News Blog On International Women's Day we asked our staff about the women who inspired them Devon Air Ambulance is powered 100% by people. Our supporters, volunteers and teams are dedicated, committed, and passionate about what they do, and this passion is what makes a meaningful difference to the lives of people in Devon. Today is International Women’s Day, which is a great date on the global calendar because, as many of us know, it acknowledges and celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also calling for gender parity in work and far beyond. At Devon Air Ambulance we know that equality improves life for everyone, so we wanted to embrace the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women whose passion has helped to inspire our teams in their own lives. Here’s who they nominated and why... Rob Mackie, Safety Manager 4There is a woman that has had an incredible, long-standing and deep influence on my life. Her music and lyrics have spoken to me far more than anybody else’s, and she has provided a soundtrack to my life for which I am immensely grateful. I would like to nominate the unique and wonderful KATE BUSH. Melanie Stevens, HR Advisor I’d like to nominate vegan athlete, Fiona Oakes. When I went vegan she was a great inspiration to me and she helped spur me on to run a half marathon. Like her, I wanted to prove that a vegan diet doesn’t stop us from being strong, healthy and agile. She’s passionate about animals and has her own rescue sanctuary (Tower Hill Stables) with all sorts of animals rescued from abuse and exploitation, and she now looks after about 400 of them! Sarah Burden, Marketing & Communications Manager Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, is truly an inspiration for me, and someone who is apt to be included for International Women’s Day. She has fought and continues to fight for the rights of women of all ages. She has made me realise how fortunate we are in the UK to have all of the rights that Malala fights so passionately for, including education and freedom of speech. Angela Bradley, Facilities Manager I had a book about Marie Curie as a very young girl back in the 70s. I remember being excited that a woman had done such amazing work in this field and also feeling very sad that her work led to her early death. Bearing in mind the decade, I think her work was the one thing that broke the stereotype for me at that time in both my home and school environments. Andy Bryan, Fundraising Communications officer I’d like to nominate Meryl Streep, not only because she is an amazing actor, who has been on the top of her game for the last 30 years, but also because of her charity work and incredible Oscars speech. She is funny, smart, talented and she cares a great deal about others. Helena Holt, Chief Executive American actress, Frances McDormand, made a bold and potentially lasting impact on Hollywood history this week with her rallying cry for ‘inclusion riders’ in industry contracts - a call for gender and racial parity. She used her platform as an Academy Award winner to highlight issues of inequality and to make a meaningful difference to those who are not well represented in the industry. Naomi Ziewe Palmer, Digital Content Officer Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of a Maharaja whose godmother was Queen Victoria. Despite her wealth and class, she helped pioneer the cause for women’s rights in England and in the colonies, participating in women’s suffrage and using her wealth and socialite status to give voice to those who did not have it. Louise Newbery, Fundraising Administrator Over a number of years, keen supporter, Mary Phillips, has raised nearly £30,000 for Devon Air Ambulance and Cornwall Air Ambulance, which she splits between the two charities - and all through tractor rallies. Despite her glamour, Mary has been out in her tractor raising money in all weathers and is well known in her community. She was even awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Honours list in 2016. She’s made an incredible difference to others through her dedicated fundraising. Ray Staines, Totnes Shop Manager For me it’s Rosa Parks, who was an activist during the American Civil Rights Movement, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". Kim-marie Veasey, Dartmouth Shop Manager It has to be English ballerina, Margot Fonteyn. She inspired me as a little girl and her story is extraordinary, wonderful, but also sad. She spent her career as a dancer with the royal Ballet, and was appointed Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the company by the Queen. This is a rare honour as a dancer - especially in her time. She refused to give into prejudice and unjustifiable inequality. Molly, resident DAA pup Judy the English Pointer is Molly’s inspiration. Judy chanced her life many times to protect British PoWs during World War Two. “Woof,” says Molly. Visit our blog for the latest Devon Air Ambulance stories, news and information.