International Women’s Day 2024: Women Who Inspire The Grace Blue Team

At Grace Blue, we are proud to be a business of many brilliant women (50% of Grace Blue’s global Board of Directors and 67% of our global Partners are women) who work to further the careers of other brilliant women (56% of our placed candidates in 2023 were female). We champion female talent in transformational leadership roles and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion sits at the very top of our agenda and we continue to commit to gender equity as a core value.

Every year, the Grace Blue team take a moment to recognise some of the incredible women who have inspired us over the last 12 months. In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to all the brilliant female leaders, trailblazers and public figures around the world who have inspired or moved us. We have shared only a few of those women today (as there are many) who we admire for their strength, courage, compassion and remarkable achievements.

Esther Ghey (Brianna Ghey’s mother): She has displayed incredible compassion and forgiveness to the teenagers responsible for her daughter Brianna Ghey’s murder. She is also using her voice to call for more to be done to protect children when it comes to online and smartphone safety and is also spearheading a campaign to raise funding to introduce mindfulness training in schools in her local area.

Gwyneth Hughes: Screenwriter of ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’.  Arguably the most powerful drama of recent times to highlight a gross injustice and the series was delivered with thought compassion and honesty. With a special call out for Jo Hamilton, the postmaster who won hearts and minds through her authenticity and bravery.

Yulia Navalyaya: Even after her husband Alexei Navalny’s murder, she has continued to speak out and work towards building a ‘free Russia’.

Coco Gauff: Tennis star. Coco Gauff is a powerhouse of a tennis player and won her first Grand Slam at the US Open last year at the age of 19 and is currently ranked World Number 3. She has just recently been named to the Time’s Women of the Year 2024 list, making her the youngest women to receive this honour this year.

Mira Murati: Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI. Murati is an Albanian engineer, researcher and tech executive, who has been the Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI since 2018. It is rare for a woman to be leading a large technology company in what is such a male-dominated industry and admire her visionary leadership and further exploration of how the power of AI can be leveraged into our daily lives.

Samantha Morton: British actress. Morton has championed the portrayal of complex and often underrepresented stories for women in both Fim and TV. She herself has had to overcome a harder start than most having been put in to foster care from the age of eight. Morton’s professional career is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and proves that no matter how hard a start in life, you can still accomplish one’s dreams with the right support and belief in one’s own talent, and she is deserving of her recent BAFTA fellowship award – the arts charity’s highest honour.

Diana Nyad: American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. She did not let age deter her ambition, and showed incredible resilience to achieve her goal. In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, she swam from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, a journey of 110 miles, allegedly completing the third known swim crossing of the Florida Straits. Her 2013 swim and partnership with Bonnie Stoll was dramatised in the 2023 film Nyad which was released on Netflix.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones: Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a four-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur who thrives at the intersection of culture, business and leadership. She’s brave, funny, honest, vulnerable, and strong. Her book Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual was a highlight on our US Director, Erin Mastel’s reading list this year, and she has since gone back to reread certain sections multiple times.  Erin had this to say about the book: “For any woman who doubts herself, her instincts, her capabilities, who needs to wrestle imposter syndrome to the ground and take up MORE space in a world that wants to make us smaller, please read this book. Between her own hard-won agency and the wisdom of the other Nigerian women in her life, Luvvie will inspire you to stand in your own power and embrace your own ‘muchness.’”

Iris Apfel: American designer and fashion icon who passed away at the age of 102 this year. Iris Apfel worked as an interior designer for decades, including on restoration projects at the White House, before becoming a trend setter in her 80s and a professional model at 97.Iris showed that women can still work and have successful careers at any age and she will be remembered for being a creative visionary throughout her life.

Chloe Dunnett: Founder and Chief Grower of Sitopia Farm. Sitopia Farm has a vision of a world where the food we eat nourishes both people and planet and are on a mission to make a better food system a reality.  Chloe is working towards expanding the use of land in London to grow food for our communities and spread the word about changes needed in our food system. Chloe and her team share their love of growing to skill up a wide range of amazing volunteers and help build communities by bringing people together around food growing for social benefit.