Celebrating Inspirational Women for International Women’s Day

by akesha / last updated March 6, 2020

International Women's Day

“From salon owners and brand ambassadors to leading stylists and corporate MD’s, hairdressing has much to celebrate when it comes to women in the industry.

From the former British Hairdresser of the Year, Sally Brooks to apprentices just starting out in their career, women are celebrated in every aspect of hairdressing from creative roles to business leaders and everything in between.
This is an industry where women can engage on an equal footing but the demands on time are high as many try to balance their career with family priorities and I know from first hand experience how tough this can be. There are many great women in this industry – all of whom are fantastic role models – and we should celebrate them every day and recognise the impact and influence they have on steering this fantastic industry and paving the way for the next generation.” – Jayne Lewis-Orr, HJ’s executive director

We spoke to some industry favourites to find out which women inspire them to be better and do better every day…

“I really admire Dame Judy Dench as she has shown that age is just a number. Her roles are always diverse but whoever she is playing she makes it her own. She is an inspiration for making you sit up and think that whatever you are going to do, do it the best you can. She has had a long and varied career and she comes across as being a nice person too – and that’s what it’s all about. Being nice to people. inspiring people and being the best you can be.” Sally Brooks, HJ’s former British Hairdresser of the Year

“Siobhan Jones, Headmasters Colour Ambassador, really inspires me. I saw her at the L’Oréal Colour Congress at the beginning of this year and found her passion truly inspiring. She has a great aura, which is both exciting and infectious.” Jenn Linton, co-director of Linton & Mac

“Zoe Irwin, ghd Creative Brand Ambassador & Trend Forecaster, is definitely a woman I admire. I saw her at Tribute Colour World last year and was lucky enough to have a mentoring call with her through my Hair Mastered journey. I love her cool-girl style and I also find it really inspiring that she works outside of hairdressing in various fields – seeing the creative industries of fashion, hair and trends as one collaborative platform, not restricting herself and her creative output to one field.” Joanna Macdonald, co-director of Linton & Mac

“The women who inspires me most is Eleanor Roosevelt, who died before I was born. She was extremely active member of America’s Democrat Party. In a man’s world Roosevelt was outspoken about women’s rights, racial issues and strongly encouraged the US to join the United Nations. She changed the role of America’s First Lady.” – Sharon Peake at Ethos Hairdressing

“I feel so thankful to work in such a creative industry surrounded by inspirational women. Two women that really inspire me are: Queen Elizabeth 1 – Her 45-year reign was considered a ‘golden period’ of English history, and it is easy to understand why. She was the first ruling Queen, incredibly strong, a true survivor, and always determined to succeed. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones – She is fierce, kind hearted, a respected leader, and fights for the less fortunate.” Hayley Gibson-Forbes, co-director, SJ Forbes

“Being a woman in any industry is really exciting right now, I think it’s great that women are finally being celebrated! There are so many amazing women that I am inspired by; Tracy Ellyn, as an artist, she really celebrates women and the body of a woman in a natural way without it being provocative. Anita Roddick inspires me as a business woman and all that she created at The Body Shop, Antoinette Beenders inspired me within the hair industry. Within the hair industry I am inspired by many women; Sally Brooks (Current British Hairdresser of the Year), Indira Schauwecker (Toni & Guy). Especially the younger stylists as they are being true to themselves and inspiring young women in all that they do along the way; Ashleigh Hodges, Sophia Hilton, Skyler McDonald. In the industry there are so many women that inspire me that I meet with and I learn something from each and every one of them.” Karine Jackson, Karine Jackson Hair and Beauty

“There are many women who inspire me, but one who’s had a direct impact on my life is my grandmother, Mair. She is a very strong woman who is passionate about fashion, art, music and travel, and has an incredibly positive outlook on life. At nearly 88 years old she really is an inspiration!” Zoe Williams Wales and South West Hairdresser of the Year, Ken Picton Salon

“I would have to say two women who inspire me are Victoria Beckham and Emma Willis. As working mums, like myself, they both seem to get the balance of work life and being good parents. They are both strong women and don’t take themselves too seriously, especially Emma who always seems so positive, happy and upbeat.” Leah Durrant, Owner and Director of Leah Durrant Hair Salon & Beauty Re:Treat

“I really admire and get inspiration from high fashion designers like Vivienne Westwood. Vivienne Westwood has such a unique, quirky style and is known for being responsible for bringing modern punk into mainstream fashion. The creativity and uniqueness of this designer really inspires me and is why I find designers like Vivienne so iconic.” Karen Thomson, owner of KAM Hair and Body Spa

“One woman that really inspires me is Princess Diana. I loved how she was selfless and kind hearted and done so much to help others, including a lot of charity work. At Hair by JFK, being involved with charities is so important to us and Diana always worked tirelessly to help many charities around the world. She was a very generous woman and inspirational in so many ways!” Karen Brown, owner of Hair by JFK

“Lots of women inspire me but I particularly love the work of Sharon Blain. As times goes by, she becomes more inspirational and her work more beautiful. I admire the way she continues to inspire hairdressers worldwide with her stunning long hair creations.” Anne Veck, Anne Veck Salons

“My biggest inspiration is Linda Stewart, owner of Rainbow Room International and one of the leading names, no only within the UK hairdressing industry, but within the global hairdressing industry. For forty years she has provided members of our team with a secure future along with a structures career path, has impeccable business skills and has created an exceptional brand.” Suzie McGill, international artistic director, owner of Rainbow Room International’s Uddingston Salon 

“I would personally say all the strong women from the fashion and hairdressing industries. I think women who inspire and support each other are inspiration in themselves and it’s great to see us all unite and empower one another.” Tina Farey, editorial director of RUSH

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