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Celebrating female founders

Updated: Sep 3, 2018

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Polkadot Digital reached out to a handful of female entrepreneurs and asked them about their business journeys, challenges they’ve faced as businesswomen and the advice they would give to young women who want to shatter that glass ceiling.

Female entrepreneurs continue to challenge the outdated notions of what it means to be a woman in business

Marie Drago, Founder Gallinee

‘It’s funny, I never really tend to think about the fact I am a female entrepreneur. In my head I am just an entrepreneur. It might be due to the fact I work in an industry where you find a lot of inspiring women mentors and entrepreneurs, but being a woman hasn’t really presented any problems for me so far. My advice to young female entrepreneurs is to talk about your idea a lot to those around you, it will help refine it. Never be afraid to ask for help; I am constantly surprised how nice and helpful people are when you are passionate about your project. It is quite interesting to see how we tend to naturally network and help each other, even if we would call each other competitors. I hope this new attitude to business will continue to spread.’

Genny Jones, Founder Confident Queen

‘The main challenge as a female entrepreneur is trying to balance child care as a single parent with my business. So my advice to young female entrepreneurs is if you do plan to start a family, make sure you have things in place to help with child care. I hope our future young career women will learn how to develop the confidence to achieve success in their given field. I do this now through volunteering via inspiring the futures programme where I go to schools on a voluntary basis to inspire and encourage young people in finding their career paths.’

Susannah, Director The Shoe Consultant

‘When I worked for other companies, as a woman I was expected to make a concerted effort to get the balance right between not being heard, and coming across as too blunt. I find that I am able to be myself now I’m running my own business, and clients respond well to my honesty. For me, I struggled to aspire to be at the top. The few women I saw in executive roles sacrificed so much of their time with their families to do their jobs. Although working for yourself involves a lot of sacrifice, it helps to have some control, and to be able to schedule work life around time with your family. That often means working evenings and weekends, but it’s hard to resent that when it’s your own business. I believe gender equality in the boardroom will only happen when employers truly embrace equality, and women see that the executive roles offer them what they want in work and life. I think it’s important for employers who already have gender equality in their board rooms to share how this helps their business to be successful.’

Lucy Maisey & Sally Anne Butters, Directors Rev PR

‘There’s no doubt that there are some big male personalities out there who don’t recognise the value of women in senior roles. Many women have so many tasks to get through in a day, not just at work but at home too, and they just put their head down and plough on through. Women should speak up about their achievements; it’s unlikely that someone will do it for you. Get over the fear of self-promotion and you will find you’re on the list more often for a promotion. We will see true gender equality in the boardroom when fathers are taking on a share of paternity leave so career breaks are not so long for women that they lose their place on the corporate ladder. Also chipping away at the old-school perceptions of boardroom politics – what shareholders really want is the right people to deliver profit and success.’


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