Happy International Women’s Day! Today is the time to celebrate the achievements of women past, present and future, and at Anchor, we’re surrounded by women who have achieved amazing things throughout their lives.

Over the years, we’ve heard so many inspirational stories from our customers and colleagues – from women who still volunteer in their communities at the age of 105, to those who have joined us on our campaign for Government to appoint a Minister for Older People. As this year’s theme for International Women’s day is ‘Inspiring Change’,  we’ve asked three of our inspiring colleagues to tell us what changes they would most like to see made, to benefit women today.

Jane Ashcroft CBE

Jane is Anchor’s Chief Executive and was recently recognised in the New Year Honours for her services to older people. Jane became Anchor’s Chief Executive in March 2010 and in the same year was the first person to win the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Social Care’ award at the Great British Care Awards.

"International Women's Day draws attention to the amazing achievements that women around the globe make every day, empowering and inspiring more of us to live up to our full potential. The one change I would like to see made to benefit women today would be to have more women in leadership roles. Women bring great attributes and skills to the workplace and I firmly believe that the more role models we have in executive positions, the more women (young and old) will feel empowered to take the lead."

Victoria Metcalfe

Victoria is Anchor’s Dementia Consultant. She’s worked with and for people living with dementia for over 25 years.

"Every day I am inspired by the wonderful women I meet, many living through their journey of dementia, from a 100 year old Mum of ten children to a 56 year old social worker newly diagnosed. What we all have in common is the opportunity to inspire change; it starts simply as living the vision you want to see, inspiring change and modelling your values. The one thing I would like to see is for older women living with dementia to be continued to be seen as a whole person who have a voice that should be heard."

Debbie Sharples MBE

Customer Engagement Advisor Debbie has worked for Anchor for eight years. She was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of her work with older people.

"If I could inspire one change, it would be to stop women downplaying their roles. All too often I hear women describing themselves as “just” a carer or “just” a mother – yet these roles are invaluable contributors to society and organisations. The ability to be a woman at work, juggling family and a career, takes masses of energy and a lot of skill. Women need to start giving themselves more credit, and help encourage others to do the same."

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