Friday was International Women's Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the incredible roles women play every day throughout the world. Annually on the 8 March, events are held all across the world to help inspire women and celebrate their achievements, to year-by-year, increase the awareness and status of the celebration of Women and IWD.
This year, I joined a group of talented and inspiring women (and some men!) at WIE London, where women of diverse careers, ages and backgrounds came together to share and inspire through their own stories. Mother, professional, sister, aunt, creator, and businesswoman are just a few of the titles so many women, including myself, hold on a daily basis, which goes to show just how busy a woman's life really can be.
I was lucky enough to be speaking on a panel, alongside Lady Lynne de Rothschild, Lynne Franks and Emma Barnett, to discuss the lingering question, can women have it all yet? Can women be at the top of their game and still be a mother, sister, friend?
Having 'it all' or even defining what that means can be difficult. For women, success is often painted in a different light than for men. Success for a woman is more than having a successful career, its about relationships with others, family, friends, community, creative fulfillment. But having a life purpose of being happy and joyful doesn't mean you can be successful in a career. Some of the most incredibly successful women can still dedicate their time to motherhood and family.
As noted by Lady Lynne de Rothschild on Friday, Hillary Clinton, despite her incredible career, still sees her children as her biggest success. This is where I feel women really come into their own light. A women's role is ever changing, and out with the limelight, there are so many women that are unsung heroes, who do whatever it takes, to work hard, build their dream career and provide for and raise their families.
It is these women who prove that through prioritization, and setting goals at different stages throughout life, women really can have it all. It is a day like International Women's Day reminds us of these achievements, and just what a contribution women make!
Despite being incredibly fortunate to have built up my own business and career in design, for me, one of the achievements I will always be most proud of is being a mother to Natasha and a step-mum to Savannah and Sienna. Family is precious, and we forget being a parent has to be one of the toughest jobs there is!
With Mother's Day just passed, it's a blissful reminder that the bond between a mother and her daughter is something incredibly precious. That is why, when the opportunity arose to support Breast Cancer Campaign in their Mother's Day Early Detection campaign, it was a cause so close to my heart I was dedicated to becoming a part of.
The campaign was designed to encourage both mothers and daughters alike to be breast aware this Mothers Day, pushing the importance of early detection. Breast cancer can have a devastating impact on women's lives, having had a scare of my own, I cannot emphasize more the importance for mothers and daughters alike to become more aware. It's never too early to start.
Mother's Day is a time to be grateful to our lovely mums, for their support, love, mentoring and inspiration. From the age of 16, design has been my passion, and I'm incredibly lucky to have made success out of something I truly love, but being a mother will always be my greatest achievement.
I'm delighted to be a supporter of International Women's Day, to inspire other women to believe in themselves and reach for their own successes, whatever they may be.
Follow Kelly Hoppen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@IMKellyHoppen