If you often find yourself scrolling through Instagram, then you might be familiar with fun-loving Australian comedian, actress and writer, Celeste Barber.
With her everywoman appeal, Barber parodies celebrities and viral content that proves to be downright hysterical while simultaneously good natured, typically poking as much fun at herself as she does her subjects. She’s become so popular, infact, that she’s now selling out her comedy tours and her social media following has grown to upwards of eight million, making it clear that people truly depend on her to get their daily dose of hilarity.
While you might be wondering why Barber is making it on our list of influential women, the answer is simple: she’s the epitome of the modern working woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
We feel she’s a great addition as she’s down-to-earth and relatable, something that can be hard to find these days with so many people- especially young women - opting to filter what they say and how they look. Barber, instead, empowers women to accept themselves for who they are, using her newfound celebrity to advocate for authenticity and body positivity.
Without a doubt, diversity and inclusion initiatives have become a priority for business leaders in the new world of work, however, some are more ahead of the curve than others
Enter Shani Dhanda, Founder of Asian Disability Network and Asian Women Festival and previously a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Virgin Media, who was born with a genetic bone disorder (also known as ‘brittle bones disease’).
Standing at 3ft 10 inches tall, Dhanda had broken her legs a whopping six times by the time she was only fourteen. Nevertheless, she hasn’t let her condition get in the way of blazing the trail for inclusion and diversity initiatives, making a point to challenge people’s expectations and demand change wherever she goes rather than ask for it.
In fact, back in 2019, Dhanda was able to launch the UK’s first Divisibility card, a discount card for disabled individuals that aims to reduce the financial pressures for themselves and their families, who can easily incur extra living costs of over £500 per month.
Dhanda says, “...My condition doesn’t disable me; I’m only disabled when I experience barriers or bias.”
With her confidence, skills, and notable achievements, it’s really no wonder Dhanda was named on BBC’s 100 Women List in 2020 and is now being named on ours too.