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Pioneering a Path Forwards: celebrating trailblazing female leaders

International Women’s Day spotlight – leadership perspectives on empowering change 
Lucy Alligan, Bluprintx

Today, March 8th, marks International Women’s Day. A day which sparks a wide spectrum of feelings – pride, excitement, frustration, ambition, even indifference.  

But it’s a day I believe we should mark. A day to celebrate the trailblazing contributions of women in all industries, and to recognize the challenges and inequalities that many still face. Across my career I have had the privilege of working alongside countless inspiring women, lauding their successes even as they have recognized my own.  

And it’s with that in mind that I and my colleagues at Bluprintx have reached out to peers, contacts, and friends, who represent more than just the involvement of women at the top table. We have gathered perspectives from some of the most ambitious and expert female leaders operating in leadership positions within their industries. I have reflected on their responses to a few key questions, and in the spirit of March being recognized as Women’s History Month, we’ll go deeper into these topics with a series of articles over the next few weeks – entries which will call on specific voices among our experts. 

So, what are the key initial takeaways? 

A sense of identity 

Coming through loud and clear is how critical it is to hold a resolute sense of identity, and to demonstrate authenticity in our position as female leaders and operators in marketing, comms, creative pursuits and business.  

To be unapologetic in our self-advocacy and make space for ourselves even when it hasn’t been marked out. To be a leader not in spite of being a woman, but by leveraging the strength of that identity.  

Looking across this spectrum of opinion and authentic personality, I get a real sense of maverick nature. These women, living their expertise and holding accountability, are taking risks, pushing boundaries and relentlessly driving their teams and companies forward.

Breaking barriers and expectations 

There’s a recognition of real barriers that aspiring female leaders face – hurdles that can make it more difficult to reach the top. Our respondents reported on challenges faced around parenthood, perceived decisions between ‘career or carer’, and an uneven split in domestic labor.  

And we must, to the best of our ability, represent the change we wish to see. To support members of our teams through flexibility around personal commitments and reassure them that parenthood or personal decisions need not stall careers. We can break barriers in both directions – smashing upwards through the glass ceiling, while deconstructing stigmas around care and support to hold the ladder and lift up those around us.

Networking and mentorship 

Women’s communities throughout history have contributed to our safety and prosperity, and to major sociocultural developments. From 18th century Women’s Marches in Versailles to the Suffrage Movement and its modern counterparts, organized action by women has proven to drive change. A big part of that lies in communication and camaraderie – in passing information and understanding through female networks.  

To draw a parallel, it’s important that we are committed to knowledge sharing and communal excellence. We can learn from and teach one another, and embrace professional development opportunities. Our position in boardrooms and expert panels need not be an end in itself, but rather a platform on which to build and share a pathway for girls and women across all generations.  

Many of the peers we heard from highlighted the necessity of seeing empowered women in leadership, but we can go further. We can live and breathe leadership and help individuals throughout their careers to access support networks and not feel isolated in taking leadership roles.

Modern challenges and opportunities 

As to challenges in the business landscape, many referred to AI and breakthrough technologies as both a hurdle and an opportunity. There’s a hunger to harness new tech opportunities and to be at the forefront of a new enterprise horizon. An awareness that skills development will be key, and of the need to equip women and girls in education with technological confidence and capabilities.  


Over the next three weeks, we will look closer at key themes for women in leadership: advice and mentorship, modern business challenges, and achieving representation. We’ll call on specific contributions from established marketing and business leaders to explore individual perspectives based on our collective experience.