We're always on the lookout for people, groups and companies who are making an impact when it comes to inclusivity, and there are so many to choose from this year. Here are a few of the individuals and organisations who've made notable contributions to making the world a better place this year - smashing stereotypes, advocating like absolute badasses and telling it how it is - our kinda people!
Francesca Lawson and Ali Fensome - Creators of the Twitter "Gender Pay Gap App". We were absolutely glued to Twitter this #IWD2022 as the Gender Pay Gap App created by Francesca Lawson and Ali Fensome publicly called out the pay gaps of organisations tweeting about International Women's Day. They wanted to highlight that employers’ supportive social media posts are rarely backed up by action. On their website, the app's creators say "by putting the gender pay gap data back in the spotlight, the public can see through these empty gestures and hold companies accountable for the inequalities they perpetuate."
Ngozi Fulani - for sharing her exchange with Lady Susan at Buckingham Palace. The nation is now talking about microaggressions. Yes, it is extremely frustrating that so many people just do not understand but the conversations that are happening are a starting point. We love this article from Nova Reid, who kindly takes time to explain why this exchange was in fact a loaded interrogation with a deep message and was classic 'othering'.
Virgin Atlantic - ditching their outdating "gendered uniform" approach. We LOVE this move, described by the airline as "part of an on-going drive to champion the individuality of its people and customers". And Virgin Atlantic are reaping the benefits of this, with job applications soaring since the announcement.
Daniel Radcliffe - for his ongoing and continued support of the Trans community, in the face of the continued onslaught of absolute nonsense heading their way. Britain’s most famous boy wizard, Radcliffe has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT+ rights, especially in recent years. He has used his platform as a household name to speak up on behalf of trans and non-binary people through The Trevor Project, stating, “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and non-binary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
Rose Ayling Ellis - whose Strictly Come Dancing win last year catapulted her even further into the public eye, where she continues to use her profile as an advocate for the Deaf Community. Rose has recently helped to launch the first ever Barbie doll with a hearing aid, and is currently appearing in the West End in a production of As You Like It.
Jefferson Bosela - who has given up his teaching career to campaign for justice for his cousin Chris Kaba, the unarmed black man shot by police in September this year. Jefferson continues to push for the truth of his cousin's death against a system which seems determined to conceal the reality of what happened. You can follow the campaign through Jefferson's social channels here.
Ellie Middleton - friend of A New Normal who has been smashing stereotypes all year activism as an educator on Autism and ADHD. Her meteoric rise as an activist is helping in the education of tens of thousands of people every day - quite the ripple effect! You can follow Ellie on LinkedIn for incredible insights all year round.
Google - "If you design technology with disabled people in mind, you design technology better for everyone." This was the sentiment from Google as it opened its first UK research and development centre dedicated to making tech to help people with disabilities. The Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and disability charity Everyone Can have worked with Google on developing the centre in London. It is the company's first accessibility-focused site outside the US.
Munroe Bergdorf - Model and activist, who not only uses her platform to campaign for LGBT+ and racial equality and women's rights, but also became Cosmopolitan's first ever Trans cover model in January 2022 for the magazine's 50th birthday. We love Munroe for her courage in calling out all manner of nonsense wherever she sees it, and for her general fabulosity.
Davina McCall - TV Presenter, author and Ambassador for The Menopause Charity (www.themenopausecharity.org), has been working tirelessly over the past couple of years to break the taboos around menopause. Her excellent documentary: Sex, Myths and the Menopause in May 2021 was followed up with Sex, Mind and the Menopause, in May of this year. Both are available on Channel 4 (https://www.channel4.com/programmes). She has also written a book with Dr Naomi Potter called, "Menopausing", a self help guide to help those affected by menopause live their best lives.
And this is a top ten of Game Changers for 2022, but as we are collectively in love with this person, we also have to give a shout out to the wonderful Viola Davis - Woman King, Actor, Author, Activist and all around hero of the whole team... We love you Viola!