Today is International Women's Day. It's an event that does what it says on the tin, celebrating the achievements of women whilst confronting barriers that stand in their way.
With sobananapenguin being a 66.6% female-based workforce, it felt only right to shine a spotlight on the women in our team.
This is Rich talking right now. I'm the Director of sobananapenguin, and I'm not a woman. I'm very much in touch with my feminine side, but I'm also very much a male. I have a beard and everything. However, this company wouldn't be possible on its current scale without the incredible work of two women that I respect more than they may realise.
Courtney Farrow is our Digital Content Creator. She studied the same degree as me (History at the University of Hull), except that she got a WAY higher grade than I did. This was down to her intense dedication, unswerving passion and constantly expanding capacity for creativity. Another major factor behind her personal growth is something that we share in common: the understanding that there's always more to learn, and that even our most deep-seated habits may need to change in order to deliver the best service possible.
Courtney is sweet, imaginative, bold and funny. At just 21, she's achieved far more than I had by the time I was 30, and she continues to surprise me week after week.
Emma Platt is our designer. She has over two decades of industry experience yet presents an amazingly fresh outlook, making her my go-to person when it comes to art direction.
Something I absolutely love about Emma is that she's always up for a challenge. I realise that anyone can claim this about someone they know, but Emma takes it to a whole new level. Some of our design projects have changed beyond all recognition from their original briefs, whereas others have posed problems that I personally couldn't find a way around. This is where Emma comes in, applying her substantial insight and ingenuity to create not only solutions, but products that have been met with genuine admiration. A particularly good example is the annual programme for Assemble Fest, which is praised by representatives of Arts Council England and major theatre venues across the UK.
Emma is passionate about food and fitness. I highly recommend you check out her foodie Instagram account to see just how nutritious and delicious a simple meal can be.
Thanks to these two awesome women, sobananapenguin has grown way beyond anything I could have done on my own. On top of that, they're good friends that I can chat to about all kinds of things, and who have helped me through some tough times.
I'd love to know about women in your life that have made a difference. Please do share your stories in the comments below or send a tweet to my personal account, @beardybiscuits.