herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Activist Jameela wants to see Irish women in power roles

Jameela Jamil loves Ireland
Jameela Jamil loves Ireland

She's an international star and activist, but as Jameela Jamil looks to take on the world of business, she wants to see more Irish women being promoted to executive level.

Jameela (33) - who had a stratospheric rise from British TV and radio presenting to starring in Netflix sitcom The Good Place despite little acting experience - said she "loves Ireland".

But she's concerned by a lack of female business leadership here.

"I don't see enough Irish female executives and they are no less intelligent than anyone else," Jameela told the Herald.

"In fact all the Irish people I know are some of the smartest, funniest people, so therefore I can't really understand this. But it's not just an Irish problem, it's a UK and a worldwide problem. We need more women at the top."

Repressed

The activist, who's launching her new company I Weigh in the new year, said traditionally religious countries, such as Ireland and Pakistan, had "repressed women".

This "overarching religious presence" had "filtered out into the culture" leading to a "history of women being held back", she added.

"And it's only to the detriment of the economy."

Jameela is hiring an all-woman team for I Weigh - a company with a "body neutrality" emphasis, building activism and "allyships" with tailored content and ethical products.

The businesswoman has criticised companies and celebrities such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, who promoted "diet lollipops".

"I turned down $3m in deals this year because I didn't want to be associated with brands doing anything associated with hurting young people," she said.

Jameela will give the keynote address at The True Measure Of Self-Worth at the Simmons Leadership Conference at the Citywest Hotel, on November 6.

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