Challenging in challenging times


This powerful piece was written by Anne Boddington, in response to 2021 International Women’s Day theme ‘Choose to Challenge’. 


Now is the time for challenge and change  

Now is the time to listen, to hear and to celebrate difference  

Even if we take longer to speak at meetings or express ourselves,

We must unearth potential and imagination wherever, whenever and however it is voiced  


Now is the time to challenge the way we see and celebrate difference 

Even when we don’t look or sound like you, even if we dress differently and don’t match your skin colour or sartorial stereotypes,

Our visual diversity speaks volumes about who we are, how we think and what we can do

We are not shades of grey or standard issue, but colourful and potent    


Now is the time to put people first whatever their gender, creed and colour 

To challenge how we diversify and celebrate quality 

To distinguish it from the tyranny of meritocracy,   

Now is the time for the 99% to challenge the 1%  

For performance to reflect on what we can do, on our collective imagination, intelligence and empathy,

Now is the time to give confidence and have confidence and to believe we will make living better and a better living together,


Now is the time to act and value the action of women

To speak truth to power 

To look, see, listen and hear women everywhere

To be generous, to open doors and to help others on their climb   


To find out more about about International Women’s day visit their page here: International Women’s Day 2021