In 2022 we are still searching for a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
All over the world women are fighting for a society that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. There is a collective movement calling for equality for all women: Forging change and breaking the bias, so that the generation of tomorrow, live in a world free of gender discrimination
Throughout the Month of March, we are shining a light and celebrating women from all walks of life. Telling their story, sharing their experiences, and looking at life through their lens.
The Atlantic Dispatch, sat down with three women making waves across social media, to discuss the importance of supporting other females and what it’s like opening a window into their life, through the voyeuristic world of social media.
Leah is a proud Shetlander, the dynamic and thriving archipelago in the heart of the North Sea. An island of opportunity which captivates and arrests the soul.
Located in the northernmost part of Britain, Leah captures the true essence of what Shetland means to her. Images of her homeland have been immersing people, unfamiliar with a place of astonishing beauty into her world and telling the story of her life.
I come from a very large family, from different areas around Shetland. I’ve been brought up with an identity shaped by my heritage. I don’t naturally feel very Scottish. I know I am, but my culture and upbringing has been influenced by the unique people and islands I grew with.
Exploring the Islands
I’d always enjoyed playing outdoors as a child and was lucky enough to be taken around Shetland to enjoy the many beaches and outdoor adventures. My sisters, cousins and friends would run around making up games, building gang huts and exploring.
But then as an adult, the outdoors activities mature, (although I’d love to build a gang hut again) so I started walking the coastline in my spare time.
I recognised that other than a few tour guides and local businesses, there was no ‘lifestyle’ grid that existed showing Shetland in all its glory without being connected to a business or an organisation.
I decided to document my wanders and some of Shetlands culture in the form of a blog, Facebook and Instagram with a selection of images and videos to do Shetland life some justice.
I was fed up seeing the same things about Shetland over and over again. Shetland life is so much more than that. The main motivation for my page was to encourage those living in Shetland to get out of their comfort zone and explore real Shetland.
I wanted to instil a new appreciation for the place and to help people’s mental health by showing how exhilarating it can be to wrap up and get out.
To feel the wind, to smell the sea. Everyday in Shetland is different, experience it all. Come rain or shine the coastline is always a beautiful place to be.
Sharing the Shetlands With the World
I knew Shetland was special and I knew how happy trekking to these viewpoints made me feel, but it wasn’t until lockdown when I was overcome with what my page did. I started to receive very emotional and heartfelt messages thanking me for providing a escape to people all over the world.
Everyday people would be waiting to view my story, just to hear the sea, just to feel the calm my Instagram would bring them.
It became a real responsibility reading people’s stories, hearing how awful life was for so many. A paramedic messaged me to say that after night shift, the first thing he did was go to my page to unwind. It was then I became so unbelievably overwhelmed with just how lucky I was to be from such a place and how privileged I was to share that with the world.
Supporting Other Women
Everyone has something unique to bring to the table. Nobody can be anyone else but themselves, so that’s why I feel confident and inspired to support and champion other women.
I know who I am. When you get to a stage when you are authentic and confident in yourself, it’s effortless to support all the other amazing women out there who are doing great things.
Women juggle many things in a world where unfortunately discrimination still exists and barriers are set higher, so supporting and championing each other has never been more important. Together we are all stronger and better.
Women I Admire
I’ve never really been the type to admire people, but I do have respect for a lot of women. If I have admiration for anyone, that would be my Nana.
She’s a wonderful person and has been a consistent influence throughout my life and has taught me so much just by watching her. How she always greets people with a smile, how she’s happiest when doing things for other people, how fending for yourself is important and that life is hard, but enjoying it isn’t.
She has kept me connected to my heritage and my roots by always telling old stories, sharing old recipes and speaking about my ancestors in daily conversations. There isn’t many people who can say that your Nana is your favourite company. She’s a tonic, a teacher and a power house. I can only hope I’ve inherited some of her traits.
Canadian-born and UK-based Robin Jones is a social media powerhouse. The digital creator shares her life, work, and travels with her 91k followers on Instagram, giving them an insight into the world of a fiercely ambitious woman.
A self-made entrepreneur with a wanderlust spirit Robin has contributed to Vogue and Nylon Magazine and has become a voice of authority on fashion and a style icon to her thousands of followers.
A woman with a wonderfully wicked sense of humour, she talks to us about the importance of supporting female led businesses, the reality of social media and her love of fashion.
Starting in Social Media
I began my life in social media 6 years ago now! I was using it as an outlet to originally just post outfit photos and then it kinda lead to jobs. Once I realised I could make a career out of my hobby, things changed and I started to pursue and treat it like a job.
A Woman’s Experience of Social Media
It’s been good and bad, but MOSTLY good. People look to us for inspiration and for relatability so a lot of my followers have actually become friends. You get the odd off comment but most people are super supportive and lovely!
Thinking of a Career in Social Media
Then just START. Do what you want at first and figure it out as you go. There’s a lot of trial and error and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t get discouraged by rejection- it happens to the best of us and don’t get intimidated! There’s space for everyone in the industry!
Supporting Women in Business?
Personally, I think it’s super important to support women as equals in business. I think a lot of the time women as business owners are overlooked. I try and go out of my way to support female owned brands, along with any other brands that their values, products and motto aligns with who I am as a consumer and business owner.
Walk Walk Fashion Baby
I’ve always believed fashion is an art form, so I’ve used it to express myself. Our style and what we wear tends to become part of who we are. I’ve loved it for years and have found it to be one of the few industries in which women are CEOs.
I love to support smaller brands, they’re often more sustainable, more niche and made with love. As a small business owner myself other people supporting your business can make or break you. So, I try and opt to shop independent brands when I can.
I try and identify with what make sense for my brand and lifestyle I usually try and shop small, luxe and sustainable brands.
What Makes a Great Entrepreneur
If I had to pick one thing that I think makes a great entrepreneur it would be perseverance.
Sometimes being an entrepreneur is embracing the failure and learning from our mistakes and I don’t think many people see that side of being a small business owner.
If you’re able to overcome things, you love what you do and you adapt those are all key traits you need to be an entrepreneur!
Women I Admire on Social Media
Mohnie, is an intelligent, creative whirlwind of energy. With an infectious personality, smile and energy for life. The creative and talented Southampton born Punjabi, has been living in Scotland for almost 15 years now. She is proud of her roots and considers herself fortunate to experience both Eastern and Western cultures as a woman.
Her social media is a kaleidoscope of colour and positivity and platforms like instagram and TikTok give people an insight into the world of a positive and strong female, who embraces life with a smile.
We spent time with a women who is incredibly passionate about spreading the message that ‘every woman is unique in her own special way.’
The Importance of Supporting Women
To me, supporting women is vital. I have always been a girls girl. There is a strong feminine energy that is very nurturing about a woman.
Not only can we bring life into this world but we turn a house into a home. We are in touch with our emotions. We are great communicators. We can multi task and have an ability to understand each other without any context.
You always see these superhero movies where a man is dressed in a cape and full armour and then a superhero women will only be dressed in a two piece or a leotard. For me this interprets how strong and powerful a woman is. We are goddesses and play a huge part in mankind.
The Positives and Negatives of Social Media
I’m very blessed to mostly always have positive feedback. Sometimes I receive such lovely messages and it puts a smile on my face. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has supported me. Not only on social media but in my personal life too. Negative comments do pop up now and then, mostly about my eyes being fake and how I have a weird look. But it has never really phased me especially from people who don’t know me. They are only seeing what is on the outside.
For me personally when I think about occasions like International Women’s Day I think about all the different women in the world from different cultures and walks of life. Especially the women around me who have inspired and shaped my life. I feel so much gratitude towards them.
I also have great admiration for men who treat women like queens and see them as equals. My biggest inspiration is my mother, my sister, sister in law , my nieces and my very close friends.
Who I Admire
I’m a huge fan of journalist Danae Mercer. We are all somewhat guilty of having filtered and edited pictures. This woman makes a point to show people on social media that this way of life is not true. The way she embraces her natural self is so powerful and graceful. It also shows self love and confidence beats it all.
A lot of women do compare themselves to the models and influencer on social media. These girls are promoting products and a lifestyle which looks so perfect. However those girls also have real life problems and struggles just like us. None of it is real. So please always be kind to yourself.