extraordinaire, team player and inspirational instructor

 

Alison Gibb

Who do you admire and why?

My mum – for being right about everything after all!

Your greatest personal achievement?

Getting through so many Christmas and New Years with no family ding-dongs! Seriously proud to have a wide extended family who are all extremely supportive, we are all very different, but accept each other and are always there for each other.

 

Gemma Oganian

Who do you admire and why?

The woman I admire most is my mother in law. She is a strong inspirational woman, cancer survivor, ever loving and caring.

Your greatest personal achievement?

My children, first and foremost. After that was my call to the Bar of England and Wales.

 

Sally Stickland

Who do you admire and why?

The woman I admire most is my Mum. Not very original but she has devoted her life to her family, giving up a lot for my sister and I. She’s the kindest, most level-headed, non-judgemental person I know.

Your greatest personal achievement?

Definitely my children.

 

 

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