WOW x British Vogue Forces for Change Event for IWD2020

On Saturday 7th March, for the celebrations of International Women’s Day, we went to London to attend the WOW festival at the Southbank Centre. It was a brilliant day and it was finished off by the WOW x British Vogue Forces for Change Event for IWD.

The Vogue event was hosted by Edward Enninful, Jude Kelly CBE, Vanessa Kingori and Sinéad Burke. They were joined by amazing women including Salma Hayek, Adwoa Aboah, Paris Lees, June Sarpong, Fatima Bhutto, Michelle Roberts, Julia Gillard, Rowan Chidgey and Sarah Harris.

Edward spoke so passionately about how Vogue champions diversity, inclusion and making a change in the world and this was evident in their ‘Forces For Change’ issue in September 2019 which featured amazing women making positive changes in the world.

The event’s keynote interview was with the brilliant Salma Hayek. Salma spoke about her career, her activism and how important it is to not give up.

It was incredibly inspiring to listen to Salma about how many times she was told ‘no’ and that she would never make it in Hollywood as a leading actress but she did not let this discourage her in any way at all and she continued to do what she loved to do and never gave up and this was especially seen when she produced ‘Frida’ in which she was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress, and later on ‘Ugly Betty’. She stood up to people within the industry for what is right and fought and worked hard to get to where she is today.

What struck us most about Salma was her dedication and passion for activism. She is completely proactive in her charity work and her fight for women’s rights which has spanned over decades. Salma has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity, visited Syria and Sierra Leone and has spent many years working across the world to do everything she can to prevent domestic violence and be a voice for women and empower women to use their voice. 

Salma is an incredible role model and truly is a force for change.

The first panel was hosted by the wonderful Vanessa Kingori. The panel consisted of Adwoa Aboah, Julia Gillard, Michelle Roberts and Sarah Harris who spoke about their career paths and how we can create positive change through this and in our working environment. It was insightful, enjoyable and wonderful to hear from these brilliant women. 

The second panel began with Sinéad Burke speaking about being on the cover of the Vogue issue, which was brilliant. Sinéad then welcomed on the panel of Fatima Bhutto, Rowan Chidgey, Paris Lees and June Sarpong. Diversity and mental health were the topics for this panel and it was truly inspiring to listen to each of these women’s experiences in their respective fields and in their lives. It really brought home how much still needs to be done for diversity, inclusivity and mental and these women are incredible advocates using their voices to create change.

It was such an honour to attend the event, especially as it resonated so much with our values diversity, inclusivity, empowering girls and women, and being a force for good and these have been the foundations for Careaux from the very beginning and ones that will continue to be at the heart of Careaux.