Then along came Gingerhead…

A little over 100 years ago, working in law was not an option for women, who did not even qualify as ‘people’. Fast forward to now and it seems that while women account for more than 60% of the legal workforce, and are welcomed as pupils and trainees, they can only progress so far. Less than one-fifth of partners in the top 10 UK law firms are female, and at barrister and judge level the stats show an even more favourable position for men. Before my son was born, my own experience of working in the legal sector was of a heavily male-led environment. Whilst I always met my targets, it was not a career path that I found particularly rewarding: the hours were long, the work required ever-increasing levels of repetitive drudgery, and the pay was terrible! To add further insult, my earned commission was once given to a male colleague.  I never felt I was given the opportunity […]

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Reflections on running a small business when pregnant…

Clients hire successful-looking agencies, so when I shuffled into pitch meetings very pregnant looking like Shrek’s granny… Some women blossom in pregnancy. I didn’t. Running a small business when pregnant can be brutal. Here’s a few highlights of my last nine months: Pregnancy hormones: they made me want to cry ALL THE TIME. Or lie in bed eating chocolate. Baby brain: getting off the phone from a client and realising that I had no idea what we had discussed. Stuff that wasn’t in the diary: you can’t schedule the medical aspects of pregnancy. I found myself writing tenders from my hospital bed. First impressions: shuffling into meetings in maternity dungarees, then shuffling out again for the toilet.   And six tips for other pregnant small business-owners:   Don’t panic: when else in the life of a small business can you plan for changes 9 months in advance? New clients need to believe in you, it may not be the best […]

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Is it still a rich man’s world?

After a year of the #MeToo movement, the Young Women’s Trust reports that ‘It’s still a rich man’s world’. Sexual harassment, gender pay gaps and discrimination are rife. It got me thinking… I’ve had some wonderful employers with clear pay structures and fair recruitment and promotion processes, and some… less exemplary. I was once asked in an interview: ‘are you planning on having children?’ I didn’t take the job. In another organisation, a senior manager drunkenly approached me at a work party to share his view that women fell into two categories, ‘those you would f*** and those you wouldn’t’. #HimToo? A friend of mine was even told to wear heels and a dress to progress – she already outperformed her higher paid male counterparts. Most women have such horror stories. As the CEO of a female-led company, it may seem that I have an agenda. I don’t. I simply believe that people should be judged in work on their […]

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Remember why you started…

I always knew that I wanted to run my own business. I never expected it to be like this. I’ve been lucky to know many professional, clever, talented and high-performing women in my career. I have also witnessed a number of them passed over for promotion or dismissed in some way after they had children. While on maternity leave, I had a moment to reflect on my career. I was incredibly driven, ambitious, loyal, and worked whatever hours I needed to get the job done. But I had no idea how to work, be successful, and be a good mother. How do we have it all? Then my lovely eldest daughter was born, and she became my muse. I set up my business to show my daughter that with hard work, talent, the right attitude, and the right people around you, you can achieve amazing things. My little gingerhead has taught me so many things since, but one of them […]

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