In celebration of International Women's Day (8 March 2020), we're sharing stories of inspirational women who have achieved success and made a real contribution to our city and community.
PhD researcher, training facility owner
Shakiba, who lives in Southampton, is a PhD researcher at the University of Portsmouth exploring the mental health of female rugby players and works as a criminal justice research associate. Alongside her studies, Shakiba is the co-owner of a training facility in Southampton, called Move Training Centre. The facility focuses on learning the fundamentals of bodyweight training to help members feel and move better, no matter what age, shape or size.
She was chosen to face a series of endurance challenges on the current series of Channel 4's SAS: Who Dares Wins. It’s the second time that the programme has accepted female applicants who meet the physical and psychological entry requirements, which coincides with the ministry of defence’s change to the selection criteria where women can now apply for all Special Forces roles.
Commenting on her time on the show, Shakiba says: "It didn’t matter about your gender or size - we all had to complete the same tasks, carry the same load on our backs and were treated equally to our fellow recruits.”
Captain of Southampton FC's women's team
Shannon is the Captain of Southampton FC’s women team. Her passion for football started at an early age as she started to play for a club aged nine.
Southampton FC’s women’s team, currently unbeaten in the league, are focused on securing a promotion and has benefited from some incredible experiences this season including playing at St Mary’s Stadium (with more than 4,000 people watching) and playing against higher level teams on numerous occasions in various cup competitions.
Shannon is also the Female Inclusion Officer at the Saints Foundation and works across all of its projects to support the delivery of sessions that are inclusive for females, encourage more women to engage in physical activity and increase the number of female coaches.
"The women’s football community is certainly growing and it’s important to not compare women’s football to the men’s game but as a sport in its own right. I’m excited for Southampton to welcome the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 and showcase our incredible club and community to inspire more girls to play football."
Body image and self-esteem coach
VieNess Discover You Love You CIC is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that delivers body image and self-esteem workshops into schools, educational and community groups. She is also a Body Image Coach, helping children, young people and adults see how incredible they are.
Through Vie’s work, running a branch of The Red Box Project and own personal experience, she’s found that the majority of confidence issues start in childhood.
Vie says: "So many women, of all ages, don't feel they can reach their full potential, because they don't feel worthy enough, attractive enough or good enough. It's who we are and what we do that matters; everything else is fancy packaging - be your own kind of beautiful. I support International Women's Day every year because I want to empower women so that they feel empowered to help other women. We need to fight for all the women in the world, all the women in our country, in other countries, so that we all feel safe to walk anywhere at any time, to wear what we like, to do whichever job we choose and receive any level of education we choose - we deserve that."
Zoie Logic Dance Theatre
Led by Artistic Director Zoie Golding, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre brings 20 years’ experience of challenging the perceptions of dance and who it is for. They entertain audiences with bold, risky, surprising shows, inspired by the wonderful world of cinema, and create shows and projects with both professional and non-professional dancers alike.
Through its youth company, community and education work, Zoie ensures that its engagement makes an impact for people in Southampton, with real stories at its heart to make dance more accessible. Born and bred in Southampton, her understanding of the city has helped to reach people who have never accessed dance before and change lives as a result.
"I’ve spent my life in a male dominated world and have always been someone who wants to smash convention. If you believe in what you do and can make a difference you will be heard."
We’re working with ZoieLogic this year on a series of engagement projects in Southampton as part of our Mayflower400 programme.