At Sidekick, we’re incredibly proud to be three female entrepreneurs who’ve set up and run our own business. So, to mark International Women’s Day today, we’ve each shared our own insight into what International Women’s Day means to us.
International Women’s Day has made me think about my own family and the women that are around me. I was very lucky to grow up in a family full of strong women – my mum and both grandmothers were very much part of my life and a real inspiration to me.
I am also the oldest of three sisters and we were always encouraged by my mum and dad to be whoever we wanted to be and do whatever we wanted to do. So much so, that I have never felt being a woman has stopped me from doing anything.
Roll on a good few years and the female theme continues in my life! I am now the mother of three girls and have gone into business with two like-minded women who are not only colleagues but great friends.
Founding Sidekick PR with Kirstie and Charlotte has been one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I am really proud of. The three of us have worked hard, laughed (and cried!) and pulled together to become successful business women in our own right.
I can only hope that my daughters are as lucky as I have been in that regard and can surround themselves with encouraging, supportive and strong women as they make their own way in the world and find whatever makes them happy. It has sure helped me along the way!
Thank you mum for being a strong woman
Today is International Women’s Day, for me it’s a day for women to celebrate who they are, and what they have achieved.
So, as I sit and type, surrounded by research papers and books, I want to take a minute to say thank you to my mum, no Oscar speech here, for she didn’t send me to drama school (you missed trick there mum if you ask me!), but a heartfelt thank you.
She brought me, my older brother and younger sister up on her own and she still found the time to read me a bedtime story every night until I was eleven years old, sparking my love of literature, of reading and telling stories.
Despite having to leave school herself at 15 because her father died, she instilled a love of learning in me, hence the research papers and books, my Masters dissertation is being submitted tomorrow!
When I’m not doing my day job I work with a local university as an Associate Lecturer, because not only do I love learning, I love teaching too. There is something wonderful about a room full of people ready to soak up new information and helping students who are starting out in their journey is something that makes me feel really proud.
My mum worked, when she could, at evenings and weekends to make sure that we got to go on those school trips along with our friends and despite us having very little money we laughed a lot. She taught me to be able to laugh at myself and to find the funny in any situation.
Most of all she taught me to believe in myself and raised me to be independent. My gender was never an issue, and because of that I knew that if I worked hard I could do what I wanted to do.
With 18 years in the PR industry behind me I made the big leap to setting up my own agency with two great female friends, Kirstie and Eve.
Storytelling is at the heart of what of what we do. We pride ourselves in working in this great profession. We work with clients to deliver objective based results and show the value of PR as a management function. We work hard and we laugh lots.
I feel lucky to be doing the things that I’m doing and enjoying my work so much, but I know it’s not down to luck, it’s down to the belief that I could do it.
So thanks mum, thanks for walking by my side from the day I was born to walking me down the aisle, and thanks for all the free childcare you provide that enables to me do the job I love. On International Women’s Day you are my inspirational woman.
Without wanting to start this blog on a morbid note, I remember quite clearly having a moment of clarity six years ago at my grandma’s funeral.
It’s often the case that you don’t know or appreciate a lot about a person until they’re gone, and as her eulogy was read out in the church I was astonished at how her life story read like a novel. How she’d worked hard on the family farm alongside prisoners of war throughout WW2, gone on to run her own successful horse riding business despite losing her husband prematurely, and travelled across the world visiting everywhere from Africa to the Arctic Circle. I was inspired and instantly wanted to live my life as fearlessly and as fully as she did .
To me, International Women’s Day is all about celebrating strong women such as my grandma, and their achievements, as well as taking a moment to consider your own personal and professional journey as a woman.
I’ve been raised to be independent and ambitious and today, that’s paid off. My gender was never portrayed as a barrier to me when I was growing up and for that I’m grateful.
I’m now lucky enough to have achieved my dream of running a PR agency, along with two inspiring women – Eve and Charlotte – doing business our way and having a lot of fun in the process.
See, when you surround yourself with positive people (male and female) great things can happen and when things don’t work out so well, you know somebody has got your back. As I read somewhere the other day: “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.”
So on International Women’s Day I’m sending all my love to the many fabulous, strong women in my life - from my mum and my sister to my colleagues and my friends - who are always there to encourage me, support me, challenge me and – importantly – laugh with me.
Now more than ever it’s crucial that we have each other’s backs and celebrate each other’s successes.
I’m proud to know so many inspirational women and also, to be a woman in business myself, and I hope somewhere my grandma is looking down on me with pride, too.
Although I have a sneaking suspicion she’d write off PR as a load of nonsense and tell me to get out and get my hands muddy on the farm!