#WonderWomen Volume One

What a week for women in the media!

I’m constantly in awe of other women and their achievements, and I’m kicking myself for not regularly giving them the praise that they deserve. So, here’s three women who’ve rocked the world this week…

Davina McCall

Anyone who knows me personally will know of my addiction to Davina’s workout DVDs (I have four). Since doing them I’ve been healthier, happier and in the best shape I’ve ever been. (I’m too much of a chocolate raisin fan to be ultra slim, ripped etc… but I’m far more confident than I was.)

Those of you who listen to Radio 1 may be aware that Davina’s been pushing her brain and her body to the limit in the name of Sport Relief. She’s run, cycled and swam 500 miles in a week and has been totally open about how tough the experience has been. Listening to her emotional updates on the radio has been equally inspiring and devastating – and everyone I know who has ever worked with Davina has absolutely sung her praises. She’s the genuine article. The focus of Davina’s Sport Relief fundraising has been to raise money for projects in the UK, but also to create opportunities for women and girls in Kenya to have a better life. She’s a woman for women.

Naturally, I sponsored her efforts: sportrelief.com/davina. Please give if you can.

Ellen Page

Ellen Page has always made awesome movies. X-Men, Super, Hard Candy, Juno and the totally brilliant Whip It are amongst my favourites. A few years ago I carried one of her observations on the perception of feminism in my wallet, having torn it from a magazine.

It read; “I call myself a feminist when people ask me if I am, and of course I am because it’s about equality, so I hope everyone is. You know you’re working in a patriarchal society when the word feminist has a weird connotation.”

I’ve had to highlight the second part of that quote because it succinctly sums up how I feel when people say feminism should be called ‘equalism’ or is purely about women.

And now, in another powerful move, Page has made the brave decision to come out as gay at a conference focused on the young LGBTQ community. Her speech moved me very much. You can watch it below:

Page, who I’ve always thought of being intelligent and bold in her choices – both in public speaking and her movie career – admits that her sexuality and the pressure to conceal it has caused her to suffer. That a woman who can be so together as to make the speech in the video above can be a victim of societal pressures says a lot about the world – and that we’re lucky that people like Page are prepared to speak out publicly so that they might change it for the better.

Lizzy Yarnold

I think it was when we were in year 9 (possibly 10) at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls (MGGS) that Lizzy joined my school. Instantly she became ‘the one that was good at athletics’ – particularly the javelin, which no one else had a clue about. In sixth form we were put in a form together and she became a Head Student (I was a House Captain). Lizzy was popular, pragmatic and intelligent. Although a shock to see someone I had shared a classroom with appear in the papers, it wasn’t a surprise that Lizzy would become an Olympian – that it should be for fearlessly throwing herself down an icy track, subjecting her body to mind-numbing G Force and terrifying turns wasn’t either!

Quoted on the BBC Sport website, ‘The Yarnold’ (her competing nickname) says; “If you’re committed and dedicate the time to need to, then you can achieve your dreams.” Having won the first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Lizzy is going to have an epic year  – here’s I’m hoping to bump into her in Broadcasting House soon.

Is there someone you’d like to nominate as a #WonderWoman? Tweet me!