International Women’s Day is on Friday 8th March and for this year, the theme is Inspire Inclusion. In light of this, we are delighted to launch four podcast episodes, featuring just some of the fantastic and inspiring voices within social investment...

International Women's Day has been celebrated across the world for well over a century and is now supported by over a million people. 

This year's theme is Inspire Inclusion, and you can read more about what that actually means via their blog post: What does it mean to truly inspire inclusion?

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion. Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.”

-    International Women’s Day 2024. 

At Good Finance, we think it's important to recognise this global day as it aligns with our values and objectives, and can be directly related to our vision of a more equitable social investment sector for all. 

We wanted to seize this opportunity to platform and showcase some of the fantastic women working hard in our sector and beyond. 

That's why we're delighted to launch four podcast episodes with four incredible women, to celebrate their successes and to give them a voice on their take on inclusion in the context of social investment. 

Grab a cuppa, watch the highlights and make sure you tune in to each and every podcast via a streaming service of your choice to join us in celebrating #IWD24. 

Hanna Latif, Relationships Manager at Social Investment Business 

Hanna is the Partnership Manager for Social Investment Business (SIB) and focuses on promoting their current funds and extending their network. 

SIB offer funding and flexible, adaptive support to the organisations that make up the social economy, providing them with the tools they need to make a positive difference to the communities they work within. You can learn more about the work they do via the Impact page, which features the amount of capital they have provided and the number of organisations they have supported through their work. You can also read some of their case studies via Good Finance, including Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and Community Campus ’87. 

Based in the North-West, Hanna is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to organising events for charities and social enterprises across the UK, ensuring they get accurate and helpful information to support them in making decisions on the future financing of their organisations. 

We loved chatting with Hanna about all things inclusion, what it means to her and how differences between people and their experiences can really help people to really thrive together. Watch Hanna’s highlight clip below, or listen to the full podcast to find out more about why she believes ‘imposter syndrome’ should be a thing of the past for women in 2024 and beyond…

Wendy Mcpherson, Chief Operating Officer at Inclusive Boards 

Wendy is the Chief Operating Officer at Inclusive Boards, and is a course instructor on their ILM accredited leadership programme. 

Inclusive Boards support some of the UK’s largest charities with efforts to improve board diversity and develop stronger governance structures. They are experts in the field of diversity and inclusion training and advisory services and have delivered bespoke training to senior leaders around inclusive recruitment. Check out the various resources on this topic via their Resources page

Wendy has over 25 years service within the public sector, working with local authorities to serve highly deprived communities in London. She recently completed our Social Investment Unpicked e-Learning programme and is currently exploring other programmes that might be helpful for to complete in 2024. 

We loved chatting to Wendy and are so grateful for her honesty and transparency in talking about inclusion and what it means to her and any listeners will certainly benefit from her extensive subject matter expertise. 

Patricia Hamzahee, Advisor, Impact Investor and Philanthropist at various organisations

Patricia is an advisor, impact investor and philanthropist. After 20 years in investment banking and financial communications, Patricia now wears many hats, including running her consultancy Integriti Capital, as well as her work as a co-founder of Extend Ventures, increasing access to funding for diverse start-ups and small businesses. In addition, Patricia is the proud co-funder of the Black Funding Network and GiveBLACK, a Non-Executive Director of Social Enterprise UK and a member of Women in Social Finance. She is also an Investment Committee Member for Big Society Capital.

The podcast explored her key reflections of inclusion over her diverse career, alongside a few personal experiences from individuals and organisations she's worked with so far. 

Patricia brings a fresh perspective to this important topic for our sector and we're thankful she was able to share her wealth of knowledge with us via this insightful and thought-provoking podcast. 

Pat McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of Better Lives 

Pat McCarthy is Chief Executive Officer of Better Lives, an organisation based in Knowsley, Liverpool, which is working towards a society that respects and values older people. They took on social investment from Kindred in 2021. She has over 20 years in experience of working to support older people and is particularly passionate about fairness and social justice, and the role this plays in ensuring people are able to remain in control of their lives. 

In terms of their experiences with social investment, they took a £50,000 loan from Kindred in 2021 to help them deliver a brand refresh. Here's what Pat had to say about their experiences...

"It's been fabulous for us. We've continued our relationship with Kindred, and their support is what made it possible for us. We've been successful with what we've done, and we've started paying back and that feels great. The idea that the money is there for other people, but also a possibility for us in the future is great. It's opened a whole new world for us!"

Listen to the podcast for more information about Better Lives and what they do, along with Pat's key takeaways from her career so far. 

That's a wrap for our content for #IWD2024!

We want to say a huge thank you to all the individuals who gave up their time to share their valued opinions and perspectives with us and our users. 

Enjoyed what you've listened to? Share our podcasts with your network via your social media channels and be sure to tag us (@GoodFinanceUK). Use the themed hashtags #IWD2024 and #InspireInclusion to join the wider conversation online and to explore how others are recognising the day.