INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE
All around the globe, there are women breaking boundaries and making a real, tangible difference to people everywhere. Today, we’re looking at women from all walks of life and the amazing ways in which they’re making waves.
British Actress, Screenwriter, Director, Producer & Singer
If you haven’t heard of I May Destroy You, where have you been? We are a massive fan of Michaela and all of her work here at A&M (and not just for her binge-worthy TV shows). How she has stayed true to herself & what she stands for, even when her name grows and grows, is why we think she is an inspiration, and has a well deserved place on this list.
‘If you don’t show it, it can be erased’.
Michaela makes a point of illustrating her rich & colourful upbringing in working-class London, a part of London which TV & film has a tendency to ignore. She is an advocate for transparency, and being honest with herself and her experiences is what has given her the ability to be such a great writer - she writes from her own experiences & trauma.
She has revealed that she turned down a massive deal from a big production company, because they wanted her to sign away all the rights to her writing. Her dedication to being transparent & honest meant that she held out and waited for a better opportunity - she wanted to be able to tell her own story, in her own way, on her own terms. I May Destroy You does just that - watch it here.
Vice President of the United States of America
2020, a year which brought us stress & anxiety, also brought us Kamala Harris - a beacon of hope & light in the hardest of times. Kamala was officially inaugurated as the first female Vice President of the United States in January 2021 - a massive moment in history for women all over the world.
Kamala has always said how her mother, Shyamala Gopalan (an Indian immigrant and breast cancer researcher), was an inspiration to her. But in turn, she has grown to be in inspiration to the generation after her. It isn’t just about being the first female Vice President for Kamala, but being the first of many female Vice Presidents to follow.
'I always say this: I may be the first to do many things—make sure I’m not the last [...] I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States'.
Japanese Tennis Player
As well as being an amazing tennis player, which is inspiring enough (congrats to her for winning the 2021 Australian Open!), Naomi uses her platform to shout out about important issues, namely the BLM movement. In the 2020 US open she wore seven different face masks, with the names of seven different black people who lost their lives due to racial injustice. This immediately got the attention of everyone watching the tournament around the world, and helped raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement.
When asked by an interviewer what message she was trying to convey wearing the masks, she simply replied with “Well, what was the message that you got? I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”
At just 23, Naomi’s career is just beginning. We can’t wait to see what else she is yet to achieve.
British Entrepreneur, Disability Specialist & Speaker
If you haven’t heard of Shani before this article, I’m sure you’ll be obsessed with her from now on. She has a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which causes bones to break easily. Instead of letting this stop her pursuing her dreams, she has used her personal experience to create a voice for disabled people and become a disability rights advocate - speaking for big businesses and at charity events. Inspiring, right?
‘My condition is and has always been a part of my identity, just like I'm a woman, I'm British, my ethnicity is Indian, I'm a sister and a daughter. I can't be separated from it and live a different life as if it doesn't exist, because every single moment of my life has been lived through this lens’
Shani advocates the importance of self acceptance. Growing up, she explains that she has always been labelled as ‘disabled’, but didn’t consider it to be part of her identity. But, as she has grown older and society has (slowly) progressed its views on disability, she feels confident and comfortable identifying as a disabled woman. Our view of disability as a society still has a long way to go, but people like Shani have paved the way to change this view.
Check out Shani's blog for more inspiring content, here.
American Poet & Activist
At only 22 years old, Amanda recently spoke at the inauguration of President Joe Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris, as the youngest inaugural poet. Reciting her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’, Amanda called for ‘unity and togetherness’.
‘We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one’.
Amanda has said that she’s running for president in 2036, and we can’t wait.