November is...

29 October 2014

There are three special focuses in November and 24 special days, as specified by the CIPD calendar.  MYT’s programmes team decided to concentrate on one of the special focuses, inspirational role models. 

Each day throughout November, the team have posted their inspirational role models on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Here is what they posted below:


1st November: Nelson Mandela
Campaigned for justice and freedom in his South Africa. Spent 20 years in jail for his opposition to apartheid. Changed the lives and opportunities for thousands of South Africans.

2nd November: Mark Zuckerberg
Youngest CEO in the Fortune 500 List after co-founding Facebook and leaving Harvard University to create the most used social network of all time. He has also pledged to donate at least 50% of his wealth to charity in his lifetime.

3rd November: Angela Merkel
The current chancellor of Germany and has retained her post since 2005, making her the most successful elected female politician. Angela Merkel has been honoured with Order of Merit from Italy, Germany and Norway Governments, respectively along with these she had been also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (U.S.A).

4th November: Oprah Winfrey
Best known for her talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. Her way to the top has come after overcoming hardship during her childhood when she was raped at an age of 9 & became pregnant by 14. She once interviewed Michael Jackson which is most watched interview ever. She has been rated as the most influential women in the world.

5th November: Barack Obama
This current American president rose from being raised by a single mother to becoming the leader of America, but he managed to do so as a minority. As the first African-American U.S. president, Obama instantly inspired millions of people around the world.

6th November: Rosa Parkes
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement”. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.


7th November: Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson went to school in Blackheath in London and finished school at 16. He has dyslexia and as a student had a poor academic performance. At the age of 16, Richard Branson set up his first business venture: a magazine called Student. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label.


8th November: Emily Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst, best known as Emily, was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. After years of supporting the suffragette movement, supporting the First World War and the British government's stand against the "German Peril”, she was selected as a Conservative Party candidate for Stepney in 1927. However, only weeks before the Conservative government's Representation of the People Act extended the vote to all women over 21 years of age on 2 July 1928, she died on 14 June 1928.


9th November: Stephen Sutton
Stephen Sutton was a charity activist and fundraiser who gained a lot of media support and attention after posting up a bucket list on his blog, Stephen’s Story, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 15. He had a target to raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust. With support from social media sites, politicians, celebrities and Stephen’s own hard work, over £5 million was raised by the time Stephen passed away in May 2014, aged 19. The money Stephen raised has been invested into seven new specialist cancer units and supported 50 scholarships at Coventry University. Stephen is proof that you choose to leave your own legacy behind, “Two days before Stephen passed we talked about his legacy. He wanted to make sure that we remember him as the positive person he was and not as a cancer sufferer."

10th November: Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler was a Victorian British feminist and social reformer who was especially concerned with the welfare of prostitutes. She was very religious and did a lot of charity work that led a campaign against government acts that gave police officers the right to enforce medical examinations on any woman believed to be a prostitute which was ultimately harming young women. Josephine was also involved in the campaign for higher education for women and chaired many types of councils that supported women going into higher education. She was one of the first women in Victorian society to stand up and speak up.


11th November: Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin grew up with one brother in England, with both his parents being involved in the theatre and music world. However, when Charlie was 10 years old these talents were cut short and his parents died. Having to fend for himself and his little brother he started tap dancing for money at local stages. Eventually his popularity grew and he ended up moving to America. There he signed multiple contracts to be in feature films as a comedian, self-taught musician and dancer. After years of working in the industry, Charlie set up his own studios, making films about the war and taking them round to camps to boost morale amid war tensions. He has been credited as making some of the world’s most personal and brilliant films. He died in 1977 on Christmas day.

12th November: Bob Geldof
Robert "Bob" Geldof, is an Irish singer-songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist. He rose to fame as the lead singer of the Irish rock band the Boomtown Rats. Geldof is widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. He is best known for his Live Aid concerts that help raise millions each year to help combat famine in places like Ethiopia etc. He has many awards to his name including Man of Peace award and an honorary Knighthood.

13th November: Martha Lane Fox
Martha Lane Fox is a British Business woman, co-founder of, the youngest female member of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Open University and sits on the board of directions for Channel 4. She made her fortune selling one of her first ventures, for £13 million in 2005 and uses her money to support charity work – particularly women’s rights organisations. She has set up, and funds, a number of charities that works with civil rights, fighting HIV AIDS in third-world countries and was one of several benefactors that support the Women’s Prize for Fiction Award when Orange pulled their sponsorship.

14th November: Chic Corea
Armando "Chick" Corea is an American jazz and fusion pianist, keyboardist, and composer. He is also known for promoting and fundraising for a number of social issues, such as eradicating social illiteracy. His father, a jazz trumpet player, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Growing up surrounded by jazz music, he was influenced at an early age and when he started high school, his father gave him his first black tuxedo to go start playing gigs. He eventually decided to move to New York City, where he studied musical education but quit after finding it disappointing, but liked the atmosphere of New York and the music scene became the start of his professional career. Many of his compositions are considered jazz standards (musical compositions which are an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians).

15th November: Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson served as the seventh and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. She is widely regarded as a transformative figure for Ireland, and for the Irish presidency, revitalising and liberalising a previously conservative, low-profile political office. She was the first High Commissioner to visit Tibet when working for the UN and spoke out against a number of issues including Irish immigration and America’s use of the death penalty. She has set up and run many charities and campaigns supporting human rights and tackling racism. In 2004, she received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for her work in promoting human rights.

16th November: Mary Seacole
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish descent who set up a "British Hotel" behind the lines during the Crimean War. She learnt her knowledge of herbal medicine while in the Caribbean. When the Crimean War broke out, she applied to the War Office to assist but was refused. She travelled on her own and set up a hotel and treated the wounded soldiers from war. She became extremely popular among service personnel who raised money for her when she faced destitution after the war. Today she is celebrated as a woman who successfully combated racial prejudice.

17th November: David Beckham
David Beckham is a retired English footballer, who during his career played for some top teams both in England and abroad. He was the first English player to win league titles in four countries, England, Spain, the United States and France. Beckham has supported UNICEF since his days at Manchester United and in January 2005, as the English national team captain, he became a Goodwill Ambassador with a special focus on UNICEF's Sports for Development program. He is also a patrol for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


18th November: Marie Curie
Marie Curie was a Polish and French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first women to receive the Nobel Prize. She is still the only women to win a Nobel Prize twice in a lifetime. Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity, (which includes techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes) and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. Without Marie Curie's discovery and her husband Pierre's idea of implanting a small seed of radioactive material into a tumour to shrink it, we would not have brachytherapy. This type of internal radiation is used for many types of cancer.


19th November: Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma. When her party gained a majority of seats in government in 1990 election, winning 59% of votes, she was seen as a potential threat to the current government, who at the time were ruling an unfair state with serious human and civil rights violations. The government used various laws to keep her on house arrest. She wasn’t allowed visitors to the house and the press was stopped from visiting too. She was allowed her doctor to visit her. Many nations and figures continued to call for her release and that of 2,100 other political prisoners in the country. On 12 November 2010, days after the new government won elections, and after a gap of 20 years, they finally agreed to sign orders allowing Suu Kyi's release. Suu Kyi's story shows that standing up to those who are doing wrong may not always be easy or have quick results, but is always worthwhile. She inspired lots of people in Burma to rethink their political views and stand up for their rights.


20th November: Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. At the age of 11 she started speaking out about the conditions of living under Taliban rule and the restrictions they had put on women and sharing her passion for the right to education for girls. She had interviews over the phone, in person, through email and by letters. On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Malala boarded her school bus in the when a gunman asked for Malala by name, then pointed a gun at her and fired three shots. She was flown to England for specialist treatment and when challenged, the Taliban took ownership of the shooting. However, she did make a full recovery and continued to speak all over the world about the need for access to education for young girls and women.


21st November: Albert Einstein
German-born Einstein was a theoretical physicist and philosopher of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. He is best known for his formula E = mc2 . He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and, being Jewish, did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He stayed in the U.S., becoming an American citizen in 1940. Einstein has been the subject of or inspiration for many novels, films, plays, and works of music. He also won the Nobel Prize for physics.


22nd November: Emma Watson
Emma Watson is an English actress and model. She rose to fame playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series; she was cast as Hermione at the age of nine, having previously acted only in school plays. Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014. She helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate for "gender equality”. Watson has promoted education for girls, visiting Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. She has said in speeches that she is lucky to be able to have a position in media to raise awareness of these issues. She has won several awards in both TV, Film and charity work.


23rd November:
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool, in 1960. The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. The Beatles first recording session took place at Abbey Road Studios in London on 6 June 1962. Lennon and McCartney had established a song writing partnership, and the band's success grew. From 1965 onwards, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including some innovative and widely influential albums. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful "Hot 100" artists.


24th November: JK Rowling
Joanne Rowling is a British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. She is the United Kingdom's best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238m. She started off with the idea for Harry Potter while stuck on a delayed train, but it wasn’t long after this that her life began to get worse. Her Mother had died and her Husband left her, leaving her with a young daughter and having to move to Scotland to live with her sister. While diagnosed with depression and living on benefits, JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel. She had such little money that she typed up the final manuscript on a manual typewriter as computers were an expensive luxury. It took her 12 attempts to different publishers to get her first book published. She is now worth around £560 million and has gone onto write another 6 Harry Potter books.


25th November: Brian Lara
Brian Lara is a former West Indian international cricket player. He is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest cricketers of all-time. He topped the Test batting rankings on several occasions and holds several cricketing records. Lara had a very early education in correct batting technique after being enrolled, age 6, to the local Harvard Coaching Clinic. Lara was awarded the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World awards in 1994 and 1995 and is also one of only three cricketers to receive the prestigious BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.


26th November:
  Michelle Griffith-Robinson
Michelle Griffith-Robinson is a retired English triple jumper; her personal best jump was 14.08 meters. She represented Great Britain in the 1996 Olympic Games and a further 3 commonwealth games. She now spends her time doing talks and being a Lead Athlete Mentor with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. She is an inspiring speaker who conveys a message that not everyone will get gold, but it’s not about everyone else– just about you and what your best is. She has a husband, who is also an athlete and two children, the main reason she retired in 2006.


27th November:  Christina Nobel
Christina Noble is an Irish children's rights campaigner, charity worker and writer, who founded the Christina Noble Children's Foundation in 1989 after going through a difficult and traumatic upbringing herself. At the age of 10 when her Mother died, her two siblings were split up and sent to various orphanages. However, Nobel managed to escape and runaway to London, England where she met her husband and had her own children. In a dream, she saw children in Vietnam running away from bombs and saw this as a turning point for herself. She vowed she would set up a charity that would help these children. And 20 years later she did. Christina set up the Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City where the number of programmes has grown considerably across Vietnam and she still remains the principal driving force and inspiration and retains close personal contact with the children.


28th November:  Bob Marley
Robert "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he created a distinctive song writing and vocal style that would later be appreciated by audiences worldwide. Bob Marley pursued a solo career after his group disbanded, which saw his album, Exodus, release in 1977. Establishing his worldwide reputation, and produced his status as one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, with sales of more than 75 million albums and singles.


29th November:
George Orwell
George Orwell was an author in the early 20th century. He grew up in the English colonies in Burma, and most of his books were controversial satire. He wrote novels that criticised the powers at the time, and his books are relevant today to examine politics. Animal Farm, for example, is a critical novel that exposes the flaws in communism. His most famous work is 1984, and this is a satire inspired by the ever heightening control the government has over us, and the issues of privacy in a world with cameras everywhere, and this is becoming more and more relevant and these things increase. Orwell had to fight to keep his novels how he wanted them, as they were very controversial, and his publishers were worried that Animal Farm could cause a war.  He is inspiring as one of the most influential writers of 20th century, and a man who stuck to what he wanted his books to be about, and to the message he gave in those books, no matter who wanted to change them.


30th November: Bill Gates
William Gates III is an American computer programmer, inventor and former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Bill Gates started hid interest in computers with his 3 friends at school, creating software programmes and hacking into the computers for unlimited computer time in the labs. In 2000 he created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation charity that has aims around reducing poverty, enhancing healthcare and helping Americans to have access to information technology. So far Bill Gates has donated over $28 billion to charity.





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