Wednesday, March 25, 2020

TOMORROW! Live Twitter Q&A with The Business Forward Clinic

The Business Forward Innovation and Resilience Clinic is taking to Twitter to answer your business questions during a live Q&A.

54 St James Street's monthly clinic for the local business community will be going ahead as a live Twitter Q&A tomorrow (Thursday 26 March) between 11am - 12pm.

It's a worrying and uncertain time for businesses and the self-employed and so it is more important than ever to reach out for support, advice and guidance to help you navigate your business through these difficult times and continue to thrive.
As always, the Business Forward clinic's team of experts will be ready to give advice on things like:
  • Business Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Marketing
  • Business Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation funding and support

54 St James Street will also be sharing useful resources for you and your business on their feed.

Simply head over to Twitter and search @54StJamesStreet to get involved. You can use the hashtag #BusinessForward to put your questions to a team of expert advisers who will reply with advice and guidance. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

EntreComp at work in China

Insights from Jing Zhang, The Women's Organisation and Enterprise Evolution’s partner in China

After reading EntreComp into Action, I realised it could help improve the enterprise education provision in China. I became passionate about it after hearing Dr. Margherita Bacigalupo’s elaboration on how it could be used in her presentation at IEEC 2018 International Enterprise Educators Conference where we shared the platform as keynote speakers .  In April 2019, I invited Margherita to visit China to introduce EntreComp to more than 300 delegates at a national conference, followed by a one-day workshop in Ningbo University of Finance and Economics.

The EntreComp framework has proved to be helpful in the following ways:

First, it clarifies that we can learn to become entrepreneurial, through creating value for others. The value that is created can be financial, cultural and social.  With this broader sense of value in mind, we find many more opportunities for our students to work on.

Second, the 442 learning outcomes are enlightening, and serve as guidance in curriculum design. Not all of our teachers have heard of Bloom’s taxonomy and many find it hard to write effective learning outcomes. EntreComp into Action is a handy tool providing practical support.

Last but not the least, entrepreneurship is a key competence for life-long learning. The earlier the better. I am a strong advocate of introducing enterprise education into schools. In the social enterprise I run in my village, I have provided 4 workshops for local school children.  And to further build the capacity of our early-years educators, Alison Price, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Evolution UK, delivered an EntreComp-inspired workshop to a number of our kindergarten managers.

EntreComp is an integral part of my teacher training and professional development programme, known as Creating Entrepreneurial Outcomes, or CEO for short. I use both posters and sets of EntreComp cards to explain the framework and explore ways for delegates to apply EntreComp to help their students become more entrepreneurial.

I want to thank those who have created such an important guidance and continued to give us support, both online and offline.

Jing Zhang - Enterprise Evolution, China  and China Chief Representative of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA)

To find out more about Entrecomp Into Action, click here.

Monday, March 23, 2020

5 tips for successful virtual meetings

It’s no surprise that, given the events of the last few weeks, more and more businesses are moving online. Thanks to modern technology, there is no end to the tools you can find to continue to communicate effectively, despite being at home. But what makes virtual meetings successful? 

woman writing on notebook

Keep it simple

First and foremost, identify what tools are right for your business and stick to it. It’s easy to get swept up and overwhelmed with the amount of technology that is on offer, opting for too many platforms and things becoming unclear to your team. 

When choosing a service, think ‘small’. The most efficient video conferences come from those that only use the technology that is necessary: if you’re a smaller business, you may only need a service such as Skype or Zoom (which has free options) in order to keep in touch. There’s no need to pay over the odds for technology that you don’t need!

Use a ‘virtual watercooler’

On a normal day at the office, it’s inevitable that we end up having a chat with our colleagues in the staff room when making a cuppa or grabbing something to eat. Trying to maintain this semblance of normality will help your team become more comfortable using digital channels (and feel less awkward too!) Making time for casual conversation as well as work-related chat keeps everyone feeling engaged with the team and with work tasks, as well as keeping them all-important relationships going.

Be sure to follow up

Remote working is a new concept to many, and some things can get lost or misconstrued in a way they wouldn’t in most face-to-face meetings. Make sure that everyone leaves the meeting knowing exactly what their objectives are, who they need to speak to if they are unclear of anything, and where they can reach their manager. Send a follow up email or message to reinforce this – much like you would with ordinary meetings.

Minimise distractions

Distractions can easily cause meetings to run off course. Make sure all participants are in a quiet room, with proper internet connection and headphones. If it’s an important meeting with one person doing the majority of the talking, it’s worth asking everyone to mute their microphones so that the sound doesn’t cut out.

Again, much like a normal meeting, creating and sticking to an agenda is very helpful in minimising distractions in virtual meetings, and prevents them from running on for too long. Agendas become even more important in digital meetings, as we are going without the social cues we usually take from face to face contact.

Make sure everyone has video turned on

Phone calls are great for solving quick queries, but for anything that requires more time and concentration, video chats are the way to. The temptation may be there for some people to leave their camera turned off and only chime in with audio, but encourage everyone to have their video on. Not only does this help you feel more engaged with your team while you’re talking, but it also holds people accountable for paying attention and interacting with the meeting, and resist the urge to multi-task while on a call!

If you would like to benefit from the support delivered under the Excelerate Labs programme, including advice regarding accessing government business grants and loans during COVID-19, then please contact:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Helpful business resources during COVID-19

Developments with the COVID-19 outbreak have escalated in the UK over the past few days, which has led to many businesses worrying what this means for the future.


There are a number of initiatives being put in place to help businesses who may be affected by Coronavirus. We’ve compiled helpful, practical steps you can take to support your business:

Government Support

On 17th March, the Chancellor announced a massive £350 billion in financial measures to provide a lifeline for many businesses. It is still in the early stages on how this will be rolled out currently, but for now, you can access the package of support measures that the Government has put in place here. There is also a Business Support Helpline which can be reached on 0300 456 3565.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will allow businesses with a turnover of less than £41m to apply for a loan for up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion to protect small businesses.

Statutory Sick Pay

The Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days statutory sick pay per employee for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Small business cash grant

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities, and worth a total of £2bn. Local authorities are awaiting guidance from the government on how this will be administered.

HMRC Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been established by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, to provide support with their tax affairs. Businesses may also be able to create a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement through this. You can reach HMRC on 0800 0159 559.

Private lenders

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.


Crowdfunder have put measures in place to help businesses through the outbreak, providing 100% free fundraising for crowdfunding campaigns with support through Enterprise Nation.

Business rates

The Government has temporarily suspended business rates in England for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value, meaning nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

Bank of England measures

The Bank of England have also announced a package of protective measures to help UK businesses and households through the economic disruption associated with COVID-19.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England have announced plans to support people working as freelancers, artists and in publicly funded cultural organisations. Find our more here.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice have detailed how Coronavirus may affect you if you’re self-employed and need to take time off work, including what benefits you may be entitled to.

Companies House

Companies House have provided guidance on what to do about your company accounts if you have been affected by COVID-19. Find all the information here.

Liverpool Growth Platform

This is continually updated advice for businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Find all the information here.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Our statement in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments

In response to COVID-19 we have now redesigned all of our services to operate on a telephone or virtual basis.

We understand that this is a worrying and uncertain time for individuals and businesses. As such we would like to assure you that The Women's Organisation is, as always, here to support you in any way we can.

Whether this be through our team of expert business advisers who are on hand to help guide you through these difficult times and continue to thrive, or through our range of support to help individuals manage personally.

Please contact our team via and we can talk you through the support which might be available for you.

We will be carefully watching how this situation is unfolding over the upcoming days and weeks and following government advice on

Thank you,
The Women’s Organisation

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Andrea's Story: 'This programme has changed me for the better'

Andrea turned to the Women’s Organisation’s Change It to support her in her postpartum depression recovery journey.

Andrea, 38-year-old mum of four and grandmother of two gave birth to her fourth child in 2018.  After giving birth, she began to suffer from post-partum depression, which left her feeling isolated, anxious and overwhelmed. ‘I felt alone, unworthy, and a failure in every aspect of my life…I had very low confidence and wanted to build up a better understanding of myself and my abilities.’ 

Andrea was fed-up of being controlled by her feelings and decided to take action to change her outlook on life. An organisation called Person Shaped Support recommended Andrea to enrol on Change It, and the rest is history! Andrea now feels much more confident in herself, and more able to strive for what she wants in life: 'I believe I can achieve my goals if I put my mind to it. The programme has encouraged me to follow my dreams.'

Our Change It programme helps women like Andrea build confidence and get their life back on track. She described her favourite part of the programme as meeting brave and influential women in similar situations. Every woman in the room is going through something, each has their own battles, their own stories, and of course, they all have one thing in common - to be better versions of themselves. 

Andrea expressed special thanks to Jenny, who lead the sessions; through her help and advice, Andrea has recognised her array of transferable skills and is planning on gaining voluntary experience supporting individuals struggling with mental health and domestic abuse. She also plans on taking a counselling course to support people who have been through the same experiences as herself.

Andrea is one of many women who have attended Change IT, and turned their lives around for the better to achieve their goals. Whatever your vision for yourself, Andrea’s advice is simple: Don’t think about it, just do it, and make the change to your life today. I have most definitely ‘changed it’ for the better!’

If you're looking to get started on building a positive future, we still have 'Change it: Progress to Success' dates available:

The Women's Organisation - 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
4 Week session starting Wednesday 29th April 2020 (10am - 3pm)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on and find out how we can support you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

New Trustees Required For Leading Public Health Charity based in Liverpool

New Trustees Required For Leading Public Health Charity based in Liverpool

Key skills & experience:
  • Business Development
  • Communications

Health Equalities Group (HEG) is a public health charity started in 2005 under the original name ‘Heart of Mersey’. The charity undertakes research, policy change activities, and delivers public health interventions and education programmes relating to the prevention of non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers) and reduction of health inequalities in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Our influence and impact over the last 15 years has been significant. HEG was the lead agency to advocate for an introduction of smoke-free policies in Liverpool ahead of national legislation in 2007 and was formative in bringing about the UK Government’s ‘Sugar Tax’ in 2018. HEG currently leads the North West’s healthy weight programme (Food Active), whilst our Healthy Stadia programme is UEFA’s current partner for health and wellbeing, resulting in high profile health projects delivered for EURO 2016 and Champions League Finals.

We are continuing a period of growth and development as we aim to increase our social impact at regional, national and international levels. Our Board of Trustees currently includes preeminent figures from epidemiology, finance, public health, marketing, the education sector, human resources and legal services.

As part of our plans for growth we are seeking new trustees to play a strategic role for the charity with skills and experience in the following disciplines. Please note we are particularly keen to recruit female trustees for this intake:

  • Business Development: An individual with a strong track record of income generation, securing new contracts through tendering and business development strategies. Your skills will be essential in helping to plan and enhance HEG’s growth over the years ahead. Financial acumen would also be a distinct advantage for this role.

  • Communications: We are particularly keen to secure new trustees from a communications background, with a specific focus on corporate communications and media relations. HEG currently delivers life changing programmes at both national and international level, and we need to strengthen public awareness of our work and the issues we are tackling through engagement of the mass media and targeted stakeholders.  
What can we offer you?
In return for attending four evening-based Trustee meetings per year, and occasional sub-committee meetings, you will be part of an ambitious, growing organisation that is delivering public benefit through our research, health interventions, campaigns and advocacy activities. You will be joining and supporting an organisation that is recognised at European-level for our work on tackling health inequalities. You will also be able to act as an ‘Ambassador’ for the group at events and ceremonies throughout the year.

We will also, where possible, offer you professional development opportunities and the opportunity to be included in the press and publicity of our work.
Please note that as we are a registered charity we are unable to pay Trustees. Reasonable expenses will however be reimbursed.

If you are interested in applying for a trustee position with Health Equalities Group, please send your CV and a one page letter of application illustrating why you are interested in the role, how your skills and experience are aligned to the areas of expertise we require, any previous experience of acting as a trustee, and how you will add overall value to the Board.

We will be interviewing for new trustees in early April, so please respond to us by Monday 23rd March 2020 at the latest.

Please send CV and brief letter of application to:

For any initial enquiries or an informal chat about these roles, please contact HEG Executive Director, Matthew Philpott on 0151 702 5554

You can find out more about Health Equalities Group at

Charity number: 1110067
Company number: 5382971

Monday, March 9, 2020

Exploring Imposter Syndrome: The WO Down

In our New Year special edition of the WO-Down podcast, our host Cynthia chatted to Jacqueline Daley, business advisor at the Women’s Organisation; Irene Afful, founder and director or Ametrine Enterprise Solutions; and Denise Chilton, Executive Business and Leadership coach. There was one theme that continued to come up as we spoke about all things business: imposter syndrome.

From L-R: Irene Afful, Denise Chilton, and Jacqueline Daley

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt, which overrides any proof of success and competence. Simply put, it’s feeling like a fraud, as though your achievements are down to pure luck, and you could be found out and exposed as a fake at any given moment.

Many highly successful people experience imposter syndrome, so it isn’t necessarily related to low self-esteem or confidence, and it can manifest itself in a few ways:

Perfectionism: Some people set excessively high (and unachievable) goals for themselves, then berate themselves when they don’t measure up. Perfectionists can have difficulty delegating, believing that the work would be done to a higher standard by themselves – and even then, it’s still not good enough. Mistakes are a natural part of growing and can make you better than before!

Being ‘Superman’: As imposter syndrome can invite feelings of inadequacy in comparison to their peers, some attempt to tackle these sentiments by working harder and longer to prove their worthiness, often to the detriment of their mental health.

The ‘Natural’: It’s indisputable that some people are naturally better at some things that others, but it is unrealistic to expect to be great at everything, especially first time around. These types of people also set the bar impossibly high, but also judge themselves if they don’t instantly grasp something new the first time.

Going Solo: Rule 101: it’s okay to ask for help. It’s highly common for imposter syndrome to make you believe that asking for help will reveal your fraudulence, meaning you would rather struggle along alone. Being independent is great, but asking questions is the only way we can learn – and no one will judge you for it!

The ‘Expert’: The feeling that you don’t know enough is particularly common one, especially when going self-employed. Why would someone pay you for your services when you don’t know everything there is to know on a subject? It can also stop people from applying for jobs when they don’t meet every single specification, as they’re fearful of being ‘found out’ as not knowing enough.

Introducing our new series, 'Women in...', where we'll be talking to women leading in their fields
So, the big question is: how do we overcome imposter syndrome? Recognising it is the first step to helping yourself, and considering the context in which you feel like an ‘imposter’. Maybe it’s a situation that you have never met, or you feel out of your depth, in which case, reframe how you feel: ‘the fact that I feel useless right now does not mean that I really am’.

A pertinent point raised by the panel in the podcast was the fact that we are our own harshest critic. How do we speak to ourselves? Would we speak to others in the same way? Be kinder to yourself, reward your big achievements and forgive yourself for your mistakes – if we think of failure as a learning opportunity, then we’ll be less scared to not achieve. Jacqueline also advised creating a character for your ‘imposter’, making it a separate entity and removing it from yourself.

Imposter syndrome is an all-too-common occurrence, especially if you’re keen to do a job well. Overcoming internalised feelings of inadequacy is no mean feat, but with some self-care and the realisation that you’re always learning, you can outgrow and defeat your ‘imposter’.

If you’re a woman in enterprise and feel like you would benefit from support (managing your imposter syndrome or otherwise!), the Women’s Organisation provide business support for businesses that have been registered on Companies House for under 42 months. This support is fully funded under our Enterprise Hub programme for those that are eligible. To enquire, please contact: or 0151 706 8113.

The WO-Down is a monthly podcast by The Women’s Organisation, hosted by Cynthia B.
Delving into the why, what and how some of the region’s most prolific entrepreneurs and brightest minds have got to where they are today.

Sharing the stories of various people from a range of industries, backgrounds and walks of life,
The WO-Down aims to promote a new wave of role models and inspire people to take the leap of faith to pursue their business or personal dreams.

New episode out every 1st Wednesday of the month.

To listen to this episode in full, please visit:

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Narrowing the gender gap could add £230 million to Liverpool City Region’s economy each year – here are the women with a plan of how to get there

The ‘One Day’ report offers a road map to harnessing gender equality as an economic driver across the Liverpool City Region.

Over 20 diverse women came together on 'One Day' to discuss how the Liverpool City Region could better harness gender equality as an economic driver
The landmark report is set to launch with a special event at The Women’s Organisation this Friday (6 March), coinciding with International Women’s Day celebrations.

Developed in October 2019, ‘One Day’ bought together over 20 diverse women from different sectors, geographies and communities who donated one day of their time to start to rethink the Liverpool City Region’s industrial strategy from a woman’s perspective.

Event organisers now hope that more women will attend the launch event to add their voices and priorities to the discussion.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will officially launch the report, while Dr Paula Burkinshaw, Visiting Senior Research Fellow into gender and leadership at The University of Leeds, will deliver a keynote speech on the day.

With Deloitte projecting that targeted help for female founders could see a £100 billion boost to the UK economy over the next 10 years - translating to £230 million every year in the Liverpool City Region – the report’s main message is that the region has a unique opportunity to harness gender equality as an economic driver within its local industrial strategy.

‘One Day’ contains 26 recommendations centring on the beliefs that:

Harnessing gender and diversity is essential to fulfilling our economic potential as a region.
The care and hospitality sectors are recognised as valuable industries which will add significantly to the region’s economic productivity.
We are now recognising creativity as a competency that will support growth across the economy.
The Social Economy is an accelerator of local economies found to be more competitive than traditional firms.
Community owned and controlled action on all issues – on local and global scale - will reap better results and ROI. 
The metrics for measuring the outcomes and successes of the LCR Combined Authority industrial strategy need to be updated to include wellbeing, the value of health, the value of care and our aim to be self-sufficient.

Women from the public, private and third sectors contributed to the report, with representatives from industries spanning across construction to social care, utilities to universities, and from fashion to finance coming together on the day.

Representatives from Liverpool Combined Authority were also there on the day, while The Women’s Organisation hosted and contributed to the event.

The One Day group has since been working collaboratively with the Combined Authority to take forward its recommendations, with many having already been addressed through new or existing initiatives.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “I want our region to be the UK’s fairest and most inclusive local economy. To do that, we’ll be relying on our greatest natural resource: our people. But we will not be able to make that a reality unless we make the most of the talents of all our people.

“We’re already working with the One Day group to see how we can implement some of their recommendations and how we can make our existing programs and initiatives even better. I will stop at nothing to make our region the best in the world.

“I’ve always said that diversity is one of our great strengths and I want to harness it to unlock the full potential of our region.”

Cultural Economist Erika Rushton is convenor of the One Day group, which started when she posted a tweet to mark the Birthday of the Women’s Budget Group, which has been publishing national and global evidence of the compelling advantages of gender equality, for everyone, for the last 30 years.

Speaking about ‘One Day’, she said: “I was staggered by the huge response we received from diverse women from right across the Liverpool City Region and all that we were able to achieve in just one day.

“We welcome the changes the Metro Mayor has made so far to ensure that diverse women are in every room and at every table where decisions are being made. Our hope is that he will continue this important work with Council leaders across the region to deliver a gender balanced cabinet one day soon.

“We also want to pay particular credit to the forward looking private sector companies who are now leading the way in gender equality; proactively closing the gender pay gap and requiring that those they invest in and buy from must have at least 30% women on their boards and leadership teams. Credit must, of course, also go to the rapidly increasing numbers of women who are rejecting glass ceilings to step out and set up their own businesses, contributing to the 60% of UK new growth that already comes from women. The evidence shows us that this growth has the potential to grow to 80% when gender balance is supported through policy or law. We now want to work with the Mayor and regional leaders to put that framework in place so women can reach their full potential."

Maggie O’Carroll, CEO of The Women’s Organisation, which hosted and contributed to the report, said: “There is immense opportunity here to grow the Liverpool City Region’s economy through ensuring that women are included in all parts of economic life.

“Women’s inclusion in business start-up and in social enterprise growth and development is a definite way of achieving the ambition of inclusive growth. It is so important that this is recognised and harnessed as a key economic driver”.

Maggie O'Carroll, CEO of The Women's Organisation

The launch will be taking place this Friday 6th March, 8am – 9.30am in Siren Liverpool at The Women’s Organisation.

STAND OUT: Promoting Women Role Models - Kylie Taylor

The slogan “empowered women empower women’ is one we say a lot here at The Women’s Organisation. They are words we strive to remember every day - we can all be inspired by women who are doing great things. 

That’s why we want to shine a light on the women who are leading the way in their industries in our new series, ‘STAND OUT’.

We’ll be hearing from women who are at the top of their business game, from top business execs, to women working in arts and culture and even an archaeologist!

This time, we sit down with Kylie Taylor, Senior Director and Head of Global Corporate Communications at Getty Images.

Kylie Taylor, Senior Director and Head of Global Communications at Getty Images

    What does your role involve and what would a typical day look like for you?

As Getty Images Senior Director and Head of Global Corporate Communications, I am responsible for Getty Images' overarching communications programme, in partnership with my counterpart on the PR side. I am responsible for all corporate communications – whether that’s executive communications and training, internal, CSR, public affairs, crisis communications etc. There is no typical day – it is always varied, busy and bustling, but whatever the case, the day will be full of laughter and positive interactions. It sounds clich├ęd to say, but I’m lucky to work with some of the very best people – both professionally and personally speaking.

I tend to be online most of the day, based in the office from around 9.30am through to about 7pm and then after that from my second office – the couch. Being based in London, but headquartered in New York, the hours can be gruelling; however, it’s generally myself who is driving the work, so there’s no one else to blame.

I do love my job and don’t mind the workload – although of course, sometimes it would be nice to have Wi-Fi crash globally for a few weeks and have no choice but to hide away on a tropical island. A girl can dream.

    Tell us about your professional journey (Did you always know what you wanted to do? What turned it from a hobby to a profession?)

I was definitely not one those people who knew what they wanted to do. My brother is a lawyer and my sister a teacher and I’m always been envious of their ‘easily explained at a dinner parties’ jobs. My beloved Grandmother died thinking I was in advertising, which for a 70-something from southern New Zealand, was essentially as close to the cause as I was going to get.

I loved people from day dot and had an interest in branding as early as I can recall, although at the time wasn’t aware that’s what it was. I remember loving the television network campaigns but was too young to know that could be a job. When I started my first after school job – working in a retirement village – I would spend my money on things like perfume without having even smelt the scent, such as how enamoured I was with an advertising campaign.

I was always a ‘Type A’, excelling at school and placed a lot of pressure on myself to do well. When I graduated high school with top marks, I decided to do Law, Philosophy and French as I had the grades to do so and rather fancied myself as a bit of a bi-lingual Ally McBeal. I had a friend studying Communications but didn’t really know what it was – this was 17 years ago – and I changed degrees just before classes kicked off after some soul searching. I realised I was studying Law because I could and thought that’s what would make my parents proud. After reading up on Communications, I realised that while it didn’t sound as clear, it was definitely the path I wanted to take.

I still to this day work with the elderly though and volunteer through Re-Engage (until recently it was called Contact the Elderly), which is a charity that works with isolated people over the age of 75. I love it and have become a spokesperson for them so in this small way, my profession has helped my hobby.

    Has there been a specific turning point in your career or proudest moment?

My turning points have often come during times of uncertainty and change – it has always presented the greatest opportunities for development and for this reason, I recommend people embrace change wholeheartedly and work to be the very best person you can be during times of tumultuous uncertainty.

In 2008 I was working in health, beauty and fashion PR at an agency, which went under in the recession. I had just moved to the company, leaving a secure job I loved as a Brand Manager for several beauty lines, to move into a solid PR role. After the company went under just three months after joining (I swear the timing is coincidental), I found myself out of work. Despite having no fast-moving consumer goods experience, I applied for a role in the McDonald’s Communications Team and was lucky enough to get it, which spurred the beginning of my global corporate communications career. I worked with someone there who completely changed me for the very best - Kate Porter, who headed up the team. She was tough and had exemplary standards – as she should working in such an organisation. She instilled such rigour, professionalism and stringent habits in me that shaped me into the professional I am today. I, in turn, try and pass this down to my team.

I am forever grateful for Kate. I left McDonald’s and New Zealand, only for the bright lights of London – I bet I would still be there today if it weren’t for my love of all things British!  

      What does it mean to you work in a globally renowned company?

My family barely know what I do on a day-to-day basis because its hard to explain, unless you operate in and understand the corporate environment. But on the upside, they all know where I work and what Getty Images does – that’s one of the better things about working for a globally recognised brand.

The reality is that a global company comes with global time zones and one must respect that – you can’t have your cake and eat it. It means longer hours and constantly juggling conference calls at obscure times of the day, but it also comes with wonderful perks such as countless opportunities to learn, exposure to the world and an international network of kind, funny and whip-smart colleagues.

Mario Tama/ Getty Images
Getty Images is one of the largest suppliers of stock images, media and visuals, with an archive of over 200 million (Image credit: Getty Images)

Have you seen positive changes in your profession over the years, with more women becoming involved?

On the large part, communications is a fairly balanced profession gender-wise, so I can’t say that I’ve been exposed to these challenges. That said, I have been referred to as the ‘PR Girl’ more times than I care to count, but that stopped pretty smartly when I referred back to them as the ‘Technology’ or ‘Picture Boy.’

    What women inspire you / who is your role model?

I am lucky to be surrounded by brilliant, bright and bold women who inspire me each and every day. I’ve already mentioned Kate, one of my very first sources of professional inspiration. I also had the joy of working with Jennifer Ferguson for a few years, a senior Comms professional based in New York who is an amazing leader and comms executive, but even more importantly, an incredible woman. She challenged and simultaneously supported me – I adore her.

I also worked under the esteemed Dawn Airey, Getty Images’ previous CEO now Board Member who is undoubtedly a role model to many. She inspires me in many ways. She is whip-smart, an advocate for diversity and inclusion, a nice person, but what I admire most of all about her, is that she is herself – she doesn’t bend herself to fit a corporate persona. She is who she is and why shouldn’t she be? She’s second-to-none.  

My mother-in-law is also an inspiration – like Dawn, she is true to herself. She is intelligent, a staunch feminist and all in all, a remarkable woman. She has truly lived, and in turn, lived through a lot. She’s a real matriarch - the glue of the family.

I adore my own family too – my sister, mother, step-mother and sister-in-law are a constant source of inspiration. My sister is one of the strongest people I have ever met; my mother the most vulnerable and kind; my step-mother, is so balanced, selfless and stable; and my sister-in-law is hilarious and wise beyond her years in a way that knocks me for six.  

Ultimately, I am inspired by people who are themselves and bring their whole selves to work each day. Those that are human, are real and aren’t afraid to be themselves in the corporate setting. Authenticity is paramount; vulnerability makes you stronger. I am hugely inspired by such women.

     Are there women in the field who have supported you along the way?

Without a shadow of a doubt. I am surrounded by positive, incredible, intelligent women and we all advocate for one another. Its paramount – great women help one another up.

In fact, I can only recall moments of support – not those who have knocked me back. Writing this down I feel so very blessed – I am not short of supporters, role models or influencers. I have a team of them too – I work with courageous and gifted women who every day make me a better professional.

What would you say to young women thinking about pursuing a career in your sector?

Go for it – communications doesn’t discriminate.

I’d also advise them to bring their superiors their very best work every time and to give respectful deadlines to colleagues. Instil these habits in yourself early on and you will go far.

      Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I’m a sucker for a good quote – I adore them and have so many saved to my phone, that I’m a walking, talking Pinterest page.

The advice that tends to stick is simple, such as the uncomplicated adage: ‘This Is It.’ This is life. Don’t sit waiting for things to fall into place before you get going. You won’t be happier when this imaginary milestone occurs, or you reach a certain level in your career. Don’t wish away time – it’s so precious; we must appreciate what we have now.

I was going through an intensely difficult period in my personal life and thought I would never survive it. I was trying to cope in various ways, when a friend said to me that I just had to focus on taking baby steps - one tiny step at a time… Small, little victories, micro reasons for gratitude, such as getting out of bed, or making a piece of toast, putting one foot in front of the other. I felt like I was failing myself and losing my mind, but this conversation changed my whole outlook and I truly think, saved my life.

During that difficult period, I also came across this quote: ‘Sometimes when you’re in a really dark place, you think you’ve been buried. But actually, you’ve been planted.’ That is so very true – that time in my life was transformative and I’d go through it again without hesitation to be where I am and who I am today.

As Victor Hugo himself said, ‘even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.’ Well I don’t know about you, but if it’s good enough for Victor, it’s good enough for me!

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