International Women’s Day will be marked and celebrated around the world on Saturday 8 March. The purpose of this annual event is three-fold: to celebrate women’s successes over the previous year, to honour the work of inspirational women, and to draw attention to the obstacles and challenges to women’s social, economic and political equality that are yet to be overcome.

To mark the day, we’d like celebrate the successes of all the women working as freelancers, contractors, sole traders, and in small businesses in the UK and to share some our favourite stories of the year so far.

A new way to look at women in work

Fed-up of seeing the same stock images of working women that focus only on high heels or power suits?

Getty Images and the Lean In Collection have created a library of new images that represent the reality and variety of women in work – celebrating powerful and non-clichéd representations of women in the workplace.

More women-led start-ups on high street than ever before

According to the Federation of Small Business more women are starting their own high street businesses than ever before. The proportion of women-owned small firms established in the retail, hotel, catering and leisure industries has increased from 24% to 49.6% in the last twenty years.

Shared parental leave legislation will come into effect in April 2015

Legislation is currently being prepared that will allow parents in the UK to share their maternity and paternity leave. This will be a major overhaul of the current system and is designed to help women in business balance childcare and career development. You can comment on the draft legislation here.

Happy Women’s Day!