The Female Focus: Daisy Stapley-Bunten

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We’re in awe of what young people are doing these days.

You can be 23, see a gap in the market for a magazine to serve the startup community, gather the support of stakeholders and then get your act together to create it. This is exactly what Daisy did in founding Startups Magazine. We caught up with her on how it all began and the constant inspiration she gets from startup founders.

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

Yes. My mum for sure. She was a single, working mum and taught me about tenacity and hard work. And she was the one to introduce me to strong female music artists, such as Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston. The lyrics of those power ballads spoke to me and preached independence.

How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

I’d say a lot. Like anyone, your childhood is a huge part of your identity. My mum instilled a sense of independence in me. I am one of four siblings and I remember always wanting to keep up with my older brother (and sisters).

At CLO PR we’re big fans of the Magazine. How did it all begin?

I work a publishing company called Electronic Specifier. I started out as the editorial assistant, then editor, then assistant managing editor. It was when I went to an IoT showcase where I met all these founders of businesses and learnt how they’d risked everything to get their product to market. This inspired me. I discovered this incredible startup community and realized that there was a lot of information missing in the market that these businesses and founders could benefit from. I pitched the Startups Magazine - my own prototype - to the directors. They, too, have a massive respect for founders starting something from scratch and were intrapreneurial in letting me get the Magazine off the ground. What started as a quarterly publication is now a bi-monthly magazine and it’s exciting to see it grow.

We’ve seen the decline of traditional media and the rise of journalism in new channels. Are you excited about the industry and what could come next?

Definitely. You really have to start looking at the audience and understand them deeply. You also need to understand the user experience – you can’t just put out information and see what sticks. Media are almost switching to a retro format, turning back into print. For us, we’re creating a tactile reading experience but expanding into podcasts and digital because we want to offer more than just long form content.

You’re clearly really passionate about supporting the rise of women in the tech industry. What do you think is stopping women from excelling?

The statistics say that investment in female businesses is desultorily low even though they are extremely profitable, which is depressing. There’s a huge issue of girls not going into and pursuing STEM subjects. You can probably name at least 20 female musical icons, but it’s harder to name female tech icons that can serve as role models. This is bound to change, with newcomers on the scene, but it will take time.

What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity?

There is a big debate on whether quotas can work but they can invite resentment. Change has got to be in the recruitment phase: if a white male is doing the hiring, you get more of the same. Proven statistics indicate that diverse boards are more profitable because you get more points of view. Historically, male traits such as assertiveness, have always been the most valued. But more and more, female-led traits like empathy are needed. I think many startups are trying to change this by trying to change this by not hiring based on stereotypically and traditionally ‘male’ traits, and be more open-minded to attract more diverse candidates.

Daisy in action

Daisy in action

You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results you’ve seen from the work you do?

I get to see the impact in every issue of the magazine. My favourite event so far was our Women in Tech event September 2018, which left me feeling emotional and inspired. I saw all these women and me come together to highlight that there is more than one slice of cake and it’s about working together to even out the slices so everyone gets a piece. The event was filled with discussion and debate. Knowing we facilitated that was special.

How do you keep learning more whilst on the job?

I am learning all the time - no one knows everything. I learn about the industry every day when I talk to and interview businesses and I often put myself on courses.

What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to get to where you are today that you think you'd struggle without?

I think it’s a mixture of positive and negative personality traits. I’m stubborn, so if I have an idea I will throw myself into it. This can sometimes have a detrimental effect on my mental health. I’m also passionate. When you realise how much time you spend at work, you’ve got to be doing something you love. I made this role for me. I also learnt early on that if you’re not confident, fake it and others will believe you. I’m starting to believe in myself too.

Where do you get your inspiration?

The startups I interview. Interviews used to be with a friend of a friend and as the magazine grows, startups have started to come to us. We think hard about the issues in the tech industry we want to champion, like wellness and celebrating women in tech (which we do every year). It is always pinned to what can we do to help entrepreneurs and have a positive impact. We want to push them into the public eye, showing them that there is hope with people working in these areas.

Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019, who’s been featured in Startups Magazine?

It’s all the women we’ve interviewed! But one sticks in my mind – Lina Chan, the founder of Adia Health. She is ending the taboo around female health, encouraging us to talk about fertility issues. Adia Health supplies finger pricks to test fertility. It has opened up the discussion that this is a huge issue many people are going through.

What exciting plans do you have for the Magazine this year?

The Magazine is branching out a bit more with new issues as well as an awards ceremony. We are also hosting other mini popup events, podcasts, exhibiting at Unbound and Women of Silicon Roundabout. It’s a busy year already!


Catch up on what Daisy is up to on Twitter and LinkedIn and of course Startups Magazine itself on Twitter and Instagram.

The Female Focus: Arit Eminue

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This woman is creating job opportunities for those who can’t do it alone.

Meet the founder of DiVA Apprenticeships, an award-winning recruitment and training organisation that specialises in digital and businesses apprenticeships in the creative sector. We talk to her about the challenges millennials face in the job market and how knowing your values will help you reach your career highs!

Through my time in foster care I developed a defence mechanism that taught me to rely on myself. I became self-sufficient and learnt to take control of my destiny.

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

Not really. I spent part my life in care between the age of 11 to 16, and while I was supported by my foster mother and sister, and admired many qualities they had, I didn’t have a role model as such. However, different people inspired me for different reasons, based on their personalities or skills.

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How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

Massively. I am resilient and independent, and through my time in foster care, I developed a defence mechanism that taught me to rely on myself. I became self-sufficient and learnt to take control of my destiny. It’s not something I’ve done consciously – it came out of my circumstances at the time but certainly taught me how to roll with the punches. All these qualities underpin what I do today.



You’ve gained business support from the British Library Business & IP Centre. It’s an incredible resource for businesses and startups. How did DiVA benefit from the Centre?

I was on the Innovating for Growth Programme, and it was the first structured business training I’d had. It was free and well resourced; I received access to incredible mentors, budgeting support and the opportunity to widen my network. I am now on the Innovating for Growth Advisory Board, and I also deliver workshops to alumni.

To find the right career path, millennials need to understand what makes them tick.


The job market is changing for millennial job seekers. What do you think are the biggest challenges for this generation in joining the job market?

We need to reconsider education and what it means. Education or learning should be presented as a lifelong activity that encompasses many different things. From watching podcasts to reading books, to formal training and qualifications, to engaging with a diverse range of people. We learn in many ways and should remain open to this process throughout our careers.

Our education system is good. However, schools generally get people through a system of sorts but don’t necessarily prepare young people for the working world. At school the focus is on answering questions in a specific way within a specific structure, allowing little room for creativity, free thinking and innovation– all of which are important in the working world.

But to find the right career path, millennials (and the rest of us) need to understand what makes them tick. What their values and their skills are and whether these match with employers. They need to explore who they are, be honest about their strengths, passions, and look for experiences that allow them to work at their best. And don’t be afraid to change careers. No job opportunity is a waste of time. You’re developing transferable skills that will stand you in good stead further down the line whether that’s through employment or entrepreneurship or a combination of both. We live in an age where it’s okay to change careers. A jungle gym has replaced the career ladder!

And if you’re not sure what your values are, think back on the last argument you had. Arguments often happen when your values conflict with those of someone else. When you know your know conflicts – what matters to you – your values will emerge

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What are the most common skills in demand in the creative sector right now?

We’re living in a talent-driven market and being deft at digital is key. I read an article recently that said almost 90% of jobs have a digital component attached to them. So, keeping your digital skills up to date, is important. Soft, or foundational skills as I like to call them, are equally important. For example, proactivity, flexibility, a ‘can do’ attitude, communication skills, willingness to learn, desire to succeed, positive mindset, having an ability to build relationships and simply being a genuinely nice person to be around.


You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results come from the work you do?

I love helping to “Boss Up!” and take ownership of their careers whether that’s through employment or entrepreneurship or a mixture of the two. When our Apprentices get a full-time job, or one of my coaching clients achieves success as defined by them, I’m well chuffed!


How do you keep learning more while on the job?

Oh, I love learning. I attend a lot of industry-related conferences and training courses related to my work. I’m a people person as well – I love meeting new people from different cultures and communities and learning more about their perspective on life. I’m nosey and like to ask questions. You can learn as much from a 5-year-old as you do from a 50-year-old if you keep an open mind. I soak up books and podcasts too on everything from leadership to baking (I love cake!) to mental wellbeing. I can recommend Woman Evolve with Sarah Jakes Roberts, The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins and The Master Key System by Charles Haanel, which are great for helping you to breakdown barriers blocking your success.

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What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to get to where you are today that you think you'd struggle without?

My faith. It’s my foundation and underpins everything I do — my family and friends for their unconditional love. Also, journaling has been important for me in getting all the stress out. Meditation, exercise and eating good food (with some treats!). Taking time out to binge on Netflix is also something that keeps me sane.


Where do you get your inspiration?

Sounds cheesy, but I’m doing what I love and know why I do it. I get excited that my work has a positive impact. That generally gets me out of bed in the morning. On those days when I frankly can’t be bothered, I try to think of at least three things that are going well. I’ll then break my day into tiny chunks, starting with fun, easy stuff first. Sometimes the tiny wins are all we need to get started.


What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity?

Honest dialogue, without the emotive language, and over sensitivity and caution to discuss sensitive topics such as race or gender. Empathy is also missing. A lack of direct experience of another’s pain is not the basis for dismissal. It should be viewed as an opportunity to learn, to empathise and to show solidarity.


Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019?

There are a lot of women I respect, for different reasons but I couldn’t pick one.


Name the quote you live by

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind’ (Romans 12:2)


Catch Arit on Twitter and Instagram and DiVA on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with what they do next!

Why we need to Redesign the Workplace

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Is simply bringing the conversation of diversity and inclusion to the table enough to effect change?

Has it been at the table so long now that the mere mention of the word causes eyes to glaze over? And how do you define diversity? How can you ensure that you’re being truly intersectional in that conversation and treating people as the multi-faceted individuals that they are?

Authored by CLO PR and Mac&Moore

“If we aren’t intersectional, some of us, the most vulnerable, are going to fall through the cracks.” Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Last week we were lucky enough to attend a panel event featuring some incredible women who aimed to provide some of the answers to these questions (among many others). We like to think of ourselves as pretty well versed on this subject and are constantly sharing interesting articles on the CLO PR / Mac&Moore Slack channel. But it’s safe to say we were blown away by the complexity of the insights, the statistics that made our jaws drop into our respective peppermint teas, and the sense of how much of the issue is still unresolved.


We wanted to team up to write this blog and share some of our key takeaways from the event, hopefully keeping the (incredibly important) subject at the forefronts of people’s minds and sparking some positive action.


Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, pointed out that whilst we’re in a time with more opportunities and greater strides have been made, there is much more work to do to improve the status quo. Following Debbie, a host of brilliant women spoke from Business in the Community, Association of British Insurers, GLA, TUC, High Pay Centre, Clean Break and Fabian Women’s Network. The message that really permeated throughout the whole session was the need for organisations to take immediate action to deliver positive impact but ensure that intersectionality is actively included in any legislation or policy implementation to avoid isolating individuals even further.

Organisations need to get the basics right

Getting the basics right means creating a truly agile organisation, with every employee being able to work in a way that makes them productive and engaged. HR practices need to shift to ensure that teams don’t just look different but perform differently too. The Business In The Community’s Project 28-40 helped to address this by giving businesses the tools to set aspirational targets and stick to them. Project 28-40 highlighted that women want to step up and be at parity with men. They found that women have similar confidence levels and the same top three ambitions as men and 77% of women are confident in their ability to lead a team. Women want better management of their talent and stronger support for their career development. It’s time to look at the figures and talk to staff and see where the issues are, as well as reviewing policies so no one gets lost in the structure. Organisations need to set their aspirations high to achieve this balance.

 

It takes a truly intersectional approach to create change

Since 1997 the gender pay gap has lessened a pitiful amount from 15.1% to 14.6%, and the ethnicity pay gap still has an even greater figure attached to it. In order to close the gender pay gap, we need to address the race gap too. The Mayor’s office has conducted its own gender pay gap review and it’s been 2 years since it introduced one for ethnicity. Organisations must create environments that allow us to bring our best selves to work through a truly intersectional approach. We are not all ‘one’ thing. There are dangers of tokenism: one lone person of colour isn’t intersectionality. One woman on the board isn’t intersectionality. No access for disabled people to work isn’t intersectionality. Only using ‘male’ and ‘female’ and excluding trans and non-binary individuals is not intersectional. The recruitment process should also go beyond this box-ticking exercise and inculcate an understanding of neurological diversity and the ways people behave and express themselves.

 

We need a new view of women

We are existing in a world where despite the fact progress has been made, outdated and harmful views about women are still deeply entrenched. That care is important for women over their main careers, that women are less profit-driven and more interested in sustainable living. We know that generally, women are performing a significantly higher number of hours of unpaid work, including caring for elderly relatives, children and carrying out household duties. We need to recognise that this IS work, and find a way to better support individuals in the workplace who have the most responsibilities outside of the workplace. The panel believed this was about putting ‘caring’ at the heart of the workplace, and that it would benefit everyone, not just women.

 

Both women and men need to be supported in different ways

Organisations need to defeat the flexible working stigma that holds women back. They need to allow for non-linear careers because their top talent will inevitably have times where their situations will change, and that applies to everyone. In order to address the balance, we should be encouraging men to be more flexible rather than women to be less. For example, 40% of men under 35 feel they can’t take shared parental leave because they cannot afford to. Organisations must support men in sharing the load; 9 out of 10 men felt they should but were scared because of how it could affect their career progression or how they are perceived by their peers.

 

Women need action plans

This isn’t about ‘Leaning In’, we need to fix the system, not women. We need to tap into the collective force of women to move forward, with clear action plans. There needs to be a holistic and sustainable work standard which involves inclusion, skill-development, progression and wellbeing of staff. Regular, fair and transparent performance reviews, clear definition of roles, better role-models, along with mentoring and coaching opportunities for women. And we should have all-female shortlists to ensure the balance is achieved, progress simply won’t be made fast enough without it.

 

Whilst CLO PR and Mac&Moore sit outside of the typical 'workplaces', that doesn't mean that we don't have an important role to play in communicating these issues and working with our clients to build more inclusive workplaces moving forward. Organisations must move the action from a diversity initiative to a core business priority. And we need to all embrace the fact that change can’t be made without this getting uncomfortable at times.

 

The only disappointing thing was the fact that despite not mentioning the word ‘women’ anywhere in the title (gender was as close as we got), there were approximately four men in the audience. There still seems to be a disconnect between the issues of equality, gender and intersectionality and the presence of men at these events. We speak to countless excellent gentlemen who talk about wanting to make a difference or support the cause … but the bums on seats seem to always be female. Can we really hope to redesign the workplace (for the benefit of everyone) without the other 50% in the room? What will it take to attract men into both these spaces and conversations?

 

If you want to check out the amazing work being done by the panellists, see below for Twitter handles:

Sian Elliott - Women’s Equality Policy Officer, TUC - @SianCElliott

 Ashleigh Rose-Harman - Clean Break - @CleanBrk

Victoria Akintomide-Akinwamide - Fabian Women’s Network - @TheVickyGal

 Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard - Deputy Mayor of London - @debs_wb

 Miranda Cochrane - Diversity and Inclusion, ABI - @BritishInsurers

Kaammini Chanrai - Gender Research and Policy Officer, BITC - @KaamminiC

Farah Elahi - Trustee of the Runnymede Trust - @Farahelahi

Deborah Hargreaves - Founder of the High Pay Centre - @deborahharg



Bias. Do you know yours?

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The diversity conversation in the workplace is an uncomfortable one. And so it should be.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a workshop hosted by The Other Box, a platform aimed at enlightening and empowering people to work and live more inclusively. Led by 2 brilliant women of colour, Leyya and Roshni, the organisation combines their lived experience of everyday exclusion and tokenism with academic knowledge of racism, intersectionality and radical histories of colonialism to challenge the lack of diversity in the workplace and make it more than a box-ticking exercise.

I was keen to attend the ‘Know your bias’ workshop to find out more about the issues at play for people of colour, and people from other underrepresented backgrounds and learn techniques to address them actively. Let’s face it; for many organisations, these are difficult conversations we often shy away from at work. If you follow CLO PR, you’ll know that we’re passionate about lifting women up and inculcating diversity measures for ourselves and for partners and clients. We aim to be part of the conversation. Personally, I have an urge to learn about people and the spaces and feelings I don’t inhabit myself. The workshop was a great taster on understanding our own bias better and to open up a greater understanding of the complexity of the issue in the workplace. It was incredibly useful in teaching us to question first impressions and open up our minds to why we may favour one perspective over another, especially when it comes to interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.


We learnt not to fall into the trap of buying into ‘a single story’. Instead, to make an effort to listen to different perspectives to broaden our outlook. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about the danger of a single story in this video, highlighting that everyone is prone to holding on to one story about a person - her included - when in reality their story is always different. We touched on language and to be mindful of the impact on others. Even basic questions and phrases can be inappropriate if you don’t take context and individual experiences into account. If there was someone wearing a long sleeved top on a hot day I would have probably asked them if they were hot, without questioning the reason why they’ve chosen to wear it. They may need to hiding something from the world that is no business of mine to intrude and highlight.

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As a group we came up with a long set of actions and here are some that I am going to be taking positive action on immediately:

1. Diversify inner circle and teams:

We did an exercise which highlighted how white, middle-class and identical my personal inner circle of my most trusted people are. It’s time to work hard in broadening the tapestry of my inner circle and teams to reflect society. Through friendships, collaborations and mentor programmes I can try to make a difference.

2. Equity vs. Equality:

Equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. Equality, in contrast, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things in order to enjoy full, healthy lives. Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things. So, one thing I can do immediately is be flexible and adaptable in how I work with my mentees and freelancers I manage, with the understanding they will need support tailored to them as individuals.

3. Be conscious of asking questions:

Make sure questions aren’t loaded with assumptions. I am so very guilty of this. It comes back to remembering that a person doesn’t have a single story. Creating conversation that allows them to open up about themselves than posing direct questions can help.

4. Be a more conscious ally and encourage others in the team:

I learnt when I was mentoring as part of You Make It the importance of being an ally to my mentee, a young woman of colour. I have been supporting her build her contact list and professional advice to help boost her confidence and career direction. But it shouldn’t stop there. In situations where I am with other women of colour, I must ensure their voices are heard by all.

5. Consume new diverse media:

Working in PR, it’s our absolute duty to be ahead of the curve and under the skin of all media in all sectors and industries, and now intersectional. We need to listen other voices, not just our own. Leyya and Roshni helpfully gave us a shortlist of media to consume that are representational but there are loads more: gal-dem, Amaliah, This Ability, Pride in London.

But most of all, it’s about not sitting still. We need to be constantly learning and listening. We were advised to do the Harvard Implicit Association Test, which delves into your thoughts and feelings outside of your conscious awareness and control. I, along with everyone else, need to approach situations with empathy, considering other perspectives, not just mine. It’s important to remember that The Other Box have created a judgement-free safe zone as part of the Know Your Bias experience specifically because real life outside the workshop space is not a judgement-free zone. Without the context and careful laying-down of groundwork that happens in the workshop, we could very well end up alienating those around us, those who haven’t been part of the inclusive, nurturing workshop environment.

Thank you again to Leyya and Rosh for a thoughtful afternoon. I definitely know my bias more. It’s time to take action.




THE FEMALE FOCUS: EMMA HAMMETT

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Meet the Founder of First Aid For Life

We met Emma through our work with the British Library and we’ve seen her business grow and grow through sheer passion and determination for giving people the confidence and tools to save lives. Here’s her story!

Empowering people with the skills and confidence to administer first aid, saves lives and prevents life altering injuries

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid? 

My older sister, her daughter and my mother, certainly. All three women epitomise everything I strive for - to work hard, have integrity, look after other people and to have a legacy. My sister was twenty years older than me, had been a very successful nurse and sadly she is no longer with us. She was involved in a car accident which left her brain damaged and my niece (and my sister’s wonderful husband) were her carers for twenty years. My mother had seven of us and worked extremely hard, always put the family first, therefore she wasn’t able to do what she wanted and really achieve her own ambitions sadly until after my father died, when I was 9 and the only one still at home. We had great fun together and our family remains very close. She had always been a grafter, making sure we had everything we needed. She taught me that you get out what you put in. I hope that I am passing this mantra onto my children. 

 

How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

I have always worked hard and as an entrepreneur, resilience is so important. It’s come from being a headmaster’s daughter and having a huge, supportive family. As kids we always mucked in, helping my dad out with things like sending out letters to parents. There’s over 150 people in our close family and we all keep in touch and lean on each other. There’s a strong ethos towards education and health in our family’s careers and interests and doing things that help other people. Having that security of a family voice and values influence me hugely.

 

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You trained as a nurse before setting up First Aid For Life. Tell us what made you start the business.

As a nurse, particularly in A&E, you see time and time again situations where first aid has been positive or sometimes it hasn’t happened, because someone has misunderstood something. There was a pivotal moment when I was looking after a little boy and the mother spilled hot coffee over him. She ran outside with the screaming child to get help, when what she should have done is run cool water over the burns - just simple first aid. He suffered severe burns and secondary infections, which could have easily been prevented. Empowering people with the skills and confidence to administer first aid, saves lives and prevents life altering injuries. It was frustrating knowing how many people could have avoided A&E altogether had they known how to help and give appropriate first aid in the emergency.  

Fabrice Muamba came perilously close to death on the football pitch. His life was saved with a defibrillator and treatment that is readily available if people have the skills and confidence to step forward. First aid saves lives and prevents minor injuries becoming major ones. 

We do loads of work in schools to prevent knife crime and we know that the overall impact is positive when first aid is taught in schools. In Scandinavia, it is compulsory learning in schools and their survival rates following cardiac arrest are 3 times better than ours. Take road accidents; the UK is one of the only countries in Europe where first aid isn’t a mandatory part of the driving test. Elsewhere, if you’re hit by a car or knocked off a bike someone will know what to do and they’ll carry a kit in their car. That’s when you start seeing a real impact. We’re still chipping at the edges.

 

You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results come from the work you do?

We receive loads of lovely messages thanking us for what we do and for the impact our training has; from people saving people, to people saving animals. We are creating peace of mind giving people confidence that they would know how to help themselves or others in a medical emergency. If a child starts choking, they’ll know whether it’s serious and they can act calmly and know the majority of the time they will be able to help. It takes away the panic, that it’s not going to be a disaster. We have so much free information to give people - for schools, new mums, nurses, carers, doctors and beyond. For those who don’t have the money, we can help them with information, which is all on the site. We have three books too (which are Amazon Bestsellers)- Burns, Falls and Emergency Calls; Slips, Trips and Fractured Hips and First Aid for Dogs. We train professionals as well as volunteers of charities, such as the MayTree Trust for suicidal crisis, as well as helping adults and children to learn these skills and working with people with learning disabilities to ensure everyone can gain access to these skills.

 

How do you keep learning more whilst on the job?

Learning is so important in different ways. I am well aware of sounding sense in the saying, “Use it, or you’ll lose it” so I am constantly trying to stimulate my mind. Learning from other businesses is just amazing and I love my peer mentoring, networking and mastermind groups, where we all support each other on our businesses. The British Library Business & IP Centre is also incredibly helpful - it puts on loads of events with a host of business owners to guide us on what works and what hasn’t worked. I really loved working as a mentor with the British Library and getting to know another business in detail, digging deep to help them find new ways forward and maximise their business potential. I am an active member of the Guild of Nurses and the Guild of Health Writers. I do a show with Talk Radio and Eamonn Holmes, which keeps me on my toes. Tomorrow, I am on a mental health first aid course as there’s so much confusion between physical and mental health. We need to understand as a society how we address mental health and the connection with physical. As employers we can do a lot to care for staff wellbeing.

It’s also nice to learn things that aren’t to do with work. Last week I took a day off to visit a National Trust property and my daughter and I have started Spanish lessons too. The beauty of running your own business is that you can adjust your own hours to do the things that matter.

 

One of many free resources from First Aid for Life

One of many free resources from First Aid for Life

What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to get to where you are today that you think you'd struggle without? 

My supportive family, for sure. My husband, children and extended family appear all over my books and blogs and are happy to appear in various states of distress. I stress that no one’s been injured in the making of these images (!). My admin team are utterly fab and their attention to detail is superb, it is vital to recognise that members of the team are often better at elements of my business than me. It is critical to be able to delegate, without this, the business can’t grow. Start delegating and stop doing things that you are not best at, or don’t fuel your passion, as otherwise you will just trade your time for money. The only way to grow exponentially is to get other people on board.

I think as an entrepreneur you need to understand what you are good at and what aren’t your strengths. You also need a huge dollop of resilience, self-motivation and dogged determination. When I set up there were a lot of doubters, which wasn’t helpful. The first person that didn’t choose to book with me, I took personally, which is ridiculous in hind-sight as no-one has a 100% conversion rate. I soon learnt that it’s about getting to a point where you’re working with people you want to work with, who understand your personal and business values and become part of your tribe. 

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

All sorts. A lot of the time it’s other businesses. My family too; my son was responsible for me building the first online first aid course for Zombie Apocalypse! My customers often suggest topics and courses and we are always listening and reacting to their feedback. Overall, I have a real desire to leave a positive legacy and create a positive impact. You only get one chance at this life and I would like to leave it knowing that I have enabled more people to access life saving first aid skills and that the world is consequently a slightly safer place. 

 

What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity? 

It’s something businesses should be thinking about but when they’re starting up and ensuring that their language and accessibility enables diversity. However, the reality is that people in small businesses generally recruit based on need and suitability for the position and diversity becomes a secondary factor.

 

What are you working on this year?

I want to do a lot more for schools, we have produced a wealth of invaluable free resources and I am also working on a campaign around preventing non-accidental injury – such as child and elder abuse. We have set up a social cause called http://www.staysafe.support with the support of RoSPA, Age UK, Dame Esther Rantzen, Hugh Pym (the BBC Health Correspondent) and Carolyn Cripps OBE, Fit for Safety; signposting older people and their carers, to resources to help them remain fit and well. There are many issues for older people, from their susceptibility to falls, to fraud and loneliness. I am also ensuring that we’re creating loads more quality content that resonates with the audience and press. 

 

Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019?

What a difficult question: Emma Watson holds herself with integrity and is a strong ambassador and great role model. Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama are similarly trying to leave a positive legacy and stand up for their beliefs. I also admire the people of my son and daughter’s generation who, as young people, often get a knocking but are still able to be focused, with a sense of integrity and strong work ethic. It’s a tough world out there and I think it could be even harder for the next generation.

  

Name the quote you live by

‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’. There’s often too much overthinking going on and people dilly dally striving for perfection – once it is good, get your message out there. You can perfect it afterwards.



Catch up with Emma’s next move for saving lives on Twitter and Instagram!

BALANCE FOR BETTER: A MOMENT TO TRACK OUR PROGRESS

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On International Women’s Day 2019

It’s come around again and we know it’s not just about the day itself but how it provides a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we need to go in the coming year. The theme this year is focused on #BalanceForBetter and we’re taking this day as a chance to track our progress of positive action towards gender balance.

Last year, we launched a joint manifesto in partnership with our positive impact partners Mac&Moore with the aim to support our clients, partners and network to develop structures and cultures, which inculcate genuine equality and diversity. It focuses on ‘thinking is good, talking is great, doing is best’, centred on the three pillars of:

Doing things properly

Doing things differently

Providing a platform for those on their way up

We wanted something that would ensure we hold ourselves to account and that we were actually doing some of the right things. The time for talking has been long overdue, women have (and continue to be) silenced over so many incredibly important topics, but as three people with a lot of in-built privilege, we are in a powerful position to act on those words, and begin to create small but mighty changes which will hopefully start to create some tangible difference across the equality landscape.

We’ve reviewed the three pillar and tracked what we’ve managed to achieve or what areas we still need to work on and then look forward into 2019 to map out how we’ll connect our actions to this year’s theme of ‘Balance’. Perhaps some of these initiatives will give you inspiration of what you could implement to #BalanceForBetter.


GET OUTSIDE OUR ECHO CHAMBER:

“Thank you for an inspiring start to the morning - you girls are great, fostering positive culture for women in work and life”
— Hannah Arnett, Comms Freelancer
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We joined Mac&Moore’s event series in London where a group of likeminded women from the world of marketing and PR gathered around a breakfast table to discuss ‘Levelling Up’ over tea and toast. We discussed how to tackle Learning and Development when you work for yourself, the differences between in-house and remote services, but a large part of the conversation revolved around the importance of getting together face-to-face to provide a sounding board and friendly ear. We’re venturing out of the London Bubble and off to the next one in Leeds next week and more to come!

“I didn’t realise how much I needed the face-to-face time until I was there”
— Indie Foolheea, Unfold Change

The breakfast really highlighted how powerful and supportive women can be with one another when they’re put in a room together and all barriers are dropped. It was a stimulating session of honest conversation of the highs and the lows of work. And what also came through is the power of the human connection - face to face meet-ups make for better relationships that you can value not just in a business sense but personally.

SUPPORTING FEMALE FOUNDERS & LEADERS:

We’re still seeing female founded or co-founded businesses raise less investment than their male counterparts and the percentage of minorities and women on the boards of the largest public companies is only rising slowly. The system is flawed. We’re working next to a host of female founders and leaders in positions of power in sectors such as Health, Tech and the Creative Industries to support them in setting the right tone as a woman for creating change for themselves and others.

It goes without saying that we go over and above to support our fellow supporters and partners like Jess and Nat at Mac&Moore, Jess Sims and Laura West at The Doers and a host of incredible freelancers we work with on behalf of our clients and initiatives, to share notes on how to do better at work and support eachother on the way up.

REPRESENTING & PROMOTING FEMALE TALENT:

Changing the landscape for women means promoting female talent. We build bespoke teams with best-in-class freelance PRs and marketers to plug into businesses and organisations. Together with a strong network of freelancers and our skills we deliver stellar results for our clients. We have begun a new journey with Athena Stevens, national spokesperson at the Women’s Equality Party to provide advice and guidance on greater gender equality in the media.

Our joint content series, The Female Focus, is our beloved platform to promote women at all stages of their careers to show us their worth and talent and prove that there’s more than one way to get there. Success looks like so many different things!

MENTORSHIP:

We’re really passionate about mentoring and supporting those on their way up. Last year from September to December we took part in mentoring for You Make It, a programme to support underprivileged BAME women to succeed in the world of work. The work that the YMI team do is incredible, and as is often the way with this kind of set-up they are always in need of additional funding or mentors, so if you’ve considered sharing some of your time to help others in the past, check them out!

We also uphold reverse mentoring relationships with two incredible women. Clo mentors and receives advice from Lynne Parker, founder of Funny Women, the UK's leading female comedy community helping women to perform, write and do business with humour, as well as with Judy Claughton, freelance PR star and founder of BalanceTime, the creators of mindfulness meditation workshops, retreat days, one-to-one coaching and tips. We gain so much from mapping out challenges and routes to success and vice versa! It’s such a useful level of support that cannot be underestimated.

We’re looking towards 2019 as the year to embed even more ‘Balance’ in everything we do and support our male clients and partners to take meaningful steps forward too. With the support and energy of friends and colleagues and our excellent Mac&Moore partnership, we will try and balance the scales to deliver greater representation of women into the mix. We look forward to sharing our progress with you this year and if you have any comments or suggestions on how we can do better, shout! We want to hear from you!





THE FEMALE FOCUS: EMMA SEXTON

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Meet Emma, Serial entrepreneur and Connector

She is the epitome of the word ‘entrepreneur’ and we’re never sure how she makes time to run her business MYWW™, present on talkRADIO for The Badass Women’s Hour, advise at board level on design strategy to brands and businesses, feature as Creative Pool Top 100 Influencer 2017 & 2018 and take up the post of Creative In Residence at King's College, London, Entrepreneurial Institute. Phew!

I am a bit tired of businesses who decide on a set of values to operate by and decorate them onto a wall but in reality they never get authentically lived

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

I can’t remember anyone specifically but there were lots of people I admired for different reasons. There were those who intrigued me and had attributes of the person I wanted to become. I suppose I was drawing up my own human Pinterest board. I don’t mean celebrities, I mean people I looked up to and thought, “I want to do that one day”. I was aware of a theme I was drawn to and it was those running a business or a person’s mindset towards life.

How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

As much as I had a great upbringing I don’t think I was exposed to enough of the world as a child. I lived in a very comfortable bubble. My desire to go to London and then to finally move here really opened up my world. I had never felt like I fitted because I know I wanted to experience a very different life than what I was seeing around me. I couldn’t identify with them in many ways and I really struggled with that. I sometimes wonder what I would be doing differently had I grown up around more diverse people, lifestyles and culture, for instance.

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You’re a business founder, a broadcaster, a speaker and connector and you don’t have an office. How do you create a culture amongst the people you work with?

I can’t count the times I’ve heard people say, “if we don’t have an office, we don’t have a culture”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. At MYWW™, our culture is built on the way we communicate - it is about how we interact with each other, be that face-to-face or via a smartphone. I am a bit tired of businesses who decide on a set of values to operate by and decorate them onto a wall but in reality they never get authentically lived. From the very first day I started my business the culture has been focused on being respectful to one another. We embrace candour and honesty and make sure we have the difficult conversations. We also just get the fucking work done while weaving our lives around our client’s needs. There have definitely been some learnings mastering this approach but it works. It’s a culture we can sustain because it is authentic and people can thrive as individuals.

You’re a propagator for pushing real women’s conversations into the mainstream and redesigning ‘business as usual’ to make it better, not just for women but for everyone. What would be the first thing you’d do in your redesign?

I feel like I am doing it all the time by allowing people to weave life into their work and challenging our traditional ‘masculine’ approach to business. As an employee you are often a resource - there to make someone else more money while the business interest is in paying you the least. I stand by a people first, business second principle. I do not have a business without great people so my job is to keep my team content so they can do the best job for our clients. Happy team = happy client!

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What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity?

A lack of consciousness. It’s about consciousness versus unconsciousness. If you’re unconscious you’re only seeing the world from your point view. If you’re conscious you learn that there are things you haven’t experienced that others have and you try really hard to understand this as best you can. We have lived in a very one dimensional society for so long and it’s high time we all listen more, raise our awareness and massively dial up our empathy.

What does ‘badass’ mean to you?

For me, it’s about living life on your terms. It’s about being authentic, seeing multiple dimensions to one thing and choosing the one that fits with you and how you want your life to be.

You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results you’ve seen from the work you do?

It makes me happy that I can make my staff happy. Recently, one of my employees told me that MYWW™ has changed her life. She’s always worked agency-side and was never able to balance work with looking after her child. Now, she can do pick-up from school, work at home when she chooses and vary the times of days she works. She’s happier, less stressed, and no longer feeling like she’s torn between two worlds. That’s important to me. The more money I make the more I can help others live happier work lives. Work has become such a cumbersome thing where people end up self medicating at the weekend and head towards extremes to escape their working lives. It doesn’t have to be this way. I had read so much about better ways to work and what we need to be happy human beings, now I am practicing it rather than talking about it and always happy to share my learnings with anyone else who wants to know how to make it work for them.

(Being a badass) is about living life on your terms

How do you keep learning more whilst on the many jobs you have?

I think having a mindset that the more I know the more I realise I don’t know! And you don’t have a choice to keep learning if you want to have a successful business! I am a work in progress and want to keep evolving even if I am 90 years old. As the business changes, I change with it. As I change, the business changes. The day I don’t want to learn is probably the day I am done with life!

What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to get to where you are today that you think you'd struggle without?

Resilience; overcoming fear of rejection; sheer bloody mindedness!

Where do you get your inspiration?

People always inspire me. There are lots of different sources and I keep it varied in the types of people I interact with. Working with the ventures at King’s in my role as Expert in Residence on their award winning accelerator scheme has opened up my eyes to new ideas, technology and fresh business perspectives. Every year, through the initiative, I meet over 40 of some of the smartest entrepreneurs from all the over the world - I gain so much from my sessions with them.

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You’re constantly interviewing interesting women on a weekly basis as part of the Badass Women’s Hour. Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019?

We had an amazing author on, called Tomi Adeyemi, who is the author of the very successful book ‘Children of Blood and Bone’. Her interview was so inspiring so she was one (of so many guests) who really stood out for me. Tomi is only 21 and tipped to be next JK Rowling. She had always really wanted to be an author and hearing her journey of how she went from quitting her job to getting the book published was really special. As a teenager she’d been fixated with fiction but could never identify with it because of her African heritage. She’s rewritten for the genre from her perspective.

 

Name the quote you live by

“The world will not invite you to the feast. You must burst in, demand a seat, and take it.” John Carlton

I realised early on that no one was going to go, ‘here you go Emma, here’s all the opportunities you are waiting so patiently for’, so I got my head down, decided what I wanted and worked bloody hard to get them all - but I am not stopping yet!

Keep up to date with what Emma does next (we’re sure there’ll be something exciting) on Twitter and Instagram.



THE FEMALE FOCUS: CAROLINE HAILSTONE

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Meet Caroline, a Content Writer, Journalist & Producer at The Fable Bureau and Pioneers Post

She’s a multi-hyphenate of our era, straddling roles at both the creative agency for social ventures as well as at the mission-driven magazine. She’s also an incredible musician, roaming the streets with her street orchestra collective. She’s an old colleague and we love what makes her tick. Read on!

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

My mum. As long as I’ve been alive she has always helped people in the community. She runs the local soup kitchen and always takes the load of everyone else. My friends at school too - they are ambitious and go-getting and still are.

Caroline on location for a production job

Caroline on location for a production job

How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

Studies show that older siblings have more traditional roles, paving the way for their younger siblings to often do more creative things. That’s certainly true in my case. From a young age, my sisters and I were always encouraged to do everything drama to music. I was encouraged to do what I enjoyed. When I was at school, I realised early on that I was quite good at writing because my teachers would ask me to read out what I’d written to entire classrooms. I got to know that with writing you can tap into your non-thinking brain and not overthink so good stuff comes out.



You started your career in a marketing agency doing PR and social (with Clo)! What experiences did you develop there that have helped set you up for your role right now?

Loads of stuff - I definitely learnt the basics! I learnt to be strategic and I remember thinking, ‘why are we doing this campaign?’, ensuring that everything we did had an outcome. I also learnt how to do things on a smaller budget and the beauty of being creative with it, which has stood me in good stead in the area of social enterprise!

Caroline in action recording a podcast

Caroline in action recording a podcast

Pioneers Post is setting the agenda for the new wave of responsible business leaders and social entrepreneurs. What businesses have peaked your interest lately?

Hey Girls, which tackles period poverty, for sure. It’s a good reminder that strong branding and marketing are important in creating social change. The brand is beautiful, it’s got a cool edge, it sells really nice products and has an ethical supply chain. The CEO Celia Hodson is really cool too - she used to be deputy Chief Exec of Social Enterprise UK - and she’s created a family business heaped in purpose.



What are the main barriers for businesses and social enterprises creating positive impact in the UK?

Standing out. Brands like Innocent, who launched the very successful Big Knit campaign to raise money for Age UK, give knitted hats to old ladies, have tapped into the social change bit but are not a social enterprise. So some social enterprises struggle to stand out from commercial brands doing good.



What do you think is missing from business in building true diversity?

It was interesting visiting the Diversity Forum recently. It’s a collective with a mission to drive inclusive social investment in the UK. Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest as well as John Bird, founder of the Big Issue spoke there. They told us about how the Big Issue was set up by the children of working class Irish immigrants, who saw themselves as diverse, but actually when they eventually looked around they realised they were full of white men.


You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results you’ve seen from the work you do?

Being part of the WISE 100 - Women in Social Enterprise Awards - has been really impactful in seeing change. WISE 100 brings 100 women together in a room and it’s like the FTSE 100 but for those in social enterprise. You see how passionate these women are to be a part of it and immense pride for being a woman in the space. I want to be a part of keeping these awards going, along with the passionate team I work with.


How do you keep learning more whilst on the job?

Sometimes it’s easy to keep a job easy when you know it inside out. But what keeps me on my toes are the monthly impact analysis meetings we have in place at The Fable Bureau / Pioneers Post. When we’ve made a film we will sit down together and assess as a team how we can make it better. It’s changed the way I think about doing my job and I am more conscious of how we can improve and get better.



Where do you get your inspiration?

At work I can get it from anywhere. In our meetings, we’ll bring films and documentaries that inspire us. I regularly go to galleries and concerts, which keep my mind ticking. I also play in Street Orchestra Live, where we play in hospitals and random places rather than concert halls. It takes away any sense of ego or any nervousness about making music, because it makes you realise that at the end of the day it should be about bringing people joy.

Street Orchestra Live

Street Orchestra Live


Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019?

All my teammates are cool, strong women. All 7 of us are women apart from the CEO and we keep our boss on his toes. We also work with Ealing Community Transport, which is a really important service for those who are immobile and would otherwise be stuck at home. Their CEO Anna Whitty is very cool and she stands her ground in what is a male-dominated industry.



Name the quote you live by

There isn’t one particular quote I live by, though recently I like the song ‘Make Love to Your Mind’ by Bill Withers...it’s cool to think about people you meet that make you intrigued with their minds.

 

And if you’re a social enterprise reading this, get on board with Caroline and the Pioneers Post team for a day of marketing and communications workshops, including a key note from the awesome Sam Conniff Allende. It’s on 26th February, with more details here. Follow Caroline and the teams at Pioneers Post and The Fable Bureau on Twitter.