20 WOMEN I LOVE AND WHY
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, I have written about 20 women in my life and why I love them. Let’s get started.
No.1: My Mum
There really is nobody else that could take the number one spot as the most inspirational woman in my life. My mum is the best PERSON on the planet, it doesn’t matter that she is a woman as well.
My mum is superwoman. She’s always laughing, she will always ask you questions and pay an interest, she gets up at six in the morning to make rock buns for her work colleagues, and she juggles a crazy life looking after my brother, grandma, and uncle, as well as trying to run her own life as well.
No. 2: Helen Weston
There’s no connection quite like the one you share with your sister. My sister is called Helen and she is turning 30 this year. We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, and whilst she drives me insane the majority of the time, she is my best friend.
Helen is hilarious and has an infectious giggle. Despite having a similar sense of humour, in personality I wish I could be a bit more like her. She is clever, calm and collected, and doesn’t let worries get the better of her. She is practical, level headed, a decision maker and has a business mind - she is the ultimate person to put together IKEA furniture with. When it comes to getting shit done, everyone goes to Helen, including me. She’s been an amazing mum for five years and doesn’t get enough praise for it!
No. 3: Baca
The absolute centre of my family, is my grandma. We call her Baca, which comes from the Yugoslav meaning of grandma, as my grandad originated from Yugoslavia. Words cannot explain how special Baca is. She is 90 in just a few weeks, and still looks after herself, makes her own dinners, loves a Chinese takeaway or Big Mac, and has a slice of cake for breakfast every morning without fail.
Baca is Greek, and moved to England when she was in her 20s, knowing nobody. She was planning on becoming an architect back in Greece, however because of the language barrier she worked in a factory in the UK, not pursuing her dreams. Baca created a life for herself in the UK and a family that adores her. She’s seen the Nazi’s patrolling the streets in Kefalonia where she grew up, and her stories are endless.
She would also want me to write about her three passions in life: Knitting, sudoku and algebra.
No. 4: Emily Bright
Emily Bright is my best friend from university and the cleverest person I know. We met in first year when we were flatmates, and after a few weeks became the best of pals.
Emily is a reading machine, studying English Literature and forever surrounded by books, and always reeling off the number of TV series she had watched. She is funny, creative, and the easiest person to be around. I spent most of my time at uni in her room, whilst she insisted on having dinner at 4pm (???). She is a genius, yet so disorganised when it comes to tidying her room, but I wouldn’t have her any other way. Now, Emily lives in Glasgow, working for the Prince's Trust and being a superhero.
No. 5: Sonia Garcha
Sonia is one of my oldest friends and one of the strongest women I know. Sonia knows her shit, and will not change herself and what she stands for, for anyone. She is the same age as me and she drives a Mercedes CLA because she is an absolute boss and knows what she wants in life. She studies hard and has recently become a qualified accountant and I couldn’t be prouder. She actually starts a new job tomorrow.
Sonia brings me back down to the ground when I need it most. She’s honest and says it how it is, which is a quality I treasure so much.
No. 6: Cecily Rowland
Cecily Rowland is a very special lady to me. We have a Pisces bond, born just 2 days apart. We met at university and became soul sisters in second year when we decided the campus nightclub was the funnest place to be on a Wednesday night each week.
Cecily isn’t like anybody I’ve ever met before. She is quirky beyond belief, she is strong and opinionated and doesn’t always have a filter, but that's why I love her. Cecily doesn’t have a bad bone in her body and is the first person to ask to see if you are ok. She is empathetic, sensitive and most importantly she is kind.
No. 7: Maret Reutelingsperger
Maret was my first proper friend I made in the digital industry. We were working in different teams, yet I somehow managed to be more close with her more than anybody else. The reason for this is because Maret is an amazing person. She is open, caring, inquisitive, easy-going and simply lovely. She is a great friend in and outside of work, she follows up on you and she remembers what you say, which really goes a long way.
Maret is the absolute opposite of a showoff, yet she is so talented, such a hard worker and incredible at what she does. I have been pestering her to pick her brain about all things SEO that I am still learning about. Please enlighten me soon.
No. 8: Abi Bennetts
I’ve known Abi for around two years now and she has become one of my closest friends. We worked together for a while, and as soon as we sat next to each other we realised how much we had in common when it comes to our values, our humour, our food tastes, and what is worth screenshotting and sharing online to each other.
Abi is an absolute dream of a colleague and a friend. She is organised, funny, hard-working and unbelievably easy to be around. She is kind, witty and confident in her own way, without shouting about it. We don’t work together anymore, but it has somehow made us closer. I spam her with whatsapp messages on a daily basis which I’m sure she is sick of, but I cannot wait to see her in London soon.
No. 9: Grace Hartnett
I have known Grace for just three months and have only worked directly with her for two weeks exactly. This short space of time has been busy and intense with work and I couldn’t think of a better person to be working as part of a team with.
Grace is incredibly organised, strong and creative. Grace knows what stories are going to work, she knows when a design isn’t looking right and she lets you know where you are which I love. Grace is a boss - she cuts the crap, she gets to the point, as well as being absolutely lovely. Looking forward to working some more with you. Roll on Monday...
No. 10: Katheryn Watson
Katheryn was the woman I sat next to when I started out in Digital PR and she taught me everything I know. Since then, she has become a great friend of mine and I’ve ended up following her to Kaizen, where I’m so happy to be working with her again.
Katheryn is a one of a kind, and marching to her own beat is not only what makes her so special, it is also what makes her so bloody good at her job. She is a digital superstar and outreach guru. She’s sharp, thinks on her feet and doesn’t take any crap. On top of this, Katheryn is a supporter, she lifts you up and makes you feel like you can do it.
No. 11: Arjanne Avent
Arjanne is another one of my longest friends. We were inseparable in high school, forever messing around, wearing ridiculous mismatched clothes that we thought were really trendy and not giving a shit what anybody thought.
I have had the most fun when with Arjanne. We went on a road trip around Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria for three weeks having barely a drop of alcohol, just a McFlurry nearly every day and laughing the entire way.
Arjanne is unique and charismatic, lighting up a room as soon as she walks in. She’s brave, smart and the jammiest person I know. She’s currently in Shanghai, studying Mandarin and Business and I’m super proud of her for setting up a whole new life on the other side of the world.
No. 12: Casey Paul
I joined Kaizen in December 2019 and began to work closely with Casey in our pod. Over the last three months we’ve worked together on a number of campaigns, one hefty client in particular, as well as catching up on all things marketing.
Casey is a Digital Marketing machine and the epitome of everything you would want in a fellow female at work. As a new joiner she’s the person I have felt most comfortable with. I’m her biggest fan and think her ideas, her super chilled and accepting personality, and the work she does for Kaizen needs to be shouted from the rooftops. She is a digital diamond.
No. 13: Sam Braille
A couple of years ago I went travelling on my own for six months and it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as amazing if I hadn’t have met Sam. I met Sam 48 hours after leaving home when I was in China. We met on a tour and from the second day of meeting we were inseparable.
Sam continues to make me laugh constantly. She is unbelievably witty, sarcastic, bright, sharp and a true girls girl. Sam says it how it is and isn’t afraid to say what she wants. She is bold, charismatic, and currently taking on an absolute boss of a job in Reading, as one of the only females in the company. She’s such an inspiration and whenever I talk to her it reminds me to get myself into gear and push that bit further.
No. 14: Ashley Harrison
Ashley is one of my favourite people on the planet. First she is my friend. Second she is my boyfriend's mum. Over the last two years we have spent hours chatting away, complaining about our days, discussing our grammar pet peeves and having a laugh together. Ashley is an absolute superhero - she is incredibly intelligent and quick-thinking, as well as unquestionably caring.
Ashley is the life and soul of the party and her energy amazes me. She runs a yard full of horses, getting up at all hours to look after them. She’s delivered foals and had an impressive five children herself, which I am still yet to ask how on earth she did that. Ashley is how I want to be when I am a parent - fun, light-hearted, full of life and making the most of absolutely everything.
No. 15: Sam Miller
Sam Miller is the coolest and most creative person you will ever meet. She is quirky, kind, unpredictable and hilarious and despite her being extremely awkward when shit gets soppy, she is one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.
Sam is the best person I’ve ever ideated with HANDS DOWN. She always brings something new to the table, no matter how wacky her ideas are, and she comes up with the type of stuff that makes you wonder how you are from the same species. Not only that but she is the chillest bean you will ever meet and is accepting of everyone. Sam and I started in the industry at similar times and I really couldn’t have been with anyone better to get the creative juices flowing.
No. 16: Amy Noukias
Without doubt, Amy Noukias is the most inspiring and successful woman I know. If you think of a female boss - she is the first person that comes to mind. Amy is my boyfriend’s step-mum. She is American, born in Connecticut and has absolutely conquered the Big Apple. She is a huge inspiration for any woman to follow their dreams no matter how big they are.
Amy is a founder of TWO companies (not just one, two). From a digital financial investment firm called Anthemis, a media production company called Archer Gray. Amy manages this incredible business life, as well as being at the heart of a big and loving family. Everytime I see Amy, she inspires me to do better, to reach higher and keep going. This is exactly what women should be doing to one another and I salute her for it.
No. 17: Olivia
Olivia is my five year old niece and the funniest human being on the planet. I would say she doesn’t even realise it, but I’m pretty sure she does. I may be biased but she also happens to be the cutest little rascal as well. She is sassy, sarcastic and puts a smile on my face like nobody else.
To her I am Mina, the one she knows she can drag into all kinds of mischief. As well as being a mini boss, she is also incredibly sensitive to other people’s feelings. When she thinks she has hurt someone by accident or done something wrong, she collapses to the floor, genuinely wanting to die of embarrassment.
No. 18: Meghan Payne
Meghan is another digital superstar from Kaizen. She is HILARIOUS and puts you at ease instantly with her humour. When she is around at lunchtime, I love to grab a spot next to her on the sofa.
I don’t work directly with Meghan but I can hear her being a true leader at work, helping out her pod and keeping them in check. Meghan is always up for a laugh and I am so grateful to have someone as easy-going in the office as her.
No. 19: Laura Finch
Laura is my university dancing buddy. We both joined the dance society and despite not getting to see her too often now we’ve left university, she remains one of my favourite people. Laura is from Wigan and she will never let you forget it on the dancefloor when Will Grigg’s on Fire starts playing.
In our final year, Laura and I taught beginners tap together, as well as choreographing a show dance. She has the perfect work-hard play-hard balance, as I’d see her at the library just as much as on the dance floor.
No. 20: Emily Hall
Emily was my first ever work colleague, where we met whilst I was doing a placement year during my degree at university. She was my first ever support system in a work environment when things were tough, and her kind heart and ability to listen to me rant and bumble on trying to get my point across without getting impatient, has made us life-long friends.
Emily is trustworthy and amazing to be around - I can chat away with her about anything and I'm grateful to have had my first work experience with someone as fab as her.