5 on 5 this International Women’s Day

Image of Pesel & Carr staff 5 favourite communicators for International Women's Day.

5 on 5 this International Women’s Day

We here at Pesel & Carr believe in using the power of communications for good.

For this International Women’s Day, five team members at Pesel & Carr wanted to highlight five excellent communicators who inspire and empower their audiences.

Managing Director Barbara Pesel – Dr Jane Goodall

A pioneer of anthropology and primatology, Jane Goodall’s revolutionary work with chimpanzees in the 1960s allowed us to better understand the behaviours and the delicate interconnectedness between the natural world and all beings.

Immersing herself in the habitat of the chimps, Jane recognised and recorded the human-like behaviours – how they used tools and acted in social groups. This work continues to have an impact today.

Despite, and likely because of, how urgent and serious climate activism and animal welfare causes are, it often can be difficult for clear messages to cut through.

An internationally respected advocate for animal welfare and the environment, Goodall’s voice comes from an authoritative understanding of the natural world and continues to resonate.

Her communications are also so successful because of her emphasis on hopeful and constructive ways forward. This is emblemised in latest book, The Book of Hope, billed as a survival guide to an endangered planet, but also Goodall still has hope for us and our planet.

Goodall is a woman that inspires people to conserve the natural world we all share, to improve the lives of people, animals and the environment.

At Lort Smith Animal Hospital we too share the same vision and our mission talks to that same human animal bond. Everything is connected and everyone can make a difference.

Creative & Social Media Executive Holly Dowding – Deborah Frances-White

I am a feminist, and Deborah France-White makes me go full on ‘fangirl’.

Deborah is an Australian stand-up comedian, screenwriter and corporate speaker living in London. She is extremely well-informed about issues of gender inequity and her talent for entertaining and engaging her audience is, in my opinion, on par with Daenerys Targaryen… though her following is a little less hostile.

In the tradition of her formal education at Oxford, a good debate doesn’t go astray with Deborah. I am sure her succinct and relatable rebuttal in an Oxford Union debate about feminism and celebrity icons ensured the opposition’s defeat. Her wit, intelligence and flair make corporate talks what they should be – inspiring and charismatic. In a TEDx she even taught you how to be good at public speaking too.

My first experience of Deborah was listening to the The Guilty Feminist – a podcast about modern feminist topics and the “insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine them”. Guilty Feminist brings people together to share their experiences and solve the world’s problems, with the banter of a comedy podcast.

She has an amazing ability to put feelings into words and articulate the uncomfortable and painful experiences of being a woman in world built for men, with a refreshing layer of humour, that makes her audience feel less alone.

Content Writer Neve Mahoney – Maxine Beneba Clarke

I first read a book by Maxine Beneba Clarke in my first year at university. It was her memoir The Hate Race, which followed Beneba Clarke’s life growing up in a predominately white suburb in Sydney. I read it with her words buzzing in my brain and my breath held tight in my chest.

This, I thought, this is how good a writer I want to be one day. I then read her poetry and her short stories and listened to her perform – if you haven’t watched Beneba Clarke perform, do yourself a favour – and I’m still in awe at the power of her voice and the grace and skill with which she writes. She seems to master any genre she turns her hand too, including several children’s books.

Beyond inspiring me, Beneba Clarke has changed the Australian literary scene. For years there was a dearth of published African Australian literature, and Beneba Clarke has talked about how it was difficult for her to write into this space. She is now the author of nine published works and has helped pave the way for other African Australian writers to be read, editing Black Inc.’s excellent Growing Up African in Australia.

Beneba Clarke is also a Twitter extraordinaire, with stories of her children overlapping with poems side by side with insightful musings and witty ripostes.

Whether it is her poetry on current events, calling out Australian racism or tracking down a mall Santa, her writing always has something to say – and leaves you thinking about it for a long time afterwards.

Content Marketing Specialist Sam Watson – Jacinda Adern

Since taking office in 2017, Aotearoa/New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern’s has been a prime example of a leader with the charisma, skills and empathy required to deliver a message in an impactful way, regardless of the audience.

Jacinda Ardern has spent her tenure demonstrating how leadership focused on compassion can be done. She has marched alongside New Zealand’s LGBTQ+ community during Pride events, embraced her grieving citizens after Christchurch terrorist attack and taken a pay cut during the height of the pandemic – clearly communicating what leading in solidarity looks like.

And whether it has been her relatable (and often hilarious) social media videos focusing on her homelife or regular appearances on US chat shows, her humour, charm and refusal to take herself too seriously wins viewers over immediately.

One heart-warming example of Ardern’s ability to think outside of the box when communicating with different audiences came during the COVID-19 lockdown, when she famously reassured the nation’s children that the Easter bunny and tooth fairy would be considered ‘essential workers’ and so could continue to do their jobs.

The ways she has communicated and demonstrated her commitment to doing what she believes is the right thing, while remaining resolute and intimidated by detractors, has set her apart as a beacon of hope for a kinder and fairer world.

Account Coordinator Gloria Pham – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a marketing whizz, but I admire her most for being a past master at storytelling through music. She tells stories of love, broken hearts, betrayal, loss and self-reinvention in such raw and expressive ways. Her lyrics are almost poetry, brimming with images and metaphors. Listeners from all walks of life can relate to her characters.

For example, the song “Tolerate it” immediately reminds the listener of the times they’re taken for granted by someone important: “I made you my temple, my mural, my sky / Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life / Drawing hearts in the byline”.

Taylor’s genius ability in connecting with her audience is also obvious in her live performances, public appearances and social media presence. She makes direct, authentic and personalised connections with fans by wrapping Christmas gifts for them, casually replying to their posts, liking their pictures and reposting their selfies. Instead of pushing out content, she nurtures conversations.

Fun fact: one of my little “achievements” in 2021 was being among the top 1% of Taylor’s Spotify listeners globally, and I didn’t even try!

Appreciate the women who have inspired you

Today we should all take the time to acknowledge the so often unacknowledged work of women.

While we have chosen five well-known women to highlight, there are many women who every day touch our lives that everyone else doesn’t get to know. Show your appreciation for those women today and every day.

To all the women and girls reading this, we wish you a happy International Women’s Day.