As a female-founded, female-led business, this year's theme of gender equality for International Women's Day is an issue close to our hearts. Georgia’s passion for championing women is a value that sits at the core of The FBC. This year, we sat down with a few members of the team to find out about some of the amazing women they’ve been inspired by. How many do you know?

Head of Brand, Holly: Her friend, Romilly @myittybittytitty

Holly is feeling most inspired by her best friend Romilly (@MyIttyBittyTitty). Romilly is a Production Manager by day, a Stand-up Comedian by night, and is currently battling breast cancer.

At just 31, Romilly was shocked to discover she had breast cancer; with no first-hand experience within her friendship group, she is using Instagram to document her journey to educate other young women on how to look after themselves, and one another.

Holly says: “Romilly is a woman surrounded by strong women, she has always empowered and encouraged me. A reliable cheerleader for me since the day we met.

Romilly’s recent response to her life changing diagnosis is courageous – no matter how tough her journey gets, she’s determined to increase awareness and encourage initiatives to raise money for cancer research.

She’s also determined to make sure she doesn’t lose her sense of humour – and so as always – she’s still managing to make us all laugh.”

Ben, Operations Director: Malala Yousafzai

Ben is our Operations Director; dad, husband, and feminist. He shares his admiration for Malala Yousafzai.

Born in 1997 in northwest Pakistan, Malala came to prominence as a teenager, advocating equal opportunities in a highly conservative society by publicly speaking up against repression.

Her courage in challenging prejudice made her an assassination target by local religious leaders, and she only narrowly survived being shot in the head.

Following this, Malala used international shock at her plight to further shine a spotlight on inequality and campaign for change. Her work led her to become the world’s youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“She shows unwavering courage in the face of incredible danger, standing up for basic human rights for the benefit of millions of people. To me, this makes her the world’s most inspiring woman.”

Content Curator, Sarah: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sarah has nominated critically-acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Her works have been translated into over thirty languages and have started a worldwide conversation about feminism that has transformed attitudes.

“I love Chimamanda for so many of her writings, but the one that has touched me the most is her essay, We Should All Be Feminists.

It's such a personal piece, encouraging us all - men and women - to think differently, raise our children differently, plan for a different world. I've lent my copy, or gifted one, to most of my friends over the years and it's always made an impression.

It's just a small book of around 60 pages, easily readable in an afternoon. I think everyone should read it; and that everyone should be a feminist!”

Customer Happiness, Selin: Her Mum, Hülya

Selin looks after customer happiness at The FBC. She finds daily inspiration from her mum Hülya, who emigrated to the UK in her early 20’s from Turkey.

Determined to continue her studies, Hülya gained an MSc at Sussex University and was then offered a scholarship to study for a Phd - all in her second language.

During this time she became a mother, taking on the new challenge of juggling motherhood with studying and a full-time job.

“She’s always provided for our family and worked extremely hard. In a plight to find career happiness, she returned to education later in life, and fully qualified as a psychotherapist.

She has modelled success to me from such a young age and inspires me every day to work harder and never forget that our only limits are the ones we create.”

E-Commerce Manager, Josh: Tracey Emin

Artist Tracey Emin’s piece ‘My Bed’ has left a lasting impression on our E-Commerce Manager, Josh.

“It broke the perception of what art ‘should’ be, especially by women.”

Her “unladylike” piece paved the way for female artists to express themselves with much more than pretty aesthetics, creating space in prestigious galleries such as The Tate Modern, where Emin’s piece is displayed, for a plethora of female artists.

Head of Customer Experience, Abbie: Her sister, Louise

Abbie, Head Of Customer Experience, has been inspired by her sister Louise’s mentality towards her recent diagnosis of diabetes. At just 23, Louise’s life was rapidly changed in a doctor’s appointment.

She went from living a normal life to monitoring her food intake and mealtimes, installing a Libre to monitor her glucose, juggling prescriptions and hospital appointments.

“She’s doing all of this whilst maintaining her career as a primary school teacher, educating inquisitive minds on why she suddenly has plastic protruding from her arm! Louise has remained so positive; she’s an absolute super star, and I’m so proud that she isn’t letting this diagnosis define her life.”

Founder of The FBC, Georgia: Anita Roddick

Our founder, Georgia, speaks of two women who have inspired her, in personal and professional spheres. Her grandma was an influential figure for her growing up.

"I was lucky enough to live next door to my grandmother, spending summers in her garden, sewing, learning German or baking cakes.  My grandmother escaped from Germany during WWII, was captured by Russian soldiers but set free due to their compassion.  Her combination of strength and softness taught me so much. She was elegant, kind, giving, interesting and fun. 

After her early life experiences, she was grateful for every day, every walk with her dog, every ray of sunshine and every bloom in her garden.  Life can so often get over-complicated, and when it does I just ask myself what she would have done, and the answer is there."

Anita Roddick brought Georgia’s two passions together: retail and environmental issues.

“My first purchase from The Body Shop, when I was eleven, was packaged in a paper bag which boasted a salient message, during a time when no retailer used paper packaging, let alone spoke of environmental issues!

Roddick was before her time in believing that business owners should be moral leaders – more powerful, more influential, and more able to activate change than governments are.

Were she alive today, she would be leading pioneering campaigns to protect our world in the face of environmental change.”

Layla, Georgia’s daughter,
is a budding feminist at age twelve. She has nominated Melissa Kilby as her wow-woman.

Melissa leads the worldwide charity Girl Up, founded by the UN in 2010. Girl Up encourages girls all over the world to participate in live conversations empowering and inspiring each other; discussing the importance of being a woman, and recognising the power we hold within.

The nine people mentioned above are all amazing, inspirational, incredible women whose achievements should be celebrated.

According to the World Economic Forum, gender parity may not be attained for almost a century, so we invite you today and all days to uplift the women in your life, acknowledge their achievements, and raise awareness for gender equality. “When girls rise, we all rise” – Melissa Kilby.