IWD #ChooseToChallenge100, Speakers (2)

Meet WeAreTheCity & WeAreTechWomen’s 100 incredible women, choosing to challenge gender bias and inequality this International Women’s Day.

This year will see the celebration of the 110th International Women’s Day.

IWD was first celebrated as an official international day on 19 March 1911. Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland were among the first countries outside of the US to mark the day. In 1975, during the International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women’s Day. Since 1996, International Women’s Day has focused on annual themes that enables supporters to unite for gender equality. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge.

As part of our #ChooseToChallenge100 campaign, WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen asked 100 women to share their stories as to how and why they choose to challenge. Our campaign includes stories of challenge from CEO’s, Founders, Campaigners, Politicians, Charities and thought leaders, including June Sarpong OBE, TV Presenter, Diversity Expert & Award-Winning Author; Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK; Professor Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science & Technology Evangelist; Andrea McLean, Broadcaster, Author and Co-Founder, This Girl Is on Fire; Amali de Alwis MBE, UK Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups; June Angelides MBE, Early Stage Investor, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Advocate for the Rights of Working Mothers; Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter; Mivy James, Digital Transformation Director, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence; and Sheree Atcheson, Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. Never has there been a more important year for us to choose to challenge. The impact of Covid has been incredibly hard on women, bearing the brunt of extra childcare, losing jobs in greater numbers than men, being on the short end of governments support, especially for new mothers. The list goes on!

We also saw all gender pay gap reporting suspended in 2020, which was one of the only measurements of success that we had. A recent article in The Guardian cites that the impact of the pandemic could mean that we are at risk of putting 50 years of progress into reverse. Our voices need to be heard, and what better day to start to raise our collective voices than International Women’s Day.

Each day we will share the stories of three incredible women on our social media channels, culminating in one every hour on the 8th March.

We will also feature a number of these incredible women at our IWD event on 5th March – You can book your place here.

Watch some of our amazing women below:

June Sarpong OBE | TV Presenter, Diversity Expert & Award-Winning Author
Andrea McLean | Broadcaster, Author & Co-Founder, This Girl Is On Fire
Jacqueline de Rojas CBE | President, techUK
Professor Sue Black OBE | Professor of Computer Science & Technology Evangelist
Debbie Forster MBE | CEO, Tech Talent Charter
June Angelides MBE | Early Stage Investor, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Advocate for the Rights of Working Mothers
Sheree Atcheson | Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader
Amali de Alwis MBE | UK Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups


We want to add your voices to this campaign so we can all be heard, everyone has a story to tell!

If you want to get involved in this campaign, you can record your own 1-2 minute IWD video and share with us on social media. Just tag us in on Twitter @watc_updates or @watc_wearetech or on Insta @Watc_HQ or tag us in on LinkedIn @WeAretheCity using hashtags #ChooseToChallenge100 #ChooseToChallenge

We can all choose to challenge, not just for IWD, but every day – Join the movement and help us to amplify the voices of women who choose to challenge.

We have also created an entire page on our websites dedicated to IWD. If you are looking for events, campaigns and celebrations to get involved in, please visit here. We are also happy to add your public events and articles to this page, just email details to [email protected]