Through the past 12 months, we persevered, we built resilience, we transcended. That's why this International Women's Day, we want to celebrate all women.
Read a selection of inspirational stories from our Trailblazers below.
I'm proud of becoming debt free before turning 30. ”
It has been a challenge to keep spending under control, and it has required keeping a close eye on spending over the last few years to achieve.
Covid restrictions have helped, but I'm really pleased that I stuck to my plan.
While it was never a weight on my shoulders, it means that my future is wide open.- Dai'namic woman
I mustered up the courage to quit my job during the pandemic. ”
I have been wanting to resign for a long time as the job was increasingly taking a toll on my health. I was working very long hours. My confidence was at an old time low, thanks to constant reminders from bosses that I needed to do better.
For a long time, I didn’t have the courage to quit as I was climbing up the corporate ladder and recently promoted. When the pandemic hit, I thought about how people are losing their lives and jobs without a say, while I was there literally destroying my mental and physical health. So, I took the first job I was offered and resigned. It isn’t an ideal role for my career. But it is now giving me the time to breathe and think about my next step.
The role I resigned from allowed me to feel powerful (rising up the ranks). The adrenaline kept me going. But I lost all confidence in the things I am good at and enjoyed. When I left, I was at a point where I even doubted myself when sending out an email. As I look back, I still miss what I did. But, I never regretted leaving the job, as there’s more to life than a job.
Earned a promotion I'd been working towards before my maternity leave. ”
I came back from maternity leave in the middle of the first lockdown, so had to homeschool a 5 year-old and entertain a 10 month-old whilst doing a full time job.
I took on a senior role on one of our largest clients and earned a promotion that I had been working towards since before my maternity leave started! So proud of myself for achieving this.- Allison, Accountant
After my maternity leave, I made a conscious decision to continue working despite being clinically extremely vulnerable. ”
I am a senior A&E Doctor, and had my second baby at 43! I came back to work from Maternity leave on April 1, and although I’m clinically extremely vulnerable due to an autoimmune disease, I made a conscious decision to continue working instead of shielding.
All this, while doing all the cooking, most of the cleaning, and managing 2 sons, one who was then supposed to give his GCSEs, and another toddler.
Challenging and exhausting, to say the least! The NHS is still struggling, and we appreciate all your efforts!- Lakshmi Coates, A&E Doctor
Proud to be a survivor, and so excited to help other women do the same. ”
Having had an emotional breakdown following the end of a controlling and emotionally abusive marriage and divorce, I've picked myself up. Got off antidepressants. Applied for a post graduate diploma in integrative counselling and coaching to help other women who are going through or have experienced domestic abuse. Got accepted onto the course and passed my first semester with merit. All the while working fulltime as a manager in financial services, and volunteering for Samaritans.
It has been a tough, arduous journey. But having started my counselling placement now, I can see it all starting to pay off! I am proud of myself. Proud to be a survivor, to have got out the other side, and I am so excited to help other women do the same.- Dai'namic woman
Writing new narratives that are inclusive of mixed race, Indigenous folks like me. ”
In Nov 2020, I became the Editor-In-Chief at Rematriation, a Haudenosaunee-led multimedia storytelling platform. We are an 100% Indigenous women-led team and I am honored to be serving alongside incredible women.
We are writing new narratives that are inclusive of mixed race, Indigenous folks like me. I'm so glad I had the courage to apply.- Rachel Porter, Editor-in-chief
I was designated the family translator, interpreter, and advocate. ”
As a child of immigrants, I grew up with a unique set of challenges. Due to the cultural and language barriers my parents faced, I was designated the family translator, interpreter, and advocate and was forced to grow up faster than my peers. I learned my way through life and work, while continuing to juggle family responsibilities.
After I had the opportunity to live on my own and start a family, we decided to invite my parents to come live with us two years ago. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realised how important it was for my mental health to create time and space for myself, especially as I became a caregiver to my ageing parents. It all came full circle.
I knew I needed to seek the support of a person outside of my family and reached out to a professional counsellor. Even though it can be emotionally exhausting and takes intentional effort, counselling has been the best thing I have done for myself, and I am most proud of the progress I have made.”- DAI'NAMIC WOMAN
I am a doctor working directly with covid patients ”
I have had a tough year. I am a doctor working directly with covid patients for the last few months. Particularly those that are not suitable for ITU, so inevitably I have been dealing with those at the very end of their life. I have sat with patients in their last moments, to ensure their families know they were not alone. During this time, I also lost a close friend to suicide. I’ve come close to questioning if there really is any good in the world.
However, with help from friends and family I’m coming through the other side. I want to inspire other young doctors of the difference we can make to people, and prove that even when things seem at their lowest, there’s always hope.- DAI'NAMIC WOMAN
I am so happy that I took a leap of faith in me! ”
I moved to the UK with my company from Canada in 2014. Though I used to be very happy with my firm, I hadn't been aligned with the company's strategic direction and hadn't been happy for the past 2 years.
When the pandemic hit, everything went sideways, and I struggled to get through the days. I have two small children, and trying to manage parenting, and a full time professional career was a nightmare, even with my amazing husband by my side.
As the pandemic months wore on, my level of unhappiness grew. I gained weight, was snippy with my children and absolutely hated signing in remotely to my office everyday. Then in August 2020, I had my 38th birthday and realised that I didn't want to hit my future 40th regretting that I didn't make some changes to my life for the better.
I made the decision to "rip the band-aid off" fast and fix my life up as soon as possible. I dusted off my CV, started reaching out to as many executive search firms as I could.
Now, I'm enjoying my 2nd month of "gardening leave", 20lbs lighter, and excited to start a new job at a great new firm. I am so happy that I took a leap of faith in me. I am confident that I am a better wife, mother, and career woman as a result of it!- Nondini, Director in Finance
I completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training on Zoom! ”
I had been hoping to become certified for years now, and I finally took the plunge to do it in 2020. Unfortunately, we only managed to have 3 in-person sessions. But, we adapted to online zoom sessions throughout the covid-19 pandemic and I am really pleased I stuck with it.
Also, I've made a career shift and have now landed my dream job! I networked heavily (which is not as easy during a pandemic!) and extensively prepped for the multi-stage interviews to make the transition. I started the new job in this year, and I am so happy to be challenged every day in my new role.- Lily, Venture Capital