International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated on March 8, 2021, a day for the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls across the globe. This year’s global theme was #ChooseToChallenge, which recognizes that “we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” Here at Durrell Communications we are all fortunate to work alongside such strong and powerful women. We all took the pledge and chose to challenge in an effort to raise awareness and create a better future for generations to come.

This International Women’s Day we asked our team a series of questions where they shared some of their own insights and experiences.  

1. What do you enjoy the most about being part of an all-female team?

We’re fortunate to work with such an empowering group of women. Being part of a team that’s so supportive and respectful is one of the best feelings. What Geena likes most about working with an all-female team is the different life experiences and talents everyone brings to the table. This makes for great collaboration and insight as there’s so much to learn from each other. 

For Aleesha it’s the fact that we’re all equals in this organization and actively work together to problem solve and support one another to achieve personal, collective and client wins. She really likes being part of a welcoming and supportive group of intelligent women.

2. Who is one woman in your life that is your greatest inspiration or motivator? 

It’s important for us to acknowledge the important women in our lives that continue to motivate and inspire us to do better and become better versions of ourselves. Emma’s biggest motivator is her late grandma Eleanor. She was only 17 when she joined the CWAC as a driver and was one of the last Canadian veterans standing. She was a true trailblazer for women, sacrificing her fun teenage years for her country and the freedoms we have today. After losing her last November, Emma is constantly reminded of the strong woman she was, and who she strives to be like every day.

3. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?   

Good advice has the potential to influence our perspectives and the decisions we make in life. Melissa’s go-to advice is Michelle Obama’s famous phrase “when they go low … we go high”. Meaning that when somebody hurts you or you’re faced with a challenge, how you decide to respond is important. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re hurt but instead of stooping to their level and acting out of hate and vengeance, your response should reflect the solution. 

As an athlete, Alicia had some incredible coaches—men and women—over the years. One of her basketball coaches spoke on perseverance and Alicia never forgot her famous line … “next play.” In a basketball game the other team will have moments where they out-skill and out-hustle you. They’ll score baskets and deny yours. But it’s not about the other team or their wins, it’s about your reaction. If you make a mistake, the most important thing to do is learn from it and focus on the next play. The game will keep going. If you stew in that moment, you’ll struggle to move forward and hinder your team finding success. It’s easy to overthink and dwell on the past—and while it’s key to learn from our mistakes and grow as professionals—we have to keep moving forward and focus on that next play for the betterment of ourselves and our teams. 

4. Why do you choose to celebrate IWD? Or What does IWD mean to you? 

Our outlooks on life will reflect our different lived experiences. Why someone chooses to celebrate IWD and what it means to them may look different for someone else. For Maddie it’s a reminder of all the girls and women who have been, are, and will be brave enough to fight and work for the generations that will follow them! “We all move forward when we recognize how resilient and striking the women around us are.” — Rupi Kaur

Hillary celebrates IWD because she believes it’s important to honour and celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and across the world. She hopes for a future where women can live in peace with equal rights and opportunities for success.

5. How important is it for women to lift each other up and to celebrate our achievements?

In order to be successful and achieve equal rights, we must show our support and treat one another as equals. Shannon thinks this is absolutely crucial. In a world where there is no limit as to how many and whom we can celebrate, it is important to uplift and take every opportunity we can to celebrate our achievements and continue to break barriers for future and current generations of women. 

A woman alone has power, but collectively we have an impact. Beyond just IWD we should continue to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. “From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge!”