International Women’s Day

It was International Women’s day yesterday ( 8th March ) and I was so lucky to be invited to an event arranged by Police Inspector Nicola Pierce of the Thames Valles Police and sponsored by the likes of ASDA, NI Creations, Slough Borough Council and SECTU.

As many of you have seen on the news and in the press there seems to still be a gender gap between men and women in both roles and salaries. Today was about recognising how women are working hard for this to change. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive in going as I really hoped it would not be a ‘happy clappy’ event for women as this is just not me!

The day had an agenda of great speakers who I knew would be interesting.

Viv Bowra, the Learning and Development manager of Leaseplan spoke about her 100km trek in freezing temperatures through the Auyuittuq National Park together with a team of 19 other women from Leaseplan. I will remember 2 of her comments

‘ It doesn’t matter what you do, you must do something’.

‘If you want to do something fast, do it alone. If you want to do something well and with success, do it with others’

Viv is a mum to 2 boys and this expedition was something she felt she had to do. I liked her drive and her determination to do this as many of us mums would not be able to leave our children but I can understand why she personally felt she had to do it.

Gilli Coston, Managing director of Wyless, a good storyteller and I totally agree with her comments;

Get comfortable with the unfamiliar
Grasp the nettle. In other words, if your apprehensive of something just do it!
Create opportunities for others. If you can’t do something yourself, give that opportunity to others, I never turn down work but offer it to other stylists. Together we are one team.
Be self-aware – know your own abilities

Danielle Allen was another speaker who was literally throw in the deep end to present as her business colleague was unable to attend. A 28 year old who has had to fight for what she has and what she has achieved with Asda, a truly inspiring talk from the heart which she quite rightly received a standing ovation. For me, she was the best presenter.

Detective Superintendant Kath Barnes, a comical speaker with a poignant message of her journey throught the ranks in the police force, I will always remember the small trungeon and handbag story!

Looking around the room were approximatley 200 women, then I looked at the 2 tables we were sitting on….all individual ladies, mostly mums who are all business owners, they had the drive, determination and courage to go it alone. We have chosen not to work for someone else but to be our own destiny. We do not have the security of a regularly monthly income, we strive each day to grow and develop our businesses we need to pay the bills. For many of us we juggle childcare, meetings, events, washing, cooking, shopping, school drop off and pick up etc, a role I am sure not all men could do nor would want to do!! And together we work as a team to support,network, recommend and help each other grow their businesses and realise their dreams.

I totaly believe these 2 tables of 20 women are inspirational and in my mind needed to be on that stage yesterday telling their story. All women, whether you are a stay at home mum, a part time working mum/womend, a full time working lady/mum or a retired women are all fabulous and this I think we needed to salute.

That’s just my take on a great day.

lots of love