Studio Republic on International Women's Day

Gender equality for us is no different to any other inclusivity, equality, or justice. When asked why gender parity is important here at Studio Republic, our Director Chris said,

"I think all equality is important. I think a world with greater equality will be a happier place."

We've spent time over the last week in the Studio talking about the #PressforProgress hashtag, the need to press for further progress with gender equality, and about women who've inspired us with the progressive moves they've made towards equality throughout history. A few of the team were willing to put their faces in front of the camera, naming women who'd been trailblazers, and the reasons why they found these women inspirational.

Chris chose a group of young women as his example of pressing for progress. DIY Girls is a US charity empowering girls to become confident makers and creators of technology. He was bowled over by a story he found on Mashable, detailing how they'd developed a solar powered tent that folds away into a rollaway backpack. They hope that one day, their tent will improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in their community.

Dan's one of our designers. He's selected Amy Poehler, "because she's f*cking badass". Dan goes on to say,

"There are many reasons why Amy Poehler is an incredible woman, but to pick one stand out thing would have to be her one of her appearances on Saturday Night Live. Even though she's nine months pregnant, she still raps a whole track taking the p*ss out of Sarah Palin. This turned out to be her last show for a while as she gave birth the week after. Definitely makes me feel lazy when if ever I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Besides this she plays the incredible character Leslie Knope in Parks and Rec, and has a Youtube channel where she does interviews and offers advice to girls that have contacted her."

Anya is on a UX internship in the Studio. She had a hard time choosing between two vastly different influential women who've delivered liberating progress for women. Emmeline Pankhurst was the leader of the British Suffragette movement and is widely credited with helping to provide women with the right to vote. Anya's perspective is that Emmeline serves as an inspiration to stand up for what she believes in, even when she stands alone. Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, was a French fashion designer and business woman. Chanel is famed for freeing women from the constraints of corsetry, instead offering a wholly more casual, comfortable approach to fashion. Anya says,

"For me, as a woman who always wears trousers, Chanel has inspired me by the way she liberated women from their stereotypical uniform."

Dee is the newest member of the SR team. She's chosen Betty Cook as her inspiration. 20 years ago Betty was a miner's wife, and is still a miner's mother. She co-founded the Women Against Pit Closures and, as such, was a strong campaigner and community organiser. While that's an impressive enough accolade, the true inspiration for Dee comes from the following quote:

"I had always been told I was thick but I learnt I wasn't."

Following the strikes, Betty studied for a degree in Sociology and Social Policy at Sheffield University. Through her commitment to standing up for what she believed in, she had her eyes opened to a world of opportunity; setting her on much more of an equal footing with the men around her. Dee feels that Betty's quote is a demonstration of the power that words can have over people, at the same time as showing what can be achieved when a person starts to discover their own capabilities.

Halina is our Design intern. She plumped for Rosa Parks, activist in the civl rights movement who is regarded as having spurred the end of segregation. For Halina, Rosa Parks ...

"has always been an inspiration to me. I've always been an advocate for equality of all kinds, and have always been moved by her courage and strength. To me, Rosa Parks epitomises freedom, love and progress."

Who are your heroes this International Women's Day?