How could I not comment on International Women's Day?
My grandmother ran a cafe' in Billingsgate Market and was quite the
businesswoman. For a woman in the thirties in London
this must have been quite difficult and I would imagine Billingsgate
was quite a male dominated world too.
She had grown up in a world where domestic violence was very common
and had experienced her mother fleeing violence with five children when
she was very young. Did this give her the confidence to realise that if her
mother could raise five children alone there was no limit to what she herself could
I think that she not only believed in her abilities as a woman but was also
instrumental in helping other women too. She would help teach English to
women who had arrived in the UK from different countries including Greece.
She knew that a woman needed to be able to communicate to be able to achieve independence.
Within the hospitality sector the workforce has changed from a male dominated environment in the forties and fifties to the mixed workforce of today. There is nothing unusual today to find women within all the top jobs of the industry.There is always more that can be done but we still need to recognise we have come a long way.
I am grateful to the women who have shaped me, to my mother - the writer, to my grandmother - the businesswoman and all the teachers who have also spurred me on.
That's why I am celebrating International Women's Day.
# International Womens Day 2019