As 2020 draws to its long-awaited close, many of us will be using the festive period to look back on what we have achieved this year. Amidst this period of reflection, particularly after a tumultuous and strenuous year for all, it is vital that we also take a moment to raise a toast to ourselves, and the people that have inspired us to keep on powering through the year. On Monday 7th of December, Northern Power Women asked us to do just that, and as a result, #NPWCheers trended across the UK.
The virtual applause acknowledged the tireless work of the people and organisations shortlisted for the Northern Power Women Awards (supported by EY and set to take place in March 2021) and those added to the Power and Future lists. With categories such as ‘Agent of Change’, ‘Person with Purpose’, and ‘One to Watch’, (supported by partner organisations United Utilities, BNY Mellon and Michael Page respectively) it is clear how industry leaders and innovators have risen to the challenges that 2020 has thrown up, and have continuously embodied the qualities that underpin the Northern Power Women ethos.
This ethos was captured further by the IAmNPW videos that took over twitter, in which northern powerhouses posted videos explaining why they were proud to call themselves Northern Power Women. Irene Afful, for example, shared “I am NPW because I support and empower others”. The vast array of videos, still available to watch on twitter, highlighted just how many different seats there are at the Northern Power Women table, and how every member of this table is eager to see more and more people pull up a chair, and take up the mantle of Northern Power Woman.
And while Northern Power Women prepare to celebrate the achievements of those shortlisted in March 2021, the spirit of celebration was also shared with those closer to home, as twitter users were invited to pay tribute to the people in our daily lives who have been instrumental in motivating us through the last few months. Amanda Newman chose to dedicate her cheers for the year “to all the amazing women role models we have in the North. Unapologetically paving their own version of success and inspiring many.”
And what’s a celebration without some tunes? Throughout the evening, Northern Power Women asked those at the virtual cheers to share the songs that have picked us up time and time again throughout 2020. Ranging from Heather Small to S Club 7, these songs were collated into a playlist (now available to listen to on Spotify) packed with motivating anthems rousing enough to inspire anyone out of their lockdown slump.
Despite once again being confined to our homes and separated from each other, last week’s #NPWCheers enabled us to gather together and celebrate the grain of true northern grit that resides in all of us. While many used the #NPWCheers to thank their own role models, it is also vital to remember that we are someone else’s role model. Our own words and actions will be setting an example for the people drawing inspiration from us. From the lessons we have all learned in 2020, we can draw inspiration from those saluted in the virtual cheers and those mentioned in the shortlist, as we decide what kind of role models we want to become for others in 2021.