Inspiring Inclusion this International Women's Day

Friday, 08 March 2024

Happy International Women’s Day!  A time to celebrate the achievements of the brilliant women we work with at MSV and across our communities.

MSV stands with women across the world this #IWD2024. This year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion and all our colleagues across the business work incredibly hard every day to encourage this whether it’s giving young women opportunities and improving their life chances at our Foyers, supporting women with complex needs into specialist accommodation, giving women an equal voice and encouraging leadership or offering opportunities through specialist programmes, training and work experience. 

Sian Leighton who leads on our Equality and Inclusion Group at MSV said: “Improving diversity, equality and inclusion is at the heart of what we do and we will continue to inspire inclusion and break down barriers through a range of actions, working with customers, colleagues and partners. Our new EDI Strategy is due to launch in April so look out for more to follow then!”

#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion

We spoke to some of our colleagues to find out what International Women's Day means to them…


Jennifer Robertson, Neighbourhoods Manager:

International Women’s Day holds a personal significance as it is a time to celebrate the achievements and contribution of women here in UK and across the world.  It is also a time to reflect on the progress made by women and the challenges that they have overcome, and which persist today for many women.  This day inspires me to continue to support and empower women around me at work and in my personal life especially my three granddaughters.

One woman who inspired me was my mother she was my rock and she had unwavering strength, kindness and love which gave me strength, guidance, compassion, and determination to purse my goals, even in the face of obstacles and challenges.


Jane Holland, Supported Housing Officer:

At MSV, we are committed to supporting women with complex needs and from different communities. For many years we have provided specialist supported accommodation for women requiring refuge across Greater Manchester, including women without access to public funding, some of whom are fleeing very difficult circumstances.

Our services are available for all women. We have homes specifically for women in the Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities, accommodation for single women with complex needs as well as a special mother and baby accommodation facility offering young mothers a platform into independence. 

Without mentioning any personal relationships with women that inspire me, one woman that I admire from afar is Malala Yousafzai. From the moment I heard about her being shot, by the Taliban for attending school, her story struck a chord with me and with the world. When she was brought from Pakistan to a UK hospital, I was compelled to send her a get well card. Seeing her father beside her, encouraging his daughter to be educated sent a strong message of the importance to support girls being educated. I have followed her story and work ever since. She was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for the right of all children to education. 


Salma Chaudri, Scheme Co-ordinator

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

A united global celebration day of incredible women who strive to break barriers, inspire, change and shape our world. Reminding everyone to accelerate equal opportunities for all women by standing together and empowering each other.

It’s a day to celebrate the strength and resilience of women around the world focusing on history, the struggles women have and are still facing to overcome barriers.

My inspiration and strength are my Mother and Grandmother. Fearless, Hardworking, Resilient Women Of Substance With Exceptional Values and Morals!

Mary Kom “Dont let anyone tell you you’re weak because you are a woman.”

Steph Williams, Head of Customer Voice and Influence

International Women’s Day gives me the opportunity to reflect on the women in my life, that are close to my heart. The women that have inspired and supported me through my own journey.

My Mum is my inspiration, after deciding she wanted her own career in her 30’s, she went back to education and trained to become a schoolteacher. She has since dedicated her life, going above and beyond each day to be a positive role model to children giving them the support they need. She could have easily moved to a school in a less challenging area, but through determination and passion she continued her journey helping 1000s of children over the years and also becoming assistant head. She has finally decided it’s time to retire in July, she can now take time for herself and enjoy a more peaceful and relaxing life, whilst being proud of what she has achieved.

At MSV we inspire all our customers to have a voice and provide the platform for them to do so, creating empowerment and a sense of belonging. We want to ensure every voice is heard and at the heart of your community and everything we do!

We have some exciting new projects starting over the next few weeks in our communities, creating support networks initially for women. 


Celebrate #IWD2024 with events across Greater Manchester


  • Walk for Women: Join a free community walk on March 9th from 12pm to 2:30pm in Manchester city centre, demonstrating solidarity and raising awareness. 

  • Lass Fest: Dive into a multi-day extravaganza (March 7th - 10th) at GRUB, Manchesterfeaturing workshops, music, comedy, art, and film, all celebrating the incredible women of Manchester!

  • Mothers Who Make: Head to HOME, Manchester, on March 8th for a free event exploring motherhood, creativity, and resilience. 

  • International Women's Day event at Gorton Central, Highmead Street, Abbey Hey, M18 8PE, Friday 8th March 1pm - 7pm (drop in any time!)


  • International Women's Day Celebration: Celebrate International Women's Day at Fire Up on March 6th 12 noon - 3pm, Rochdale with inspiring talks from female founders, hand massages, a clothes swap, and refreshments. This is a free event, but registration is required.


  • Event at Suffragette Square: On Friday 8th March the Mayor of Stockport and Stockport Council will introduce the revamped square – 6 years after the Square was first opened to the public.

  • Untold Stories exhibition: Reflecting the contribution of women to Stockport as a town of culture from 8th – 24th March at Hat Works, Stockport 

  • I am Woman - The Goodness Collective International Women's Day Celebration: Celebrate with all the awesome women who have come through the Wave of Change project so far on Tuesday 5 March, 10.30am - 2pm at Stockport Library


International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.