Issue 03 of our print magazine is available to buy now

Issue 03 is available to buy now

International Women’s Day: Voices from The Beautiful Truth

International Women’s Day: Voices from The Beautiful Truth

The women of TBT explore womanhood in their professional and personal lives.
1st Mar 2024

For International Women’s Day, we spoke to the women of The Beautiful Truth to uncover what inspires them to be the inspirational women they are – in their professional and personal spheres.

Every day is an opportunity for women to show their strength and embrace their womanhood. How do these women do this on the daily, and who are the women that helped them to get there?

Who are the women that inspire you?

Hannah: There are so many! The women who are in my life: My mom, an incredible example of unconditional love; my mentor Fatima Wesson who has taught me that being a good mum and being good at your job is possible, it just might involve getting take-out; my sister, who started a successful ceramics business alongside her full-time marketing career.

And of course the women I don’t know but am grateful for: Marie Curie, who deserves all the accolades and more. Her contribution to science is incredible (winning the Nobel Prize in 1903, before women had the right to vote) but I think I’m most inspired by her marriage, which seems like it was a truly equal partnership of two great minds working together and raising children.

I am also deeply inspired by Corrie Ten Boom, whose family helped Jews escape the Nazis and then she herself was sent to a concentration camp. I read her book The Hiding Place as a teen and her bravery has always stayed with me. I love her quote: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Alice: I’m lucky to be surrounded by incredible women, both in my family and friendship group. My mum is an endless source of inspiration, love and support. She raised my brother and me on her own and I’ve inherited so many interests and skills from her – drumming, photography, a love of nature and reading to name a few. And then my friends: Suzy and Megan, who feel like family; Sally, who reminds me of the beauty in making things; Annabelle, for the pure joy of dancing to good music; and Lucy, who reminds me how precious old friends are. 

I am also deeply inspired by women that I don’t know: author Elizabeth Strout’s ability to put some ineffable and sprawling facet of human emotion into a crisp ten-word sentence. Rachel Carson for her dedication to advancing our understanding of and care for our oceans. And Gloria Steinem; I read her 1963 essay ‘A Bunny’s Tale’ at my mum’s suggestion as a teenager, and it shaped how I thought about writing, women and the power that the two can hold when combined. 

Why do you think it’s important to have female leaders to look up to? 

Elizabeth: We all run on imagination, envisioning a path or a future. To have examples of what is possible or what ‘could be’ fuels that imagination. I have lacked precise examples of such in real life so take inspiration from those around me as contemporaries or simply try to imagine what life might be possible for me, hopefully providing inspiration for my daughter. 

Megan: Seeing yourself reflected in leadership is a powerful source of inspiration. And when you get past the tokenism of having one female leader to tick that box, an organisation can then begin to realise that female leadership takes no one form – because people aren’t just their gender. Female leadership represents a plethora of attitudes, opinions and creative approaches, and it’s this diversity of thought that is fundamental to business and life.

What are the unique skills that being a woman brings to the workplace?

Amy: There’s something special about women holding up women in the workplace. Women have this mutual, often unspoken, understanding for each other. Perhaps a male colleague makes a prejudiced comment – a knowing glance between two women is enough to say “I recognise you, I feel you, we’ll work this out together.”

For all the uncomfortable moments or terse comments, a woman pulling you aside to check in on you is a vital moment of female solidarity. This is such a powerful force that us women carry and is what makes us so resilient – there’s power in the pack. 

Alice: I think that the things we think of as typically ‘feminine’ are often sorely needed in the workplace: compassion, empathy, nurturing and acceptance. In reality these are, of course, not actually linked to being a woman. But I have found that the women I work with have a keen intuition that is instinctive, intelligent and extremely valuable, and that kindness is abundant. 

How do you deal with misogyny or toxic masculinity in the workplace? 

Megan: It’s a nuanced thing; it involves an intricate dance of asserting boundaries while navigating societal norms. Women, unfortunately, have honed these skills as a survival mechanism; the emotional labour of navigating these dynamics is a silent challenge that we all face. Ultimately, dismantling deeply ingrained biases demands collective effort, empathy and a nuanced understanding of our patriarchal history. I also think it’s important to avoid a blame culture, in that isolating and penalising men collectively brings little benefit; a patriarchal system is a detriment to all genders.

“Dismantling deeply ingrained biases demands collective effort, empathy and a nuanced understanding of our patriarchal history.”

Megan Lakin

Elizabeth: I’ve never been too concerned by toxic masculinity in the workplace, as in my opinion it is never to do with me or with women (ironically). It is a bad expression of someone searching for identity and certainty in themselves. Therefore I tend to feel sad for those individuals when I see it expressed in such a way and empathise with what might cause it for that particular male. In other words: I ignore it. 

What advice would you give to women in the creative industries? 

Hannah: Back your ideas, but be open to others. Being kind goes a long way in making work more fun, and the end product better. Added bonus: you never know who you are going to end up working with down the line.

“It’s so easy to get sucked into negative thinking about your workplace, but that’s only going to make it less enjoyable!”

Avoid becoming part of the cynics circle. It’s so easy to get sucked into negative thinking about your workplace, but that’s only going to make it less enjoyable! Find a mentor. Someone a career step or two on from you who can encourage you and help you navigate creatively and professionally.

Amy: Speaking up is important, but there’s also a power in what you don’t say. My previous but pivotal experience working in a school showed me the importance of silence, especially in a place where it’s so easy (and expected) to rely on the intensity of your voice.

Not speaking for the sake of speaking is powerful and makes what you do say much more potent and valuable. There’s something very arrogant (I refrain from saying it’s a male trait!) about always have something to comment! 

“The women I work with have a keen intuition that is instinctive, intelligent and extremely valuable, and kindness is abundant.”

What book would you recommend to other women? 

Hannah: Reading fiction is my favourite hobby, and I’m constantly recommending books to people. Here’s a few of my favourites by female authors:

  • Educated by Tara Westover is an incredible memoir about a girl who grows up in rural Utah with no formal education and goes on to get a PHD from Oxford.
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: I laughed out loud in public several times and also cried. It’s wonderful. 
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg; it is not in vogue to recommend this book anymore but I found it really helpful when I was in my early twenties. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot of great motivation in there.
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline L’Engle. I’ve given this book to multiple friends who are writers. It’s a helpful and beautiful exploration of the relationship between faith and art.


  • For any aspiring writers, Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life is a beautiful, honest, slightly tortured account of the arduous and incredible act of writing. It reveals the hardships and the absurdity of what it means to be a writer, while unapologetically making you fall in love with it over and again. It also provides an immense sense of comfort to any writers thinking they are alone in feeling the fear that comes with creativity – it is merely part of the gig. 


  • Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me will ring true to most females.
  • Robert Sapolsky’s Behave – to have a beautifully articulated understanding of human behaviour, from genetics to culture. He demonstrates: it is all context!

If you could offer one piece of advice to male leaders / peers in your workplace on how they interact with women, what would it be?

Amy: Be mindful of your assumptions; bias can creep in at any moment. See if you can catch yourself about to explain something to one of our female colleagues – have you considered they might already know, or know more than you about this? Also, speak up when you see injustice – especially what goes on when women aren’t in the room! 

“Speak up when you see injustice – especially what goes on when women aren’t in the room!”

Megan: Question your ingrained assumptions. Don’t always be so self-assured, particularly when making decisions. Equally, we’re way past virtue signalling – don’t put me on an empty pedestal without matching words with actions. Do the internal work yourself. 

Header image: Front cover of Issue 02 of The Beautiful Truth, Caspar’s Daughter © Jarek Puczel