Bristol Women’s Voice Wonderful Women Awards were presented as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations on the 3rd of March. We celebrated over 50 women from across Bristol who had been nominated for their contribution to their communities.
Sam Budd is the first black female Chief Executive in any Students’ Union in the UK, she received a Wonderful Women Award for her inspirational work transforming Bristol SU into an organisation that puts Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity front and centre in everything that it does.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be brave, feel the fear and go for it. As a woman you will find yourself operating at a structural deficit, but you must reflect on who you are and all that you will achieve and know that you are worthy of success and don’t be afraid to say so.
Which women have inspired you?
I have been inspired by Josephine Baker who was a performer, civil rights activist and French Resistance agent. She was a celebrated dancer and singer, who was incredibly popular in France during the 1920s. Josephine was committed to fighting racism and refused to perform for segregated audiences in the US. She is noted for her contributions to the civil rights movement as well as aiding the French Resistance during World War II.
What do you want to see change for women in Bristol?
Raising awareness of women’s health and ensuring that issues such as the menopause are understood and talked openly about by women in the first instance and then beyond that by wider society. For example, employers are now addressing issues around maternity as a matter of course but how many consider the impact of the menopause on the wellbeing of their female employees and then proactively put in measures to support them during this significant time in their lives?
Is there anything that you have read, seen or listened to recently which has inspired you?
I was genuinely inspired by the achievements of all the women who were recently honoured with a Wonderful Woman Award, because it demonstrated just how much women contribute to the health and wealth of our communities. It feels really important to recognise these contributions because too often we focus awards and recognition on women who have succeeded in traditionally ‘male’ spaces which is of course important, but it is also important to shine a light on our achievements and contributions as women.
Are there three words you would use to describe your local community?
Vibrant, collaborative and supportive
What hopes do you have for your local community in 2018?
I feel blessed to live and work in this part of the world and in particular this area of the UK. We have so much to be grateful for, but we must continue to fight for a fair and just society. We need to ensure that all members of our community are able to benefit from the many advantages we have available to us, in many cases just by geographical accident of birth.