Happy International Women’s Day from Debenhams! It’s a day of the year dedicated to the achievements, equality and empowerment of women all over the world. Over the years we’ve broken boundaries, re-written the rules and shown our worth – if that’s not something to celebrate, we don’t know what is.

Within the beauty industry, ambitious women are thriving. We spoke to Alesha Dixon, Saline Simon and Callie Thorpe about how they inspire us, what empowers them and what International Women’s Day means to them. Meet our super women…

THE BOSS: Alesha Dixon

With the titles of singer, television presenter, mother, philanthropist and Beauty Club Ambassador under her belt – Alesha truly demonstrates what it means to be a boss.

“My biggest challenge I’ve overcome is that I’ve survived in a fickle industry,” Alesha shares. “And my proudest moment is having my daughter.”

“International Women’s Day is about equality. It’s about celebrating how far woman have come and remembering the sacrifices women before us made. My mum is inspires me with her determination to fight for the things she is passionate about and what she believes in.”

When asked what piece of advice you’d give you to every woman in the world, Alesha says, “Never feel second best, intimated or bullied. Your intelligence, your beauty and your compassion is your strength.”

THE BOUNDARY BREAKER: Saline Simon

Makeup artist Saline has built a successful social media empire all while transitioning in the public eye into the woman she was born to be.

”I think growing up, I was always a little bit of an outsider. I would go to thrift shops to find cool vintage items and constantly change my hair colour… people would yell at me on the street for having blue or pink hair”, Saline reveals.

“Self expression have always been very important to me. In a way being so public about it [her transition] has been such a huge support for me. It’s a cool feeling getting messages from boys and girls, telling me how I’ve inspired them to be more true to themselves by just being me and hearing their stories too.”

“Social media can be such a powerful way of spreading awareness and at times also a very rewarding job,” Saline says.

THE COURAGEOUS: Callie Thorpe

Blogger Callie has never let name calling stop her from reaching for the stars. She’s written for some of the most famous magazine titles in the country, modelled and now has her own thriving blog.

Callie says, “I believe that beauty lies from within and most importantly from the confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities.”

It is my goal to change the conversation around beauty and to fight for more inclusion of plus size and marginalised people within the industry. I also started a page called The Confidence Corner to share people’s stories and show that beauty really is skin deep. “

In terms of how beauty makes her feel Callie shares, “I love experimenting with makeup and using skincare and well being products as part of a self-care routine and think that really helps boost my self-esteem.”

These three women are from all walks of life and have influenced others in their own way, they are a reflection of what it means to be a woman.  Here’s to women everywhere – you inspire and empower us every day.

Illustrations by and special thanks to Lauren Alexa of @topshelfieillustrated