IWD 2021 Interview with Rosalind Bluestone

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8th March 2021

By Naomi Kitchen

Today we join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge and we talked to our CEO, Rosalind Bluestone about what prompted her to set up the charity 6.5 years ago, what International Women’s Day means to her and why it’s so important for women to stand united and to lift each other up.

 

Interview with CEO, Rosalind Bluestone

To view the interview highlights visit us on Youtube 

 

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1.How does goods for Good support women?
We support women by supplying them with the basic necessities they need for themselves and their families. Imagine being a newly arrived refugee, having lost all your possessions on the way, and having no sanitary products to maintain your dignity. Or no nappies for your baby. There are many families in the UK who are also in this position with 40million deprived families living under the breadline.

 

2. In your opinion, how do our individual actions, conversations, behaviour and mindsets have an impact on our larger society?
I am a great believer in leading by example. Parents have a big role to play in educating their children about those less fortunate than them. Although I grew up in poverty, my mother instilled into us that we had to help others. Goods for Good has projects for children to help others less fortunate than them.

 

3.Which woman do you admire most and why?
I admire the courage and determination of Emily Pankhurst. We owe so much to this woman of valour.

 

4. Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change and why?
The assumption that women are less able to lead a public company to great success.

 

5.What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I believe that the next generation of women will have great opportunities in the western world, in both education and the employment sector. I feel that greatest challenge for the next generation of women is to change things for women in less developed countries.

 

6.What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?
When my first son Danny was born in 1976, I had to go back to work when he was 5 months old to support my family. The first interview I had, with Radio Rentals, I was told that my place was at home with my baby. This infuriated me and spurred me on to find suitable employment. I found a fab job as a Personnel Assistant to a major furniture retailer.

 

7.What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Follow your heart and dream. I have always encouraged my family to do the same.

 

8.How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
We all have crises and personal difficult challenges. At a very difficult period of my life, I met a real-life angel. A wonderful woman, who scooped me up and helped me through a very deep depression. My ethos is to try to help and guide my friends and family when they are struggling. And, to do as much as I can to help others in need of help.

 

9.Why is it important for you to celebrate International Women's Day?
I celebrate together with all the other women in the world. Those who are free to celebrate, and those who are still repressed.

 

10.What barriers have you faced, as a woman, and how did you overcome them?
As a young woman, starting my working life in the 1970’s, I found there were many barriers for working mothers. Many employers would not take women with children. My need to support my family financially drove me forward and fuelled my desire to succeed.

 

11.On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out?
Be proud of who you are. Be focused and reach for the stars. Stand united with women who have no voice of their own.