More than 60 young women and girls from the Guernsey Bailiwick have been nominated by islanders as potential iconic women of the future after a search launched a fortnight ago by Women in Public Life to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March.
The interactive online map of the island created for the campaign is so full of pictures of the nominees that some of the later nominations have had to be placed on the ‘cliffs’ around the island.
The focus is on women under 30 because young women are significantly under-represented in public office. There are currently no women under 30 in the States, for example, and only two Douzeniers.
Each of the 62 nominees is represented with a small photo, which when clicked on, reveals why their nominator believes she has the potential to make a positive difference to public life in the Bailiwick and beyond.
Women in Public Life committee member Linda Rolf says, “The response from islanders has been stunning. We were hoping for 30 nominations of women and girls under 30 but we ended up with more than double that number.
“Even more important than the quantity of nominations is the quality. It has been inspiring to read about young women and girls who have already achieved so much, and look set to do great things in the future.
“This is an impressive generation. They care passionately about the society they live in, and they have the drive and commitment to achieve change. We hope that highlighting how talented young women are, and how important it is that they have a voice in decision-making, will encourage more to consider standing for a position in public office.”
The nominations range in age from 10 to 29 and include two Douzeniers, Victoria Robinson and Charlotte Long, as well as women in business and the public sector, scientists, environmentalists, campaigners, charity workers, artists and sportswomen.
Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink nominated two colleagues: public health practitioner Heather Ewert and nurse Isabel Rabey, the hospital’s clinical lead for Covid. Of Heather she says, ‘I have no doubt she will continue to make further significant contributions to the lives of islanders over the years. Hard work and dedication, together with a passion for tackling inequalities are central to all she does.’
Elaine Gray, Partner at Carey Olsen and Chamber of Commerce President, says of her nominee, 22-year-old Rebekah Johnston, “Whether volunteering as a mentor to young people or being elected as the youngest ever member of the police complaints commission, she is set to be one of the iconic Guernsey women of the next few years, if not already.”
At 13, Mathilde Flouquet is one of the youngest to be nominated. Joni Nettleship says Mathilde has already made a big difference in her school and the wider community: “She is never afraid to speak up for others and has used her voice on the school council at St Sampson’s High to ensure that people are treated fairly.”
Among the campaigners recognised, 24-year-old Lottie Parkes was nominated by Jo Meerveld for her contribution to equality with Guerns Against Discrimination, while 19-year-old Charlotte Cleal was put forward by Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez for her critical role in bringing about Guernsey’s climate change policy. Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller nominated 29-year-old Poppy Murray for her BE LADS campaign to educate men and boys about how to make women feel safer.
Click here to view the map and read about Guernsey’s iconic women of the future.