Wonder Women: Celebrating IWD 2020.
Mar 08, 2020
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Held annually on March 8th, in recent years it’s finally started to become a prominent cultural fixture. Here at Wonder HQ we wanted to mark this milestone day by championing the women who inspire us. Each of our trailblazing women has made an impact on the world as we know it today – or simply left an impression on us personally. From designers to mathematicians, activists to surfers, check out our full list below – who would you pick?
Alice Seymour, Junior Project Manager, picks:
Lena has used her platform (including 3.7million followers on Instagram alone) to raise awareness on various social issues (refugee crisis, homelessness, mental health to name a few). Alice says: "She's very open about her experiences – her openness and honesty are very inspiring."
Follow Lena on Instagram.
Ben Woolf, Creative Director, picks:
Actress and Inventor.
Hedy was an Austrian-born American film actress and inventor who was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Ben says: "She was a movie star that became a scientist, helping to develop spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology for the Allies during WWII. Her work formed the basis of modern Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – amazing."
Read up on Hedy.
Vanessa Reynolds, Senior 2D Designer, picks:
Ada was an English Mathematician and the daughter of poet Lord Byron. She's been called "the first computer programmer" for writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s – although her contributions to the field of computer science were not discovered until the 1950s. Vanessa says: "She survived the legacy of her poet father (Lord Byron) and basically invented the computer."
Read up on Ada.
Lorraine Snow, Creative Services Manager, picks:
Kate Sheppard is recognised as the leader of the fight to win the right for New Zealand women to vote, campaigning hard to grant the right to vote to all women over 21. Lorraine says: "New Zealand represent! Kate petitioned and worked hard to get NZ women the vote back in 1893. The first country in the world."
Read up on Kate.
Rebecca Connolly, Project Assistant, picks:
Lawyer, writer, First Lady.
As First Lady, Obama served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon. Rebecca says: "She's a First Lady that wanted to make a difference and raise awareness of poverty, education and healthy living."
Follow Michelle on Twitter.
Jimena Cieza de Leon, Junior 3D Designer, picks:
Sofía is a 3-time World Surfing Champion and the first Peruvian surfer ever to win a World Surf League World Championship Tour event. She became the first South American and Latin American (man or woman) to ever win the world title. She runs a three-year program that combines top-level, competitive surf training with life lessons anchored in the key areas of environmental protection and healthy living. Jimena says: "I wanted to share a Peruvian woman that really inspired me and made my country proud."
Follow Sofía on Instagram.
Rebecca McClymont, Head of Talent and People, picks:
Malala survived an assassination attempt as retaliation for her activism for girls education and went on to be the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala says: "I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls".
Read more from Malala.
Ben Turner, MD and Founder, picks:
Marie is best known for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. Ben says: "Not only is Marie an incredible academic inspiration for my kids but she was also Polish so acts as an important cultural role model for our family."
Read up on Marie.
Steph Gilks, Senior Marketing Manager, picks:
The woman behind TfL's original seat pattern and an influential designer, Marion contributed to the interior design of Claridges, the Savoy, the Queen Mary, and the diplomatic reception room at the White House. Steph says: "The creative brains behind iconic TfL patterns, her influence is still felt across textile design today."
Read up on Marion.
Mark Saunders, Finance Director, picks:
Katherine's maths was used to figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit Earth and to land on the moon – and later also helped send astronauts to the moon and back. NASA have noted her "historical role as one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist."
Read up on Katherine.
Lindsey Webb, Executive Assistant, picks:
Performer, spy, activist.
Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer and singer who took Paris by storm in the 1920s. She was a spy for the French Resistance during World War II, and also entertained French, British, and American troops to help boost their morale, refusing payment for her performances. During the 1950s and 60s she devoted herself to fighting segregation and racism in the United States. Lindsey says: "Dancing, civil rights, spying - the girl did it all."
Read up on Josephine.
Tom Maxwell, Creative Lead, picks:
Tom says: "Daphne Oram was without a doubt one of the originators of modern electronic music. Working at a very male dominated BBC in the 1950’s she pioneered groundbreaking composition using sine wave oscillators, tape manipulation and later inventing her on Oramics machine which turned image into sound. Without her visionary input to sound, house, techno, disco, drum and bass and practically any other electronic music wouldn’t exist as we know it."
Read up on Daphne.