Nicola Mendelsohn was born in our very own Manchester and is an Advertising Executive and Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Facebook. With the Telegraph calling her ‘the most powerful woman in the British Tech Industry’ it’s clear to see the impact Mendelsohn has had on gender expectations within technology and media. Mendelsohn has been very vocal about her problems regarding women’s relationship with the workplace as in a recent interview with Jewish News she said, ‘when a woman achieves something new or prominent in arts, business or education, it’s seen as a rare celestial event.’
This echoes the ideas of Knight and O’Brien that women don’t necessarily want to be seen as a rarity anymore because they want others to be inspired and achieve the same goals. She also says that she hates the questions ‘can you have it all?’ because she finds that ‘it sets you up for failure and implies you have to choose’ and limits the imagination of women during a primary phase. This message is highlighted in her own campaign that she launched with Facebook called #Shemeansbusiness which you can access here, that connects like-minded businesswomen and helps them start and flourish. Mendelsohn’s constant perseverance and simply her incredible work is why she made it onto my list of women people should know about and celebrate.
From these featured creators and campaigns, we have an array of incredible work from women who have not just witnessed change but have played key roles in producing it. Some people may still question the purpose of an International Women’s Day but with the World Economic Forum ‘estimating that the gender gap won’t close until 2186’ it’s clear to see the need for one.
Equally, it’s important to remember that this is also just another good excuse to appreciate and recognise the women in our lives, either professionally or personally.