Posted: by Jo Friday, 9 March 2018 @ 12:10
I was honoured to be asked to
speak at yesterday’s Woman Who event, on International Women’s Day.
Sandra Garlick, the Founder,
set up ‘Woman Who’ as an awards ceremony and networking event, to inspire other
businesswomen. The idea is that established women in business share their
stories, to encourage and inspire others who are at a earlier stage of their
journey. She also invites men along - as long as they have good credentials in
Sandra asked me to share my
story of setting up my jewellery retail business, Fabulous 13 years ago; and
then creating my own jewellery brand, Mantra, two years ago.
When I set up Fabulous in
2005, I remember being appalled by how few women were in senior roles in the
jewellery industry. Every major brand - creating jewellery for women - was run
by a man!
Even now, 13 years on, the
business statistics for women are shocking: only 2% of Venture Capital funding
goes to female-owned businesses. At current rates of progress, it will take 100
years to close the gender pay gap. Less than 5% of CEOs of Fortune 500
companies are women.
With Mantra, my team and I
have a very strong purpose, to empower and inspire women.
Most of our mantras are
focused around encouraging women to believe in themselves; to be
brave with their lives; to be unafraid to ask for help, seeing it as a strength not a weakness; and to shoot for the moon
in their ambitions. And our charity initiative, Mantra Changes Lives, supports important female-driven issues.
The theme of this year’s IWD
is #pressforprogress. I want us all to do that every day. Gender parity, pay
equality, the ending of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women,
and the ending of a culture of disrespect for women - these are things I want
to see in my lifetime.
Support women’s empowerment
globally, with one of our charity necklaces - ‘Empower’ to support the vital
work carried out by Care International, or ‘Believe’, to support Smart Works.
25% of the purchase price goes directly to these charities.