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With International Women’s Day striving for a gender-balanced world, we virtually high-five the female role models across the comms sector.

International Women’s Day (8 March), which stretches back more than 100 years in some form, is a key date in the women’s rights movement. 

It aims to reflecting on the progress made and the changes that still need to happen to empower women and foster equal environments. 

The message of this year’s International Women’s Day#BalanceforBetter – is that everyone has a part to play in encouraging a gender-balanced world in order to enable businesses, economies and communities to thrive.

IoIC chief executive Jennifer Sproul says: “It’s wonderful to see such recognition for women, as it is essential there is equality in our internal cultures and that this is supported in our internal communication practices.

“We must celebrate and recognise every person that plays  a vital role in organisations and that our communications support, both in tone and action, promote a gender-balanced working world where everyone feels included, connected and purposeful in their roles. This in turn makes better organisations, a better economy and a better society.”


Hailing the female leaders in IC

We asked IoIC followers on social media to tell us about the women – managers, colleagues, noted speakers and communicators – who have inspired them in their internal comms career. 

@ruthvshaw – nurtured me, believed in me & fought my corner 

@Catherine_Comms gave me an opportunity in her team at FCO 

@EverSamantha – for encouraging me to continuously improve 

@AllthingsIC – an inspirational role model 

@AnnaClunes@MennaRawlings for valuing my work
Krishan Lathigra, Department for Exiting the European Union

I was lucky enough to work with some brilliant women at Scope – @alexandraodwyer @QuinRah and @DeviaGurjar taught me a lot about how to bring an organisation's communications together and how to work with focus, passion and integrity. Nothing but admiration for them.
Oli Howard, CIPD

@SuzannePeck12 for championing my development, both within work and outside of it. I would never have had the benefits of the IoIC diplomas or Masters without her telling me to go for it!
Becky Leonard, Sequel Group

The wonderful Kate Amoo-Gottfried was my confidant, peer mentor and all-round inspiration to expand my horizons from an HR career to include IC. Her passion, personal convictions and ability to call out cowardice to move things forward serve her personal and professional success.
Louisa Mellor, EY

So many candidates, but these women have led from the front, achieved wonderful results and inspired colleagues along the way, driven by the greater good of comms rather than promoting their personal brand @KatieHadgraft @mairicdoyle @SuzannePeck12
Nick Andrews, Sequel Group

Ages ago my assistant manager was an amazing role model, giving me solid foundations. The HR manager I worked closely with gave me clarity during difficult times. Then more recently @mrsjennifield@lisariemers have been so encouraging & helpful that they make my list.
Suzie Robinson

For me it's Rachel from @AllthingsIC. Two years ago at the i-comms masterclass she showed me what one can do with great internal comms. Her blog, tools and advice have been a huge support at moments of "But how do I do this?" And from Transparency International, all my women colleagues inspire me by advocating, researching, communicating and leading on the fight against corruption. @RobinHodess@MaggieMrphy@DebWiseUnger@DeliaFerreira@MoreiraTricia.
Natalia Graur, Transparency International Secretariat 

My old boss at Tube Lines, Fran Chambers, who is now director of customer and corporate affairs, International Markets, at Bupa. Back in 2007, she encouraged me to be bolder and braver in my work with our stakeholders, but not to change my personality. It was excellent advice.
Rachel Miller, All Things IC

My former manager @SJB_VOTC who introduced me to and inspired me to work in the world of public sector communications!
Gillian Kimmet

@SuzInStratford who gave me exposure early in my career to IC projects in organisations undergoing significant change, and Gisele Belanger, who showed me the value and importance of empowering, engaging & supporting middle managers in IC. Grateful for all these women taught me!
Janet Wilding

@Sambelina172 and @AliciaBabaee – both have been colleagues and leaders for me. They've guided, empowered and coached me in my IC career. I still lean on them a lot. They're excellent at finding the 'human angle' and challenging behaviours and methods.
Simone Corgan, Network Rail

My previous boss was a great mentor, she took the time to discuss my career aspirations, encouraged me to attend events & complete my PR diploma. When the time came to try something different, she was a great support in weighing up pros & cons of opportunities I was looking at.
Dan Holden, Which?

My first IC manager who rescued me from a life of finance for a secondment in change comms on the fly with no interview – never looked back!
Kimberley-Marie Sklinar

For me it has to be Jacqui Spencer.  She believed in me, supported me, cajoled me, inspired me and gave me many an opportunity to grow. Under her leadership I learnt that happy people and respectful relationships make a successful business. And all these seeds now form the foundations of my consultancy life. 
Joanna Hall

Frances Brace of Greene King fame – she took me under her wing and gave me my first chance in PR. My Yoda. Also Angie Bradbury from Dig + Fish in Melbourne, Aus. Gave me a chance, taught me a lot in a short period about events, PR and strategy.
Adam Driver, CPL

It’s a long list. Mo Salter. Caroline Owen. Josie Warwick. Claire Monaghan. Sian Callaghan. Bridget Batty. Knew their onions. Put people first. Shared their knowledge. Made work feel fun.
Stephen Chawke

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