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Woman Who… for International Women’s Day

Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 16 May 2018 @ 13:18

 

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 supporting women!

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.

Believe Charity Necklace for Smart WorksEmpower Necklace for Care Intl Charity             

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