On International Women's Day, we are recognising and celebrating the women who inspire us. At Forum for the Future, we asked our colleagues to share messages of appreciation for prolific women in their lives in our exclusive #WomenWhoRock series. From personal heroes to global icons, the stories they share demonstrate the profound impact that women have on our lives and the world around us. In this blog, we highlight some of these inspiring women and their achievements. Join us in celebrating #WomenWhoRock

At Forum for the Future, we have a Slack channel dedicated to #YouRocks. It’s a place to show appreciation for people when they do great stuff - from tiny things that help us get through our day to those big achievements. It's a simple but powerful way to spread positivity. And this month, we’re submitting #YouRocks to recognise the women in our lives who inspire us, each and every dayFrom historic figures to personal mentors, it’s about capturing and appreciating the women who have made a lasting impact on us with a simple message of thanks. Here are just a few of those:
Hannah Cunneen, Principal Programme Manager said "My inspiration is Dame Whina Cooper, a respected kuia (Māori elder) and leader. She worked tirelessly to raise the voices of, and improve rights for, Māori people, particularly women. Her leadership inspired a wave of activism in support of Māori land rights in New Zealand during the 70s. Her very legacy remains in Aotearoa's mindsets and legislation today. A true inspiration.”
Matt Foster, Director of Development and Communications said “My #YouRock goes to Liz Holmes, who very sadly passed in 2015, far too young. She showed a lifelong commitment to supporting people fighting poverty in the North East of England, Cambodia and Southern Africa, and was an inspiration to me as a manager and person. #YouRock Liz Holmes, rest in peace.”
Zoe Le Grand, Associate Director of UK/EU said "#YouRock to Ms Baker, my sociology teacher from Cotham School. You opened my eyes to social sciences and inspired, challenged and gave me the confidence to try and make a difference in the world.”
Sangam Paudel, Project Officer said #YouRock to my didis (दिदीs) Fern, Communications Manager, and Jael, Senior Administrator at Forum, for all the laughter, kindness, and empathy you’ve shown me over my time here. This didi (弟弟) is very grateful for your presence!”
Evgenia Kyanova, Executive Assistant said #YouRock to my mother, who gave up a long and successful career in higher education to bring her family together. She would constantly work, but also made time to spend with her children. She's been exceptionally resilient - a chameleon regarding opportunities and challenges that come her way - seizing what she can to make it work. Here's to all mothers in the world, as they deserve all of our praise and more.”
Priya Kvam, Associate Director of Global Development said “My younger sister, Sarita, and I are 20 months apart. We have always been close. I learn so much from her, so much about living. She is brave, kind, creative, generous, disciplined, and self-aware. #YouRock, Sarita, my inspiration this International Women’s Day.”
Srikanth Itika, Finance Officer said #YouRock to my mother. My mother is my strength, and has always shown belief in me since I was a child. She always knows what I want without asking me, and always hopes for good, without expecting anything in return.”
Tanya Grueneberger, Digital and PR Executive said #YouRock to my amazing mother, who has been an unwavering source of strength and guidance in my life. Also to my sister, a real-life Doctor Dolittle, and the extraordinary writer Amy Hempel, who introduced me to the fascinating world of chimps who communicate through sign language.”
Neil Walker, Change Designer said #YouRock to my friend Sonia, a woman forced to leave her country of birth because of her ardent and passionate defence of women's rights, and continues to support the struggle happening there now despite distance and difficulties. A bright and brilliant poet, singer and artist, and a personal inspirational icon in the struggle for women's rights.”
Susanna Orchard, Partnerships Development Officer said “My inspirational woman is Maya Angelou. I love her poem I Rise’; on the surface it's about overcoming racism, but applies to any toxic relationship or power imbalance. She's a mine of amazing quotes, particularly this one: “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” She also had a beautiful way of speaking, especially in the reading of her poem Phenomonal Woman’.”
Amy Langridge, Associate Director - Marketing and Communications said #YouRock to Jane Goodall, whose contributions to conservation and the biodiversity movement are unparalleled. To Rosalind Franklin who helped shake the world of science in discovering the double helix of DNA. To Gloria Steinem for all she’s achieved as the ‘Mother of Feminism’. To Mrs Morris who ignited my passion for biology at school. And to my twin sister, Sophie, who challenges and supports me every day. For a just world to be realised, women need to be heard and respected – at all times lifting each other up. In some ways, we’ve made so much progress; in others, still so much more to come.
Women are making waves around the world and in our pursuit of a more just and regenerative future, it’s vital that women are recognised, heard and respected.  To the women fighting for climate justice, gender equality, and social justice. To those who are breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo. To those inspiring people around them. To those who challenge and support us to do and be better. To those inspiring the next generation. #YouRock