From challenging the gender norms to making history, we spotlight some of the best trailblazers in the scene right now to celebrate IWD.
With everything that is going on in the world, it is important to celebrate those who are taking the time to push the boundaries, and that includes the women of today. From supporting Ukraine to spotlighting underrepresented backgrounds, we’ve put together a listen of women who have changed the scene in the past year.
Check out the list below now…
British-Yoruba actress and musician, Little Simz lyrically confronts the complexity of her emotions and experiences whilst drawing attention to current social issues such as gang conflict in London. Simz’s success story took her from a council estate in North London to triumphantly raising her Brit-award on stage in 2022 where she won Best New Artist. Simz took this opportunity on stage to deliver the message: “I am living proof that if you work hard on something no matter where you come from, no matter your background, no matter your race, you can do something extraordinary. So this is for all the kids dreaming – keep dreaming, keep pushing, I am you, you are me.”
The Ukrainian-born American actress is world-renowned for her Hollywood success and is now lending her capital to the struggles close to her heritage. Along with husband Aston Kutcher, Kunis has donated $3 Million to Ukrainian funds in supporting the country and its people throughout the Russian invasion. When first fleeing Ukraine for America at the age of seven, Kunis along with her parents and six siblings, arrived in America with little more than $250. Since her breakout role in That ‘70s Show, Kunis’ success has escalated to award-winning heights.
Pose’s Mj Rodriguez made history as the first trans actress to be nominated for an Emmy in 2021 whilst also extending her talents to music. Releasing her debut single “Something to Say” in June 2021, Rodriguez states the song’s message to be an embrace of differences and an encouragement to stand up for what you believe in.
After nearly 14 years of imprisonment in a conservatorship controlled by her father, Britney Spears was freed from its constraints after years of legal battling and protest from fans. Despite the negative stigmatisation surrounding Spears’ mental health struggles, her career and fanbase has remained unwavering.
A seemingly limitless talent, FKA Twigs has lent her skills to a variety of disciplines including singing and songwriting, dancing, music producing, video directing and acting. In 2019, Twigs filed a lawsuit against her ex-partner and abuser Shia LaBeouf, bravely talking candidly about her experience in interviews since. Prior to this decision, like many victims of abuse, Twigs was reluctant to report these instances at first from fear of them falling flat or tarnishing the reputation of her then partner. Her strength in sharing her story lends a sense of hope to other victims.
Emma Raducanu MBE
The 19-year-old tennis prodigy became the first British Woman since 1977 to win a Grand Slam title. Hailing from Bromley, England, the teenager had the world watching as she celebrated the winning trophy at the US Open 2021. Her journey towards success was quite literally built upon blood sweat and tears and since her ascension into stardom, Raducanu has been adorned with the title of British sports personality of the year and has fronted the covers of British Vogue. Her strength, success, and determination in her sport places Raducanu on a pedestal of female pride.
The genius that is Coel wowed audiences in 2021 with I May Destroy You, a captivating, and expertly constructed series based on Coel’s own experience with sexual assault. The multi-talented Emmy-award-winning star boasts an arsenal of acting, screenwriting, directing, producing, and singing. Cracking us up in her comedy series Chewing Gum and drawing us to the edge of our seats in her drama Black Earth Rising, Michaela Coel’s abilities are seemingly limitless.
Alex Scott MBE
The English sports presenter and pundit began her career on the pitch as Arsenal’s skilled right-back, appearing 140 times as a member of the England squad and representing Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympic games. In the male dominated world of football, Scott has had to battle against constant sexism which became increasingly severe after her career shift into broadcasting attracted social media trolls. In her continuing resilience, the sportswoman and broadcaster demand room and respect for both herself and other female professionals involved in sport.
The award-winning author, illustrator and screenwriter has made the jump from Tumblr to Netflix in the series adaption of her LGBTQ+ novel HEARTSTOPPER. At just 19, Oseman became a published author with her novel Solitaire, set in the same high-school universe as HEARTSTOPPER, Solitaire follows the antics of anonymous hackers who have taken over their school. The now 27-year-old has taken the reins with HEARTSTOPPER, as the executive producer of the series which is due to hit screens this year!
Like many, ballet is a white-dominated industry – an issue Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer Michaela DePrince is vocal on “There are practically no black dancers in ballet, so I need to speak out.” Orphaned at the age of three, DePrince defied the odds of her tragic past, propelling herself into ballet success, starring in the 2011 documentary First Position and is currently dancing with the Boston Ballet.