LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson at the Cunard Building on 21 May 2021. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

BLOG: I hope my Vogue accolade inspires others to dream big, break down barriers and achieve

As young girls, part of growing up is gazing at the glossy magazines, dreaming about the world the women featured in its colourful pages, live in.

Never could I have imagined that Vogue the most famous of publications would know my name. But yesterday I spent the day in London, having been chosen as one of the ‘Vogue 25’ for 2021.

The Vogue 25 are the magazine’s annual line-up of women who they feel are shaping the world today. On my way to the event I wondered who I may meet and reflected on last-year’s line-up which included Rhianna – no pressure then!

The event was a delightful afternoon of being inspired by a room full of women.  The panel chaired by Vogue Chief Business Officer, Vanessa Kingori MBE, talked about being your authentic self,  influencing those you work with to implement diversity, sustainability policies and sharing your platform to enable other young women to thrive.

The first few months of being the UK’s first black, female Mayor have been a whirlwind. I feel so proud to be the leader of my home city and to represent Liverpool.

But this Vogue accolade isn’t just for me.

Liverpool has always been a city of strong, female characters and this is in recognition of all of the great Scouse nans, aunties, mums, sisters and female friends – who are changing the world.

We are women who are not afraid to look good, stick on the heels and lippy and have some fun.  We’re not afraid to be ourselves and say what we think. We’re often the backbone of our families as we hold down jobs, look after kids, support others and do what we can to change the world for the better.

But more importantly, there are women in the city who aren’t so visible. These are the women who have paid the hidden cost of the pandemic, those who have been the victims of domestic violence and serious sexual assault. Women who were locked away with nowhere to run and with no one to tell. Devastatingly we also saw an increase in suicides in relation to domestic violence, as well as domestic homicide.

When I was elected, I pledged to do all I can to prevent violence against women and girls. This remains an absolute priority. And while I am extremely proud of the Vogue accolade, winning awards isn’t why I wanted to became Mayor. I wanted to make a difference in my city and to affect real and lasting change. I am very aware of the responsibility that comes with positions such as mine, and I am determined to use my voice to represent those who have been silenced, or for those who feel that they won’t be heard.

I am so lucky to do the job I do, and every day I am proud and grateful of what I have achieved.

Liverpool is a hugely important city – not only in the UK but internationally too – and being able to represent this fine city on the Vogue 25 list has been so special. My hope is that it sends a message to women and young girls that it doesn’t matter who they are – or where they come from – if they keep dreaming big, breaking down barriers and working hard, they can achieve whatever they want in life.

Women are achievers and together we can achieve a whole lot more.

Liverpool Waterfront