CONTENTS 3 5
EDITOR’S LETTER MEET THE TEAM
JOHN CASTLE: PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS, PROFITS AND FINANCIAL SECURITY
12 59 67
5 MINUTES ON INSTAGRAM: TIPS FOR INCREASING YOUR DAILY ENGAGEMENT
WHY YOUR GREATNESS CAN’T BE HELD BACK CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BUSINESS THROUGH VIDEO
DEAR WOMEN, WATCH OUT FOR THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME! CUSTOMER FIRST GETTING A FEMALE PERSPECTIVE
HEALTH & WELLNESS
19 48 63
FROM VICTIM TO VICTOR VIA BREAST CANCER DO YOU ARGUE-TEXT? FOUR REASONS TO QUIT NOW
WAKE UP THE SPIRIT WITHIN YOU!
DO YOU SUFFER FROM A SUCCESS BIAS?
CULTURE & SOCIETY
HER HIGHNESS ALSAYYIDA BASMA AL-SAID: THE PRINCESS ADVOCATE OF MENTAL HEALTH
MARKETING & BRANDING
SOPHIE MILLIKEN ON FINDING A JOB IN THE NEW NORMAL
BE CONTENT, BUT GET WORK DONE!
LET’S TALK ABOUT PERIODS - AN INTERVIEW WITH TESSA INGHAM AND ANIA SMOLENSKAIA
BEAUTY & FASHION
24 57 62
WOMEN AND HAIRSPRAY... WE ALL LOVE IT! WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM BEAUTY STANDARDS 5 BEAUTY AND HAIRCARE MUSTHAVES
AN INTERVIEW WITH SALLY SOLAYMANTASH, SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY VISIONARY
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
NATWEST SUPPORTING WOMEN’S ENTERPRISE IN THE UK: AN INTERVIEW WITH PAM SHEEMAR
40 38 42 60
THE POWER GIRLS DR. MENACA POTHALINGAM: AN ASIAN WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD KAMALA HARRIS: A NEW HOPE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LADIES “I AM A WINNER, NEVER A VICTIM” - AN INTERVIEW WITH DJ CHINA L’ONE
41 54 68 16
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EDUCATION
FITNESS RAISA FLORES, CHAMPION OF CROSSFIT
ART WE NEED TO RECOGNISE THE WOMEN OF ART
BOOKS 10 MUST-READ BOOKS WRITTEN BY WOMEN
5 PODCASTS BY WOMEN YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO
PRODUCT MOTHER’S DAY GIFT LIST
RuPaul: Learning To Love Yourself
The Princess advocate of Mental Health
Alsayyida Basma Al-Said Interview by Rafael dos Santos, editor-in-chief
Her Royal Highness Sayyida Basma is a working princess from Oman. Sayyida means ‘princess’ in Oman – just so our readers understand, her name is not Sayyida, this is her title! So, Sayyida Basma, what is the day-today life of a modern princess like?
lot of us also work in the government here, so it’s not quite the same as the fairytales. I also have three cats! My Persian cats, they’re the real princesses.
That’s really the golden question, so many people ask me that! Princesses are often perceived as something from a fairytale, you know the kind of princess that spends her days drinking tea and eating cake. The reality is that we actually do have to do work! We wake up in the morning, check on our kids, go to work, have social obligations – it’s just like everyone else’s life!
I think it’s true that we all have a fairytale perception of princesses. From reading your profile, I know you’re a psychotherapist who has done a lot of studies, and when I was reading, I thought wow she is actually a normal working woman! It really made me realise that we all have different perceptions of certain things, especially if we are from different cultures. So it’s good to know that even as a Sayyida, a princess, you still look after your kids! I’m sure you have some perceptions of other cultures, too.
In this day and age there isn’t enough time to be a fairytale princess, and I think that the lovely thing about royal families now is that we can show how strong women can be. We really do everything that other people do – we work, we drive, we have our businesses, and a
I definitely have a perception of Brazil! I think in my head, everyone in Brazil dances samba day and night, which is awesome! If I think of Brazil, I think of music, colours, good food, but really it isn’t just those things, it is also a lot of other things. As humans we all make these mistakes
sometimes! It’s not totally wrong! We do have a lot of good food, and your perception of Brazil is very positive, so thank you! Let’s talk about your background. You have a BA in Mental Health, you have a Masters, you went to Harvard, and more! It’s a very impressive background! Where did your passion for the field of mental health come from? I’ve always been interested in mental health. In school I always wanted to listen to people’s problems and try to help people out. I read a lot of books about scientists in mental health, and when the chance came for me to pursue my studies in psychology, that was the happiest moment of my life. When I first started in the 90s, my father thought it would be better for me to study computer science - I was good at opening a computer so my father thought that was the career for me! He was like, what is mental health? Who would come to see you? And all of that, but thankfully he was eventually convinced, and I could continue studying it.
“Mental health is
I went to work in the university hospital, then I trained at Harvard, at Michigan University, at King’s College in the USA and in Kent! I kept on training in so many countries because I needed all the tools I could get! Every human is different, there’s no one book or study that fits everyone, so I needed to learn everything I could. Mental health is my passion, it’s not just a job for me. When I went to do my Masters in Australia, I also studied psychology, and I started to study things related to relationships such as sexology, and I also studied art therapy... everything to do with mental health really!
my passion, it’s not just a job for me.
In Brazil, we’ve only just started talking about mental health, so there are some cultures that I guess don’t understand it quite as much yet. Is it more difficult to speak about mental health in a culture that is not as developed in this field as, say, the UK or the US? A lot of people think it’s a lot easier in the US or the UK, but having travelled to all of these
countries I think it’s all pretty similar. Mental health will always be a tough topic to talk about, but I don’t think there’s a huge difference between countries. I suppose countries like those do more awareness campaigns in the media and the government, so that’s a difference, but when it comes to studies, we all have the same problems, because we are all human. In our regent, talking about mental health seems to be the fashion now. Everybody talks about depression and suicide, but it’s almost like it’s a new thing. The sad thing is when things become trends like this, it can be very dangerous. It’s so dangerous to give people the wrong information about mental health, because it can actually affect their whole lives. It’s a topic that needs to be delivered in an easy-todigest but informative way. You have started many initiatives in Oman, including the Not Alone campaign, which was hugely successful. What are you most proud of with that campaign, and what results did you achieve? I called Not Alone my baby because it’s under the umbrella of my tenet, and I had always said that when I have a clinic I want to give back to society, and I want the people who work with me to believe in this too. My proudest moment is having been able to help people, not just in Oman but internationally, and that’s what Not Alone does. We’ve started doing everything virtually and now we have a huge outreach, and it feels amazing to have something this good come out of my country. I want people to see how mental health is important, but I also want them to understand that everything we do in life is related to our mental health. The problem is it has been made out that mental health issues just mean crazy people running in the streets, but it’s not that! There are levels of mental health. But my proudest moment would be being able to hear people talk about this and say this has come
on this topic and eradicate domestic violence?
Besides Oman being my country, I also always find that it’s a diamond. Before you clean a diamond it’s full of dust, but after it’s been cleaned you can see that it’s beautiful, and that’s how I feel about Oman, it’s like a hidden gem in the Middle East. Maybe not many people know about it, but once people start talking about it they realise how beautiful it is. This pandemic is making us all more grateful, and we are realising that we are all humans, regardless of religion and race and anything else. In the end, we are all humans, and that’s what is important.
Sadly, domestic violence has been happening for centuries; if we read through history, there has always been abuse, be that against women, against children, whoever, it’s always been there. Over time I’ve noticed a lot of campaigns. Some of them have been really effective, others have sadly been seen as women complaining. I think the best campaigns are those that would touch anybody’s heart.
Be mindful, accept what you have achieved and build on that.
You also work as an activist to combat domestic violence and violence against women. I think this is such an important topic for women from all backgrounds, because these things can happen to anyone, so I want to talk a little about that. In your opinion, what should governments and charities need to do to educate
As a country, I feel that the government needs to work together more closely on this issue. I think it’s something that needs to start from schools, because education is so important in combatting this issue. We tend to not think of teaching people about these issues until something has happened that brings it up, but we need to start teaching before problems occur, not after. All governments should unite together, we need to take domestic violence seriously – it isn’t a cultural thing! It’s happening everywhere. We need to teach children that this isn’t normal, so that they don’t engage in these behaviours as adults. We can start to do that with strong creative campaigns which create conversation around this issue.
Yes, awareness is very important, that’s for sure! So, moving on – you have a lot of experience with different cultures and trying different things. If you could talk to a younger Sayyida Basma, knowing what you know today, what would your advice be? I’m very blessed to be able to travel, but I’m also blessed to be of mixed cultures. My mother is from the UK and my father is from Oman, so I’ve always had an understanding of two cultures which are very far away from each other. I would probably tell younger Basma, this might sound really cheesy, but I would say don’t be so hard on yourself! You don’t need to keep proving yourself, you’ve done a good job and you’ve worked hard to get here, it’s not just because of your title that you’ve got here. Be mindful, accept what you have achieved and build on that; I think that’s how you learn to feel good about yourself, but this is something I only came to understand when I reached the age of 40. At that age I started to practice mindfulness, and I began living in the moment and appreciating where I am. I used to feel shy when people read my CV, but now I’m proud of myself for my achievements, and I always try and live in the moment. Everyone is unique, and each one of us has our own specific skillset, but we often try to prove we are more than that and we lose track of who we really are, so appreciate your-
self and you will do such an amazing job. If you were given superpowers, what would the perfect world you would build look like? My superpower would be mindfulness! Once you are mindful, you learn to be grateful, and you can do things because you are able to appreciate every minute of the day. It’s difficult to become mindful, so I think that’s why it should be a superpower, because once you have that you are able to appreciate yourself, you can work hard and you just enjoy your life more. I think with everything that’s happening right now, we are all learning to appreciate things so much more. I think if abusers were mindful, maybe they would be more aware that what they were doing was wrong. A lot of abusers are not in their right mind, so it would be good for them to stop and think why they were doing that. Being grounded and living in the here and now is so important, so being mindful would be my superpower for sure. COVID has definitely made us more grateful, I agree! Something so small can cause so much destruction and pain, so I think I’ve realised my health is definitely the most important thing, because who cares how many shoes I have? So yes, being mindful is so important. Let’s talk
about Oman now, I am fascinated by Oman. If you could invite a Brazilian to Oman, what would be the top five things about Oman that you would want to show them? Firstly, Oman is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. We are known for being friends to everyone and enemies to no one, and I’m very grateful for this, because peace and harmony is not something that is easily found in the world. Secondly, the people are very friendly! They will always invite you in for lunch or to stay with them, they are very welcoming. Thirdly, we have a beautiful landscape! We have mountains, seas, a very green place called Sula, a water oasis, beautiful deserts... we have it all! The fourth thing is that we are one of the oldest countries in terms of history. We have such a rich history, and our family name is one of the oldest royal families in the world. The Saids have been the royal family for the whole of history, which puts us in royal history books. We have forts here which we gave us a few troubles with the Portuguese, leaving us with a beautiful history of a scary thing turned beautiful. We have witnessed how they made the forts and now we have a very unique water irrigation system which supplies all the counties in Oman and
and living in the here and now is so important, so being mindful would be my superpower for sure.
was made in a very mathematical way; I think that it is very interesting that our ancestors thought of this. Finally, our amazing food is impossible to resist! Oman is lucky in that it used to be an empire which conquered a few places, and because of that we have such a wonderful rich mixture of cuisines in our food. This has also affected how we eat, how we dress, and the languages we speak – we all speak Arabic, English, and other languages – all of this has made the country very unique. Five points is hardly enough but those would be my top five! On the point of food, because I don’t know any nation that does not love their food, what dish do you think everyone should try? We have a very famous sweet called halwa which is made in Oman and is very nice, but our most unique dish is called shuwa. Shuwa is meat which is wrapped in banana leaves and is could in an underground sand over overnight. It is the most tender meat I’ve ever tried! I know in Brazil the meat is out of this world, though. Thank you so much for speaking to me today, and I’m sure the readers will love reading about Oman, your work as a psychotherapist, and the fight against domestic violence. Thank you so much for your time!
Marketing & Branding
5 Minutes on Instagram:
Tips for Increasing Your Daily Engagement Rikardo is a Brazilian Instagram influencer and publicist who specialises in helping small businesses grow their following. He also has an events company which runs the Favela Chic and The Wonder events in Bristol, England.
I’m back with another column giving you an insight into my secrets and the strategies I use to be successful on Instagram! Every day, as entrepreneurs, we publish and promote our products, with our aim being to gain followers and therefore sell more. But in reality, there are other important elements that are needed to grow your profile on Instagram. One of those is gaining a better understanding of Instagram’s algorithm so that you can understand how to best use the algorithm to amass more views on your posts, and with that, attract a larger audience. Today I’m going to show you a strategy which will only take up 5 minutes a day of your time. This strategy will help you to better understand how to grow your following every day. One thing that we often forget is that our followers are not just interested in the content we are producing, rather they are also interested in us as people. As I often say in my videos, humanisation is so important if you want to have a successful profile. I’ve created several videos about the importance of humanisation, so if you’re interested in that topic, then you can find all of my videos on my YouTube channel, Pérolas de Rikardo. It’s important to highlight that you should cre-
ate an atmosphere of communication and trust so that your followers want to stick with you in the long run. Let’s break the strategy down into sections so that you can have a better understanding of what I want to say. The first step of this strategy is to know what your relationship with your followers is. One of the best Unsplash @georgiadelotz tips I can give to improve your engagement with your followers is that you should always reply to messages that you receive. Always make sure to respond to any questions that people send you via direct message and interact with the people who interact with your content. Be it in the comments section of your posts or by saying hello to your new followers, it’s always important to keep the communication alive. The more, the better! Ask them questions and create a relationship between yourself, your product, and the follower. One excellent example of this technique is something I always do during my interviews:
every day I do Instagram Lives in an interview format at 8pm on my Instagram profile, Pérolas de Rikardo. No matter who I am interviewing, be it singers, artists, influencers or entrepreneurs, I always ask my followers who they would like to see me interview next. That shows my followers that I value their opinion, and with that I know what my followers are interested in and what is important to them. Author bio: Rikardo is a Brazilian Instagram influencer and publicist who specialises in helping small businesses grow their following. He also has an events company which runs the Favela Chic and The Wonder events in Bristol, England. Another part of this effective technique is that every time I post something new on my feed, I go back to my previous post and I give every who interacted with my post a like. That makes your followers remember that you exist, and they will go and take another look at your feed, where they will see and engage with your latest post. Don’t sit around and wait for your followers to interact, make sure you interact with them too! Often when I am working as a mentor to help entrepreneurs to better understand how to use Instagram, I notice that a lot of them will wait until the followers come to them. That’s a huge mistake on their part. Don’t wait for the followers to come to you, you need to go and find the followers yourself. An essential tip is this: after all of the interviews that I do, be it with an artist or with an entrepreneur who spoke about their product with me, I will always go to my guest’s profile and send around 100 messages to people who follow them. See an example below: “Hi! I noticed that you follow (name of guest), so I thought you might be interested in checking out my interview with them on Pérolas de
Rikardo, which you can watch right now.” Doing this means that my guest’s followers whom I have messaged will check out my profile, automatically increasing my engagement on that post, as well as my number of followers. It’s so important to create a good relationship with your followers! After welcoming a new follower and starting a strong relationship with them, the next step is to create a way to say, “thank you for visiting my profile”. If I notice that someone is consistently engaging with my content, and that they continue to do so on a regular basis, then I will often offer them an hour of Instagram mentoring for free. That shows them that I also want to help them grow alongside me on Instagram, and it shows I appreciate them.
Don’t stop commenting on their posts and replying to their questions – this is essential for a long-lasting relationship. These are just some of the tips I have for growing your visibility and followers organically on Instagram. This month, I want to leave my readers with a message: The success of your profile depends solely on you! Everything depends on how you behave daily towards the Instagram platform and its algorithms. To show that Pérolas de Rikardo wants to help you grow your profile, we are offering the reader ONE HOUR of free mentoring to help you to understand this tool better and to help your posts be more successful, therefore allowing you to sell more every day.
Watch Out for the Imposter Syndrome!
Wanja is an avid reader and writer who lives in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has worked in print media and in academia. When she’s not researching current affairs, you’ll find her on social media, keeping up with what’s hot!
A proven stifler of women’s career growth is the Imposter Syndrome (IS). This can be loosely explained as ‘second-guessing one’s abilities; and feeling like a fraud.’ More than four decades since its discovery by psychologists in 1978, it continues to gnaw silently at high achieving professionals. With significant steps being made in promoting gender equality at the workplace, now more than ever, more women are breaking the glass ceiling and getting into leadership roles. These women are highly susceptible to discrediting their own hard work, feeling that they don’t belong at the top of their game and that their achievements are a result of positive discrimination or by sheer luck: what an injustice! A 2020 KPMG study titled “Advancing the Future of Women in Business: A KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Report” that used a sample of 750 high-flying executive women found that 75% of female executives who were one or two steps away from the C-suite have experienced Imposter Syndrome in their careers. Also, while 56% have been afraid that people around them will not believe they are as capable as expected, 47% said their feelings of self-doubt were a result of never expecting to reach the level of success they had achieved. Additionally, 81% of them believed that they put more pressure on themselves not to fail than men do. Notably, women are not born feeling inferior. However, over time, as a result of being bombarded with messages of being ‘less than’, they eventually internalize it. A lopsided work environment that for instance rewards men more than their female counterparts at the same level dents the self-confidence of female employees and encourages this phenomenon. Society also contributes to IS by perpetuating sex-role stereotyping and putting unreasonable pressure on women to hack the workhome juggling act. Ironically, despite these systemic injustices being out of the control of the woman as an individual, and while the status quo remains, women are still expected to figure out a way within themselves to get out of the woods. This may be the covert reason that despite it having been a talking point in
the corporate world for a long time, and more recently having become a resounding gong at the upsurge of female empowerment campaigns, it is yet to be considered a legitimate talent-development issue in the way that it should be. Research has revealed the adverse effects of the Imposter Syndrome, not only on personal wellbeing, but also on career advancement. At a personal level, this professional anxiety has led to mental health complications, as women suffer the blows of stress and depression in silence. Career-wise, a 2019 study by NatWest in the UK, which was part of their #OwnYourImposter campaign found that 60% of women who had considered starting a business failed to do so because of a lack of confidence. Also, 26% of those studied felt that they had failed to change career or roles due to this phenomenon. In fact, the gender pay gap may also be attributed to this as many senior women, unsure of their worth and scared of being found out, fail to put themselves forward for a pay rise. Such detrimental effects should prompt the collective implementation of resolutions to this problem. In addition to entrenching equality, mentorship is especially key in the fight against Imposter Syndrome. It is admirable to say the least that famous, wellto-do women like former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama and Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg are coming out and publicly discussing their encounters Unsplash @devasangbam with IS. This vulnerability is a caution as well as an encouragement to the sea of young women who look up to them. In the KPMG study, 72% of executive women looked to the advice of a mentor or trusted adviser when doubting their abilities to take on new roles, as a way of overcoming IS. Since the lack of knowledge about a fellow woman in a similar high-flying position either personally or professionally is a contributing factor with IS, it is helpful for high achieving women to network with each other so as to build a community, while also reaching out to upcoming professionals and offering their insights and foresight with regards to career progression and the pitfalls to avoid, especially the Imposter Syndrome.
Find Your Shine by Anna Lou Walker, £12.99
(Buy here) This book is a great one if you’re feeling a little down and could do with a boost to your self-confidence. There are loads of easily actionable tips contained in its pages, and Anna lays them out in such a way that you feel better just for having read this book. A lot of the advice in the book probably isn’t revolutionary, but it definitely helps to have it set out for you in a colourful and friendly way; sometimes when you’re feeling a bit low, all you need is for someone to lay out exactly what you need to do to boost your mood, and this book does so wonderfully.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, £8.99 (Buy here) Girl, Woman, Other is a multi-award-winning book, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Evaristo’s writing is captivating, and her cast of twelve characters beautifully tell the story of black womanhood in Great Britain over the last century. This book has topped many book charts, and deservedly so, as it is one of the most absorbing stories of our time. If you want to read the story of Britain as it’s never been told before, then this is the book for you.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni-Eddo Lodge, £9.99 (Buy here) This was the book that completely opened my eyes to the realities of racial injustice in Britain. It is the book that sparked a national conversation about racism. It touches on so many important topics, including eradicated black history, the link between class and race, and black feminism, and it is by far one of the most insightful and educational books I've ever read. This is a must-read for people all over the world, and especially in Britain.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung, £6.78
(Buy here) This is one of the most emotional stories I've ever read. It is the personal history of the author during the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia in the 1970s, and it contains shocking stories of unimaginable cruelty. The first-person narrative lends an engaging quality to the book, and the fact she is narrating the story through the eyes of her child self make it even more powerful. This is a book everyone should read at some point in the lives; it is eye-opening and heart-breaking, and it sheds some light on the true evils of the Khmer Rouge regime.
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, £9.99 (Buy here)
I don’t think there are many authors that captivate my attention in the way Allende does. Her writing is fantastic, and this story of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution is one of her best. Everyone should read at least one book by Allende in their lifetime, and this one certainly isn’t a bad place to start.
Must-Read Books Written By Women
Happy Healthy Sober by Janey Lee Grace, £12.99 (Buy here)
In Happy Healthy Sober, Janey Lee shares the story of how she went sober, and offers detailed advice of how you can do the same, giving you support for each step of the journey. The book is candid and touching, offering a real insight into the battles she faced on her journey to find happiness, yet still has moments of humour, and it is the perfect companion for people who are considering cutting booze out. Contrary to many other books in this field, Janey Lee largely focuses on the joy of being sober, leaving you feeling that sobriety is a great thing, a mentality which will help during the tougher moments of your journey. Janey Lee is inspiring, and you should definitely check out her book!
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë, £2.50 (Buy here)
How could I write a list of books by women without including one of literature’s early female icons, one of the Brontë sisters? Wuthering Heights has long been one of my favourite books, and I think it’s just one of those amazing books that you can keep going back to time and time again without getting bored of it. After all, it is a classic for a reason!
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, £9.99 (Buy here) Did you know that we live in a world where women are 47% more likely to be injured in a car accident than men are? Or that often, doctors prescribe drugs to women which are not suitable for our bodies? Criado Perez touches on these topics and more in her book which explores the gender bias which is so deeply ingrained in our society. She illustrates the ways that women are often forgotten about, and the ways this can impact on us all. This is the book that will change the way you see the world.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker, £8.99 (Buy here) A lot of the books on the English Literature school curriculum are awful, but this is not one of them. I first read this in my school days, and I remember being utterly entranced by the epistolary style, as I had never read a book which was written in this style before. Walker tells the tale of Celie, a young black girl who grows up in an era of poverty and segregation and experiences horrific things throughout her youth. It is a story of self-growth and discovering the power of one’s own spirit, and it is told in a stunning way which holds your attention from start to finish.
The Prison Doctor by Dr. Amanda Brown, £8.99 (Buy here) This book gives an insight into the world of Britain’s jails. It is fascinating to have a look into a world which feels so distant from our own, and it is one of those books that really makes you appreciate what you have in your own life. Her second book, The Prison Doctor: Women Inside, is equally interesting to read, and both books are completely heart-breaking in some of the stories they tell. Despite the crimes some of these people have committed, Amanda is their doctor and will always strive to care for them. This is a book showcasing the good and bad of humanity.
Health & Wellness
From Victim to Victor Via
Breast Cancer Founder & Happiness/Fulfilment Coach at ButterflyMe Inspirational & TEDx Speaker Caroline believes that happiness is a choice and can be cultivated by anyone. Experiencing breast cancer in 2017 fuelled her to pursue her mission of empowering individuals to unleash the best version of themselves one day at a time. In 2019, she received the Women Economic Forum’s Award of ‘Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All’.
Although one in two people is now likely to get cancer at some point in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK), it was nonetheless highly shocking for me when on 19th April 2017, I discovered that I’d been summoned as a candidate by the world’s second leading cause of death (World Health Organisation). A million and one questions raced through my mind as I sat opposite the specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London. ‘But Dr. Leff,’ I protested, ‘there’s no history of cancer in my family. And I’m only 41, aren’t I too young to have breast cancer? I thought this only happens to much older women, and I don’t even smoke or drink!’ And then my mind turned to more urgent matters: was I going to die or was it treatable? Would I need to lose my (left) breast or even both of them? Was I going to need chemotherapy? Would this make me infertile and rob me of my desire of becoming a mother?
I believe that everything that befalls us comes to help us achieve our unique reason for existing. And so, when I received my diagnosis, I deeply trusted that cancer hadn’t come to break me but to help make me the person I was truly created to be. Thus, instead of wallowing in self-pity and asking why this was happening to me in a ‘poor me’ way, I was instead exploring: what’s this here to teach me? Who am I being invited to become, and what am I being guided to do? This led me to sharing my journey publicly to help inspire and empower more people across the world who may experience cancer, first by launching a blog the very next morning after diagnosis, and later, it was what inspired me to overcome my fear of public speaking so my service could have a wider global reach. 2.
Learn to choose happiness no matter what’s happening
It was utterly surreal, but no amount of wishing it was just a bad dream that I’d eventually wake from could change the adverse reality I’d suddenly been plunged into. Over the next nine months, I underwent six rounds of chemo, breast and lymph node surgery, 20 sessions of radiotherapy and was put on oestrogen-blocking medication.
Life will always have ups and downs. Some challenges, like having cancer, are a long and arduous journey. And so, you’ll need to regularly refresh your stamina on the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. Because the better you feel, the stronger you’ll become, and the better equipped you’ll feel to overcome your challenges.
Then fast-forward less than two years since completing my treatment and I had become an international & TEDx speaker, coauthored multiple inspirational books, been featured by global media and had won several awards as an inspirational changemaker!
Commit to continuing to enjoy yourself during hard times and don’t wait until they’ve passed. For example, I threw a party before starting chemo! Then I went on to show up to each of my six sessions like I was still going to a party, with freshly painted red nails and red lipstick, as if I were going to the most fun place in town rather than a chemo ward! We don’t need to make our difficult times more difficult, but to proactively lighten them up as much as we possible - being happy is scientifically proven to enhance our immunity and problem solving, which are fantastic assets to enjoy when experiencing challenges!
So how did I manage to leverage an adversity such as cancer to my advantage and in such a short time? Here are my top three tips:
Be open to redesigning your life
Instead of seeking to return to the exact life you had before a difficult patch, allow yourself to flow towards a new one. I doubt that butterflies ever wish to return to their caterpillar days after the painful transformations they’ve endured, and neither should we. One of my biggest fears after completing my treatment was of resuming my pre-cancer life. After all, I was pushing myself to tolerate toxic work environments and relationships that had culminated in my illness and so I made sure to make different choices going forward e.g. I changed my job role and started attending personal development events which introduced me to a whole new world of entrepreneurs, speakers and authors, through which new opportunities flowed towards me. Unsplash @ang10ze
Believe that you have a unique purpose or mission in life
There will be many times in life where we’ll feel helpless victims of our circumstances, yet if we’re willing to proactively take responsibility for our journeys, we can ultimately emerge as powerful victors with inspirational stories that empower others!
19 Unsplash @maxvdo
K L S A D T O S I
’ R T E E P L OUT AB
WING is a multi-award-winning creative content agency and Campaign Magazine’s Brand Film Festival Production Company of the Year 2019. Founded in 2007 by husband-and-wife team Will and Tessa Ingham, WING creates and produces advertising and branded video content for some of the world’s largest brands. Tessa is the Chief Operating Officer of WING, and Ania is a Senior Editor/Director who has been with the company for 8 years. “When the gorgeous Ben invites Hannah on holiday after just four dates, she thinks she’s hit the jackpot – until she gets her period on the flight over. ̋ Higher Ground is a light-hearted take on the clash between reality and old-fashioned attitudes, where openly asking for a tampon can cause as much stress and panic as a decompressed airplane cabin. What was it about Higher Ground that made you want to work on it? Tessa: Higher Ground is our first self-funded film; we’ve always talked about doing a film that wasn’t for a client, and we were fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to do so when we came across this script. When I read this script, it really spoke to me, I thought it was well written, witty, clever, and most of all it was tackling a very important subject. I was actually on a plane when I read it for the first time, which probably helped me to visualise it a bit! I have four children, two girls and two boys, and our
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eldest daughter was approaching 12 when I read this script, so I knew this was a topic that we would be discussing with our children fairly imminently. I just felt that it was such an important message, and it was handled in such a brilliant way that we decided that this was the script that we wanted to make into a film. It was a no-brainer, really. Ania: On behalf of all the rest of the female crew, I think it was very appealing to see something that is so relatable. It’s put in a humorous form, which is good, and also I think every woman will be in a situation like this at some point in her life, not necessarily on a plane, but in some way, we all go through this. It’s important to put that up on screen. Tessa: I was just so aware that I didn’t want my daughters to feel embarrassed about this totally natural thing that was happening to their bodies. We also have two younger sons, and I feel really strongly that they need to see periods as a totally normal part of life. If boys and men can feel more at ease around periods, then that will help women to feel more at ease. It’s really important for everyone to be talking about this topic, and the way it was handled in this script wasn’t preachy, yet it still managed to get the message across. What was your biggest challenge when you were making the film, and how did you overcome that challenge? Ania: It was definitely finding the plane! So many people came to us with suggestions, but it was really difficult to find something that worked for us. Somebody suggested using a green screen, but this is a self-funded film, Will and Tessa had put their own money behind this project, so we didn’t have a Hollywood budget. Plus, we didn’t want to just stick
TH I W IEW V R D E N T A N I M AN HA G N IA I A A K S S S EN TE L O M S ANIA subject?
a few rows of chairs in front of a green screen and kid ourselves it looked believable. Somebody offer us a plane that a connection of theirs had, but it was parked on an airfield near Lisbon, and we couldn’t possibly transport the entire cast and crew over there. So when we finally found a plane we could use, that was amazing. The other big challenge for me and the team was to pull it off in a day. It’s our debut film, it’s 8 minutes long, we had a lot of extras, and they all needed to be looked after. But everyone did such an amazing job, this project truly is a team effort, and it’s a testament to how tight the crew is.
Ania: I think people find stereotypes hard to let go of! They help us get through life. Obviously, I’m joking, but all jokes have some element of truth behind them. All over the world, people are starting to have a conversation on this topic, whether you look at developing countries or wealthy countries, but it’s hard to move past old attitudes. I think it’s the leftovers from a prehistoric society where things were set up in a certain way, it’s not easy to shake off years of historical conditioning. Feminism is also a relatively new movement, so unfortunately, it’s taken a while to push forward on this topic.
Tessa: Yeah, as Ania said, we didn’t have a huge budget, and usually you can find a way to mock something up or make it work in another scenario, but not with this. We did have conversations about setting it somewhere else, but really it had to be set on a plane, so we had to find one! The plane we found is a disused 747 which is now only used for film shoots, and we had it for the day. Everyone was absolutely fantastic at getting the job done, but it was a huge undertaking!
Tessa: I think there’s also this historic notion that period blood is somehow unclean. If you bleed from a finger, you can ask anyone for a tissue or a plaster, yet for some reason to admit that you’re bleeding from your uterus often throws people into a bit of a frenzy. There’s an absurd notion that it’s a different type of blood, which is why in the film we try and get across that it’s only blood. I think that goes back to the impact of the patriarchy and the ways in which girls have traditionally felt ashamed about their bodies; these attitudes have been perpetuated throughout society. That’s why I think that it’s really important that men and boys become part of this conversation as well, because they need to understand.
Why do you think periods are still such a taboo
Ania: It’s still viewed as a shameful thing, and it’s
presented in that way all around us. It’s seen as a secret, something that should be hidden, so just by talking about it we are already making a big difference. The crew that was involved in making the film was half men and half women, and it was really interesting to hear what the guys said when the project was wrapped. They said they didn’t feel as tense talking about periods anymore; at the start of filming, it felt really tense, and by the end that had gone away. It shows that just having this conversation at all is already starting to address the problem. Tessa: I also think it’s exacerbated by the fact that the onset of periods happens at the point that girls are going through puberty, which is already an awkward, self-conscious time. Then, to add to that, sex education is done separately for boys and girls, so boys don’t even hear about periods, meaning this shame and embarrassment around periods just ends up snowballing, because you feel like you can’t take about it. Often, conversations about periods are dismissed as being feminist rubbish. Do you think that tackling the subject through comedy will help to make it more accessible to a wider audience? Tessa: Definitely! Something I felt really strongly about when I read the script was that it doesn’t preach, it’s just pointing out the sheer absurdity of the stigma around periods. I think it was dealt with very cleverly, and I definitely think comedy makes it far more accessible. Our kids are my litmus test for a lot of things, and they watch it over and over and laugh every single time. There are very funny moments in the film, but it still manages to get a very important message across.
In order to open up a conversation, you need to reach as many people as possible, and the comedy element really helps to do that. Ania: I think there’s so much stress that’s already associated with periods that we don’t want to add to that, we want to alleviate that stress, and laughter is one of the best ways to do that. Tessa: It’s quite a political subject, which of course is very necessary in terms of period poverty and topics around that, but we didn’t feel that that was our role. We weren’t here to politicise anything, we just wanted to open up a conversation and be part of the movement. Ania: It’s such a serious subject matter, but sometimes the most effective way of getting your point across is to crack a joke rather than shouting big, clever words at your opponent. That’s what I think we’ve tried to do here with the comedy angle. Do you think that WING will do more films on topics like periods, or will this be a one-off? Tessa: I think it was always considered a one-off. It’s a big risk for a small company to do a self-funded film, it’s years in development and we obviously wanted to make sure that we did the script justice and we worked really hard to create a beautiful film, so we put as much budget as we could behind it, but it’s always a risk. We had everybody in the office pitching in to help, it was a big undertaking, and I think at the time we didn’t see it as opening up an opportunity for us to venture more into this field, it was just feeling good to be a part of this conversation generally, but never say never. We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with the film and we’re really excited for it to be released, there’s been a lot of build-up for us to get to this point. So never say never, we’ll see. If something speaks to us the way that did, we’d love to open up more opportunities. What would you do if you were in Hannah’s situation? Ania: I think we’ve all been in that kind of situation! Her reaction wasn’t unbelievable, you probably would try your best to hide it, which is ridiculous. There have definitely been a couple of occasions that I’ve started my period in public and ended up having to wrap a sweater round myself to try and hide it. Tessa: I would have been mortified! I don’t think I ever would have spoken over the plane speaker like Hannah did, I wouldn’t have been that brave. Hopefully now more people will be brave, after seeing the film. I probably would have tied clothing round my waist to hide it, though! Ania: Obviously, asking your flight attendant would be the go to, you wouldn’t expect them to react negatively! But I think for a long time when I was younger I would have found it really awkward to ask anyone for a tampon, even another woman. Tessa: My twenties were a very long time ago now,
but looking back, I probably never asked anyone for a tampon.
school when they’re on their period, and it’s absurd that it’s still got such a stigma around it.
Ania: When we were starting work on the film, I checked on a couple of planes, and there were never any tampons or pads in any of the toilets. There’s toilet paper, hand soap, tissues, but never any pads or tampons. These things should be freely available!
T: You saying that Ania, it’s no wonder that women still feel shame around it because it’s so hidden. We’re ashamed of something that happens naturally to our bodies, I’m going to bang a drum again now, and you lose confidence, it’s so easy for girls to not feel confident, especially in their teenage years, and that just exacerbates things. You hate your body for doing something that’s entirely natural, every single person comes out of a uterus! It can have such wide implications with health conditions and kids missing out on school because they don’t want to go to school when they’ve got their period. The ramifications can be so large that it’s ridiculous.
Tessa: It’s no wonder that women still feel shame around their period, because it’s still so hidden. So many of us are ashamed of such a natural thing! You end up hating your body for something that’s entirely natural – every single person comes from a uterus! This shame can have such wide implications with health conditions and kids missing out on
Beauty & Fashion
- We All Lov
Cristina is a Brazilian hairdresser from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated 8 years ago from Adam & Eva Skolen in Oslo, Norway, and is now the salon owner of C² Cris Christensen, specialising in keratine treatments. Cristina won the Best Brazilian Hairdressing Salon in Europe award in 2020.
Female beauty has been recognised since the world came to be. Venus, the goddess from Roman mythology who represents love and beauty, was widely admired by men for her exuberance and parts of her body such as her hips and breasts; she was admired so greatly that she provoked jealousy in some of the other goddesses. The vanity of women when it comes to caring for their hair and their beauty has made the industry into a multimillion-pound profit machine. The statistics show that in Brazil, for example, the average woman will spend 10,000 euros on beauty products between the ages of 20 and 55. The reason for that high spend isn’t just because they see it as something which is important, but also because our appearance, and especially our hair, expresses our personality, thoughts and beliefs. For hundreds of years women have demonstrated their strength and have valued their self-esteem through their appearance, and, of course, we often use it to our advantage when we want to seduce someone!
ilyn Monroe, who stood out because of their beauty and their modernity. Many women had these Chanel bobs, a style brought into fashion in 1918 by Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, internationally known as Coco Chanel. Supposedly, she donned this hairstyle because she burnt the ends of her hair with the hairdryer and so she decided to chop it off, and thus the bob was born. Do you know the word hairspray? I’m sure you do! The famous product never left women’s hair in the 1960s, it was a constant feature of hairstyles throughout the decade. This was a radical change from the bobs of the 50s, and it arose amidst the Black Power movement and the fash-
In the 1950s, women had short and wavy hairstyles, just like Greta Garbo and Mar24
ion of having a super long fringe pushed up into a beehive – hair was truly a form of expression in this era! Do you know how to make your hair stand up in such a voluminous manner, like it did in the Golden Age? You know when you see celebrities who look perfect with their flawless hairstyles, do you ever think, how do they do it? I’m going to give you an incredible tip which will help you create a voluminous hairdo in your own home, and soon you will feel ready for a red carpet! Wash your hair and use a little conditioner. The reason for that is that we need to give the hair a little texture. Use the hairdryer and a circular brush; if your hair is curly, you can dry it by brushing until the
Now that your hair is brushed, let’s go on to how to texture it. If you only want volume around your head, start by separating the top, then separate into small sections, and with a fine-toothed comb, comb in the opposite direction, starting about 6 centimetres away from the root, doing every other strand as if you were making a quiff. Do this several times until you have enough texture to create volume. To maintain the volume, apply some texturing spray, lift the sections and apply spray on the bottom part; always keep some distance between your hair and the spray and be careful of your eyes! Repeat this in all the areas that you want texture. Now, let go of the top part that you had separated, apply a serum just to the tips and use your fingers to shape your hair. If you like, use a waver or a curler to create a wavy effect in the long bit of your hair, keeping the texture near to the roots. Now you are ready to show off your beauty on the catwalk of life!
root is smooth and straight and drying with the hairdryer pointing downwards in the direction of the tip, that way you will align the cuticles and the heat will activate the shine. Always remember to shape the ends. If you have long layered hair, wrap the ends of your hair in the brush and direct your hairdryer towards the brush, then remove your brush in a spiral form, thus helping to curl it. Be careful not to let your hairdryer touch your hair, as it could overheat and burn your locks. 25
WITH SALLY SOLAYMANTASH, SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY VISIONARY Interview by Lola Sherwin
Sally M Solaymantash is a software technologist, a career she has been passionate about since childhood. Her desire to transform the industry and her passion for helping future generations are what drives her. My conversation with her was incredibly insightful and educational. What was it that ignited your passion and drove you to pursue a career in software technology? I was 9 when a teacher at school asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. We had a week to come up with a meaningful answer. I looked at the jobs of all the people around me and realised none interested me. I looked at my school subjects; maths and art were my two favourites. The problem with art was that I had heard truly successful artists lived a life of poverty and hardship, then they died while others got rich. That didn’t appeal to me. With maths, I loved logic and problem-solving. But, I felt that everything was already proven; promising a dry and unexciting journey of walking in the footsteps of others. As it happened, over the weekend, I went to my dad’s office and heard a conversation about this new science called computing. They were saying, it was the youngest science and that it had so much growth ahead of it. They mentioned that it had an analytical root with lots of flair for creativity as it was applied to other industries. This conversation had all of the keywords I was looking for! New analytical science with an artistic flair! I proudly ran to school the next day and wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to be a computer scientist. I had no idea what that meant. It just had all the right ingredients. In the early 70s, television was the closest you ever got to a computer. So, I started watching all those shows, and the passion grew. I was 16 before I could study computer science, and that was the first time I got a real understanding of computers. The first two weeks I was completely lost and thought oh no! Then one day, it just clicked, and the passion grew further. I consider myself to be an extremely fortunate person to have been able to always follow my passion. I know that is something that not everyone gets to do. Women in tech are still underrepresented, so what do you think needs to change to increase the number of women working in the field? We need to start with the youngsters and ignite their passion. Even now, tech people are considered geeks and weirdos. I think we need to highlight the diversity in the industry. It is very inclusive with young, old, artistic, creative, analytical and everything else in between. The other thing is to get people
to understand that men and women are very different. We approach things very differently. It doesn’t make one right or wrong. It is just different, and to me, diversity creates strength. If everyone in my team thought and behaved exactly like me; we would be a total failure. The collective strength of the team must be greater than the sum of its individual strengths. That means for the team to succeed, I must surround myself with people who are different to me. To me, talking about increasing the number of women at the C level or in tech does not create equality. Only when we are truly blind to everything, other than what is essential, then we arrive at equality. Many years ago, I was offered a job because I was the only female applicant. I told them I wanted to be chosen because I was the best candidate, not because I was the only one in a skirt. That was an insult. It meant I had no brain, no skills, just a token for equality and that was demeaning! There is no shortcut. We need to learn to look at all people as human beings first, to arrive at equality. They were biased towards hiring men in the past. If we create a bias towards hiring women today, then we are not achieving equality. It shows we have not learnt from the past and are creating biased against the men of this generation.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? Every step of my career has always been a challenge and a source of learning. I would say my current challenge is my journey with SAM SmarterApproach® Methodology, the first sustainable circular technology. A few years ago, I hit a wall. I was doing this major project. I was a year into it when I decided I wanted to step away. I didn’t want to be in technology anymore. I felt as an industry, we were not learning from our past mistakes. It made me feel like a rat in a wheel; spinning fast, working very hard but not moving forward. I told my manager that I wanted out. It was the hardest thing for me to do. I felt very lost and very emotional. This was my life’s ambition, I was at the peak of my career and I just realised I was a rat in the wheel. Worst of all, I had no idea what I wanted to do next. I just knew what I didn’t want to do. For somebody who since age 9 was driven by a goal, it was extremely hard to walk away without knowing where to next. While I was coming to the end of my contract, I saw an ad on LinkedIn about a new MSc course in Enterprise and Business Creation at UEA, my old university. As soon as I saw it I knew, that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to learn how to change the software industry. I had always been focused on getting the work done. To change the world, I needed new skills. I learnt you can’t change the world if people don’t know it needs changing. First, you need to create awareness. Building my vision and creating the necessary awareness has been a long journey. It is now five years since I have been on this path, and people are beginning to see my vision. I am privileged to have been invited as a speaker at several events, including World Innovation Economics at WEF in Davos. Creating awareness that technology needs to be modernised and getting commitments to invest in the future has been my biggest challenge to date. Why do you think it’s so important for us to develop a smarter approach to software? I think every living entity has a responsibility towards the future. What we do today, impacts what happens tomorrow.
I love technology, it’s wonderful, but I also see how current technological approach is not sustainable. It is eroding enterprise knowledge. They say knowledge is power. If you go back in history, people only had their brains to rely on. Then we started etching our knowledge on stones, then scrolls and books. People had big libraries where they could collect knowledge for reference. When computers came along, we put all our knowledge into computers. But with the current approach, instead of creating more apprentices, we have more consumers. People rely on the computer to do the work and thinking. Over time, computer hardware gets old, and we need to rebuild the system. But the people who created and built the knowledge of the original system are no longer available. The people that remain are consumers who lack all the details of how things work behind the scene. We rebuild the system on a new, faster platform, which now lacks some of the original logic. With each iteration of system rebuild, we are eroding the enterprise knowledge. To me, this is not just ours, but also our future generations’ problem. I want to safeguard the gathered and developed knowledge to pass from generation to generation. Stopping knowledge erosion is my gift to the future generation. What would be your top 3 tips for success? I think success is a very personal thing. My first tip would be to find what success means to you. Unless you are true to yourself, you can never be true to anyone or anything else. Secondly, realise that goals are not fixed, they are ever-moving. Who I am today, is not who I was before nor who I will be in future. It is ok to want different things at different times. Success is very dynamic. More you know, more you realise how much more there is to know and that changes you. Finally, realise that your differences are what make you who you are. You should be true to yourself. If everybody on the planet was a 5 star Michelin chef, we would all die of hunger. Because there would be no one to grow the food, to harvest it or do all other necessary activities that lead to feeding humanity. We thrive from diversity. Instead of shaming yourself (or others) for not being who we want to be, we should celebrate who we are and what we are good at.
Training & Development
NatWest Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK:
An Interview with
Lydiah is the Director of Enterprise Support at Oxford Brookes University. With over 17 years of C-level experience, Igweh specialises in innovation, entrepreneurship, organisational change, leadership and digital transformation. She’s committed to championing women in business and advancing race equality. Lydiah enjoys writing, mentoring and presenting.
In this edition of High Profile Magazine dedicated to women, Lydiah Igweh spoke to Pam Sheemar, about NatWest’s commitment to supporting female-led businesses in the UK, its efforts to create an inclusive organisation and what gender equality means to her. Pam has worked for NatWest for more than ten years, including in retail banking and entrepreneurship. She headed up NatWest’s entrepreneur accelerator programme in Birmingham as Entrepreneur Development Manager. She has recently been appointed to a new role within the bank’s Corporate and Commercial team as part of a new programme that will serve as a future talent platform, and which ensures Diversity and Inclusion and delivers on the bank’s continued commitment to supporting all colleagues, specifically those from ethnic minority backgrounds, with focused development opportunities. Tell us about your role at NatWest and how you help female-led businesses? As Entrepreneur Development Manager I headed up the Birmingham Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub and in this role I supported hundreds of en-
trepreneurs to start, scale and succeed with their businesses, providing a web of support including access to an extensive internal network of support whilst working collaboratively with the external eco-system and stakeholder partners. This supports all entrepreneurs, male and female, and I am very proud to say it is very ethnically diverse. Specific help for female entrepreneurs included access and support to our designated support such as Back Her Business, Dream Bigger and Advancing Female entrepreneurship programmes. Why are NatWest interested in helping women in businesses? The Rose Review was launched in March 2019 by Alison Rose, our CEO, at the UK government’s request. The review sets out to identify the disparity between male and female entrepreneurs when starting and scaling businesses and the barriers facing women. Advancing female entrepreneurship represents a £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy and NatWest are passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs to realise their full potential.
How is the extra £1bn of funding available for Women in Business going to help? Support and encouragement for female entrepreneurs are needed as much as ever due to the Coronavirus crisis’s disproportionate impact on women. The Female Entrepreneurship Funding builds on several initiatives that the bank already has to support women looking to start, scale and grow their businesses. The aim is to ultimately help female entrepreneurs to scale and grow and builds on the £1bn announced last January, which was the most significant intervention by a UK lender focused specifically on female-led businesses. A central finding of The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship (‘the Rose Review’), was that the single biggest issue holding female entrepreneurs back is the lack of funding. Traditionally women are less likely to take on debt than male-led businesses, which can impact their ability to scale and group at the same rate. The increased engagement stimulated through government schemes has also allowed NatWest to ensure that female entrepreneurs gain access to this overall support package. Why do you believe women-led businesses should get extra support to recover from the pandemic? Due to the adverse effects of the Coronavirus, we have seen unprecedented demand from female-led businesses, and we have already exceeded our £1bn target one year ahead of plan. Female business owners are also more likely to struggle to balance business with family life during the pandemic with ¾ of female business owners finding managing their business challenging during the pandemic compared to 55% of males. Increased intervention can help support female entrepreneurs with access to funding and accelerator programmes that provide full funding coaching,
workshops, and networks. We are determined to play our part in levelling the playing field. How is NatWest advancing Gender Equality internally? At NatWest, our goal is to create a sustainable, inclusive culture, and we have many initiatives that support gender equality. We are committed to having at least 30% women in our top three leadership layers (c.4,000 roles) in each of our businesses by the end of 2020 and achieve a full gender balance across the bank by 2030. Other initiatives include our Gender Employee Led Networks and personalised development programmes that encourage collaboration, mentoring and development and provide a platform for creating and accelerating a level playing field. Have you experienced any inequality in your professional life? If so, how has it shaped you into the person you are today? Being a BAME female, I have experienced inequality in my professional life in many instances. However, I have overcome them by continuing to deliver exceptional performance and always being a good citizen. Much of this comes to a personal attitude, demonstrating a can-do attitude and a growth mindset. Initiatives such as the Midlands and East Accelerated Career Pilot Placement also help to level up and close the gap to ensure that there is support for individuals from an underrepresented background to ensure Inclusion and that our workplaces reflect our communities and customers.
Women Taking the Lead with Jodi Flynn: In this podcast, Jodi Flynn has conversations which help women to develop their leadership skills. The aim of the podcast is to help women overcome any self-doubt that they may have, allowing them to enjoy their careers and learn to strike a better work-life balance. If you want to work on your leadership skills and reach the levels of success you’ve always dreamed of, then this is the podcast to get you cultivating a successful mindset.
2. The Michelle Obama Podcast: Michelle Obama needs no introduction! The former First Lady is carving out a name for herself as a podcast superstar with this venture into podcasting, which sees her talk to family, friends, and colleagues about the things that have made them who they are. There are 9 episodes plus an introductory episode, each covering different topics ranging from mentorship to women’s friendship and beyond.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations: Joining Michelle Obama as our second former cover star to make the list is Oprah with her popular podcast, Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. She interviews thought leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, and health and wellness experts on this podcast which wants to help its listeners connect to the deeper meaning of the world around them. If you need some help on your journey to becoming your best self, then this is the podcast for you.
Podcasts By Women You Should Listen To
By Lola Sherwin
4. BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: Woman’s Hour is a radio magazine programme which has been broadcast since 1946, and recently it has been adapted into a podcast format after each radio broadcast. The show platforms women’s voices talking about women’s lives, and it brings to light topical conversations related to women which hope to inform, challenge, and inspire. In October 2016 it was reported to be BBC Radio’s second most popular podcast.
You’re Booked: If you love reading and want to delve into conversations with some of the world’s best authors, then You’re Booked might be just what you’re looking for. The popular podcast is hosted by journalist and author Daisy Buchanan, and on each episode, she chats to a new author about what’s on their bookshelf. It’s a fun twist on a podcast and gives you an insight into what some of your favourite authors have read over their lives.
30 Source: play.acast.com
Protecting Your Business, Profits and Financial Security
What are the main challenges facing SME businesses today, and how can SME Succession help them to overcome those challenges? COVID has clearly had a big impact on lots of small businesses and despite a healthy level of government assistance, many are still unfortunately struggling. Brexit has also had an impact on those that trade overseas, compounding matters for some. Of course, both of these factors have been beyond the control of business owners, meaning that all they can try to do is adapt and survive during this difficult period. There are a variety of other challenges that business owners face, some of which thankfully are within their control. Business owners by their very nature are exposed to a number of risks, some of which they are able to mitigate through sound business planning and, where appropriate, taking out insurance. For example, many businesses insure themselves
against the risk of being sued for malpractice (professional indemnity insurance), causing damage to third parties (employer and public liability insurance) and protecting their assets (general insurance). However, something that many business owners often overlook is the risk of business disruption (or failure) due to long-term ill health or the premature death of someone who is key to the success of the business. This may seem strange when you consider that it’s people that are the greatest asset within any business. In particular, the loss of a business owner, co-shareholder or key employee will have serious financial consequences, not only for the business but also for the families of those affected. Thankfully, with some careful planning, such financial risks can be mitigated. SME Succession Planning can help business owners by consulting with them, providing them with a report identifying the risks they’re exposed
I have chosen to specialise in this area exclusively, by becoming a dedicated expert in helping business owners secure their business.
to, and by putting in place a ‘safety net’ to protect their business and profits as well as their personal financial wellbeing. To sum it up simply, succession planning is about risk management and putting the right money in the right hands at the right time. What gave you the desire to work in the world of finance? I started out working in international banking and it was in 1995 that I first became a financial adviser. There were two main reasons for doing so. Firstly, I wanted to be a success in my own right, rather than ‘just another number’ in a large organisation and secondly, I wanted to help people in some way and make a positive difference to their lives. Clearly money itself is important to everyone. I could see that by working as a financial adviser, I could help people manage their finances in a variety of ways to support them in achieving their personal goals. Throughout my career I’ve worked with both companies and individuals, and I’ve provided advice to them in all areas of financial planning, such as investing for the future, protecting their health and income and planning for a comfortable retirement. I started SME Succession Planning based on my previous experience of working with SMEs, and also because I could see an obvious need and a space where I could add real value to business owners and their families. As such, business succession planning has become my passion and the main focus of my work. What differentiates SME Succession Planning from your competitors? Why should a customer choose to work with your business over others? There are lots of good financial consultants in my industry as a result of increased quali-
fications and professionalism over the years, which is a good thing for consumers. Most financial advisers are what I would refer to as ‘General Practitioners’, meaning they cover a broad number of areas. Very few get involved with Business Succession planning as they are not necessarily familiar with the process and perhaps they feel that it’s a complex area that would only distract them from their other ‘core’ activities. In contrast, I have chosen to specialise in this area exclusively, by becoming a dedicated expert in helping business owners secure their business, profits and financial well-being. I have over 15 years’ experience in working with SME business owners and have put in place a team of experts that support me in delivering the services that business owners need. Where appropriate, I also work closely with my client’s accountant and solicitor to ensure a fully robust solution is in place. My approach is based on offering a professional and thorough consultancy service. It’s all about asking the right questions, digging deep and finding out what’s really important to each client. Whether that’s protecting their business against disruption and financial loss or making sure their family are financially secure (or both). Throughout my career in financial services, I’ve always put the best interests of my clients first. By doing so, I’ve enjoyed strong working relationships based on mutual understanding and trust, which is vitally important. I work on the basis that if my clients are happy with my service and if the solutions we put in place help them to achieve their goals, then it’s a win-win situation. Basically, if it’s good for my client first and foremost, then it will be good for me too. You are a socially responsible company, with ties to The Wilderness Foundation. Why do you think it’s important to be a socially responsible company, and what made you choose to support The Wilderness Foundation specifically? I’ve always had a genuine interest in helping people in any way that I can. For me, there’s no better feeling than making a positive difference in somebody else’s life. I think social responsibility is important in business as it’s an opportunity to give something back to society and particularly those who are in need. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that there’s inequality in society. Some of us are better off than others and to me, it’s
important that if we’re in a position to do so, that we should do what we can to help others. Having contacted several local charities, I chose to work with the Wilderness Foundation because I really liked what the charity stands for and the kind of work they do. They work with young people who have had a difficult start in life and are maybe struggling at home, socially or at school. The aim of the foundation is to help these young people to turn their lives around as they progress from childhood to adulthood. This is achieved in a number of ways including: learning about the benefits of spending time immersed in nature; going on camping trips; engaging them in group activities and social interaction; teaching them new information and skills; attending workshops on ‘wellbeing’; and working on a one-to-one basis with a mentor or therapist. Working with the Wilderness Foundation appealed to me because those who join the programme are at an age where we can add real value to their lives and help them turn things around and work towards a better life than they would otherwise have. Having trained as a coach, I provide mentoring support to some of the young people on a one-to-one basis. Just as in business, the secret here is to ask questions, listen, help them identify what they want to achieve, create a plan and provide ongoing guidance and support. What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? I have been fortunate to have had a long and successful career, however, my greatest challenge came several years ago as a result of my own health problems. Having pushed myself too hard in my work, for too long, I began to suffer the effects of stress which affected my health and eventually I reached the point of ‘burnout’, manifesting in symptoms of chronic back-pain and chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, this didn’t just affect my work, it had an impact on every aspect of my life. Thankfully at that time, I had the benefit of an Income Protection policy which provided me with an ill-health replacement income. Looking back, this was a huge benefit for me as it helped me to continue
to pay my mortgage, bills and living expenses at a time when I was unable to work. Eventually, after receiving treatment and taking some time out to recover, recharge and re-think my life and career, I decided to leave the corporate world behind me and continue my career in financial services on a self-employed basis. This is what led me to establishing SME Succession. Interestingly, having the financial security of a replacement income policy in place and also private medical insurance is what sparked the business concept for SME Succession. I knew that in most cases owners of small and medium sized businesses don’t have the luxury of benefitting from such protection and that there was an opportunity to help them to secure their business, profits and finances in such circumstances.
Why do you say that running your own business can be likened to walking a tightrope? There are many wonderful benefits associated with running your own business. For example, being in control of your own destiny; having the freedom and flexibility to work on your own terms; creating wealth and achieving your personal goals by doing the work you want to do. Unfortunately, being in business also inevitably goes hand-in-hand with taking on some considerable financial risks. For example, what if you or a key member of your team is unable to work due to long term ill-health? How will this affect the business and its profits? What impact would this have on you personally and those who are dependent on you? Similarly, the premature death of a shareholder can have serious financial consequences for all concerned. Whilst most of us don’t really want to have to think about these things, particularly when things are going well, it makes good business sense to plan for every eventuality and to protect yourself financially. The reason why I say that running your own business can be likened to walking a tightrope is because you need to set your sights on where you’re going, stay focused, maintain balance, and stay on track towards achieving your goal. However, in business, as in life, there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong and something unforeseen may happen that knocks you off course. So being in business without having consid-
It makes good business sense to “plan for every eventuality and to protect yourself financially. ”
ered the risks you’re exposed to, and without having the appropriate protection in place, is like walking a high wire without a safety net!
owner is exposed to as well as the solutions that can be put in place to ensure their financial well-being.
How do you ensure that each client receives a tailored experience when working with SME Succession Planning?
Beyond this I provide regular reviews to take account of any changes in the circumstances of the business and the needs of the owner(s) and we make any necessary amendments to ensure the plans we put in place continue to meet their needs.
To ensure my service is completely tailored to each individual business owner and their particular business, I always start off with an open mind and a blank sheet of paper. It’s really important that I get to know them well and to have a thorough understanding of the things that are most important to them. I ask lots of searching questions to find out about the owner(s), the business itself and their team. Knowing things like the makeup of the ownership of the company, who is responsible for driving the business forward and which members of the team are key to the profitability of the business puts me in the best position to be able to help them. Having gathered this information, I then produce a Risk Assessment Report that highlights the financial risks that the business
What do you want your lasting legacy to be? I’d like to be remembered as someone who made a positive difference to the lives of others – both through my business and in my charity work. In business, to be known as the person that was there to help business owners reduce the risks they’re exposed to, maintain their profits and secure their financial wellbeing. As a human being, someone with a big heart who cared, took the time and invested it in making the world a better place. Basically, someone who always did his best to help others.
Culture & Society
AN ASIAN WOMAN IN A MAN'S WORLD RAFAEL DOS SANTOS INTERVIEWS DR. MENACA POTHALINGAM Menaca Pothalingham is from Sri Lanka and has been living in the UK for 21 years. Her life story is not short of adventures, fears, conquers and resilience. From escaping from the war in Sri Lanka to becoming a dentist in the UK, Menaca shares what’s like to be an Asian woman, divorced and in the dentistry industry.
Menaca, please tell us how you survived the war? After witnessing death first-hand within a foot of me when I was a young adult at university, I decided to leave the country. As a child, I imagined the world around me was a fairytale until a personal experience when I was nine.
As we moved from city to city due to my father’s work, I had the opportunity to integrate with people from many backgrounds early on. Having friends of different ethnicities, studying in both Sinhalese and Tamil, and having lived in different neighbourhoods made me realise that someone’s behaviour depends on their individual personality, not their ethnicity. The community spirit and camaraderie
I witnessed growing up inspired me to find ways to help rather than wallow in sorrow. After you moved to the UK, you became a dentist, a mum and a wife. Do you suffer any kind of criticism from the Asian community because you are now divorced? I have faced both judgement and criticism. However, I have very supportive friends. By accepting me for who I am rather than for my marital status, they gave me the courage to be authentic. They encouraged me to grow and move forward. Initially, I imbibed what everyone said, let their comments and actions affect me and felt sad with their reactions. Once I embraced the fact that I am not defined by what people think and say about me, it was liberating.
silence, seek help and advice. Today, many organisations offer guidance and support. It’s worth exploring what you want to achieve long-term, what the overall impact of the relationship on you is, and what you would decide to do if your days were numbered on this planet. My take on this is you cannot pour from an empty cup; you will not be able to share what you do not have with people you love, including your children. “Live and let live” by being around positive people who uplift you. If you could change something in your culture today, what would that be? Create a tolerant, non-judgemental, inclusive society where no one is marginalised, criticised and isolated for the life choices they make. Hence, I address topics that challenge the traditional social stigmas on the ‘Meet Menaca’ talk show to raise awareness and create a more inclusive society. We must embrace change, adapt to the challenges, and make a positive impact on everyone beyond our beliefs and cultural norms. My long-term vision is to create training centres for women in Asia to help them materialise their dreams regardless of their backgrounds. With education, personal development and financial independence come greater choice. By addressing and challenging social stigmas, we can co-create a society where each of us can thrive regardless of our individual circumstances and choices. Do you think British-Asian families are more likely to accept divorce than Asian born and bred families? Why? I’ve been blessed with my immediate family, as they have supported me throughout my life through all my ups and downs. They are not British-Asian; in fact, my parents still live in Sri Lanka. However, working with clients and speaking to people, I have noticed a difference in their perspectives. I’m aware of the general stigma due to cultural beliefs and moral values about marriage. My view is that marriage is a great institution, provided both partners nourish each other and grow together. On the contrary, if someone decides to separate or divorce, they must not be victimised. They should have the freedom of choice and we must respect everyone’s decisions, regardless of our prejudices. What’s your advice for Asian women who are suffering in silence in their marriage? You are the only one who is entitled to decide the relationship. If you are suffering in
Culture & Society
P WER By Rafael dos Santos
Megan, 12 What does it mean to be a power girl in today’s time? In today’s time being a power girl means standing up for a girl’s rights and beliefs and not letting anyone, whether that’s a boy or a girl, bring you down. It means not putting anyone under peer-pressure and making sure that everyone feels like they belong in society. Being a power girl means to show boys that we deserve equality.
What do you like most about being a power girl? The thing I like most about being a power girl is knowing that I don’t need to change for anyone. I like knowing that one day my voice will be heard, and I will make a change in society. Girls will follow in my footsteps and make sure that their tiaras and crowns don’t fall. I believe that we will all be equal someday.
If you could make one change in the world for the better, what would it be? I would change how men treat women and I would ensure that everyone has equality. One day men will understand what women go through and they will treat us with more respect. My wish is for equal rights for women, and for women not to be shamed or put under any pressure; we should all be happy
Ella, 12 What does it mean to be a power girl in today’s time? In today’s time talking about being a power girl means having gender equality globally. Women’s voices need to be heard, we are strong, and it is important that we are heard. A woman knows they are strong when they look in a mirror, they know they can't be dragged down by anyone they meet.
What do you like most about being a power girl? The thing I like most about being a power girl is having my voice heard by others and having the right to speak my opinions. People say, ‘women belong in the kitchen’, but NO they don’t, they belong in the world, the real world where they are respected. This is why I like being a power girl, because people listen, they understand what women go through. Girls, make sure your crowns are not falling.
If you could make one change in the world, for the better, what would it be?
If I could change something in the world it would be how people are treated. If we look back over the past few years, you can see people treating others badly, and you can see the pain that others experience when they are treated badly. We need to try and change the way people act in life; we should all treat each other better.
Photo by Alejandro Olmo
Empowerment Through Education
Ragne Sinikas is the Founder of World Women Conference & Awards, which is is the foremost international gathering of women leaders designed for women to share their opportunities and experiences in a number of areas. She is also the Founder of Starpreneurs TV, a digital marketing platform, as well as being a speaker and award-winning podcast host
The Problem is the Power, The Solution is to Empower. I strongly believe that violence against women will only end when gender equality and the full empowerment of women becomes a reality. How can women become empowered? To be empowered is to authentically step into who we are as women. We need to embrace the feminine. We should question the very masculine world that we have helped to create. We have to take 100% responsibility for what is happening in our society. We cannot wait for someone else to fix it. Something that will be absolutely key is committing to educating and inspiring future generations in a different way. To do that we must first look at ourselves and understand what it means to be authentic. What are our real values and beliefs? Who are we, really, underneath all of the doubts, fears and insecurities? Who do we need to become? What energy do we want to take out into our society? It is this truth that will impact and change our ecosystems. Why? Because having the courage to bring our whole selves into our leadership has the power to change the world. So how can we truly empower in our community and create sustainable impact? Through my work Pho to b y Dia na U with girls and women I have nt identified the following key areas to do so. Empowerment is the “can do” factor.
It is going from “I cannot” to “I can.” I guess we all have felt small or thought, “what does my small contribution count for?”, or “who am I to make a change?”. You need to stop that. Step into your power and be the change maker your people, community and the world need you to be! As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Whether in poor or rich countries, girls and women are empowered through three main practices: Self-awareness or awakening, Experience, and Education. With better awareness we can make better choices and better choices help us to get better results. Women are building their “empowerment strengths” by using two core tools: Voice and Choice. They are using their voices to speak up for themselves, and more importantly, for others who cannot. They also, consciously and intentionally, make different choices to make changes in their lives. In order to see the change and impact of empowering through education we need to act as a society. We need to commit to fighting inequality by prioritising strong and sustained investments in girls at all levels of the education system. As well as promoting the realisation of girls’ rights, we know that safe, inclusive and gender-responsive education is essential to future prosperity, gender equality, and ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This is how our women can become empowered, be at peace and be safe. Right here and right now you have a choice. You can either accept your life by just going with the flow and repeating it until you die, or you can finally step into your power and actually change yours or someone else's Life. Get to work! Get it done!
Culture & Society
KAMALA HARRIS: A New Hope for the Next Generation of Ladies
Professor Chris Imafidon, a multi-Guinness World record holder; Internationally renowned adviser to monarchs, governments, presidents and corporate leaders; Mentor to New York Times Bestellers and a Sunday Times Op-ed author. [Twitter @ChrisImafidon; Instagram @CoImafidon; Facebook/Linkedln –Professor Chris Imafidon].
Kamala Harris means a new era for the world, not just the USA Since Ms. Kamala Harris arrived at the White House as the second-in-command of the world’s largest democracy, the leadership cloud has lifted for every girl-child. Ms. Harris is now the visible hope for every girl, every Black child, and every kid from any single parent. This singular election represents the unravelling of a new nation of equity and universal education. Before this inauguration, the most powerful positions belonged exclusively to men, Ivy League educated Black men, or highly connected families. Women belonged to the bedroom, and not the boardroom. Girls had their ambitions met in the kitchen or in homemaking, but certainly not in nation building. The majority of ladies were seen as existing mostly for procreation or recreation as opposed to corporate creation. Black girls were prepared for servitude and silence, they were to be seen and not heard. The unsung chorus was that “Black lives do not matter”. The universal response was “neither do ladies matter”. Then 42
came Kamala from California. Really? Kamala, daughter of Harris who was born in segregated America, took the non-traditional route and fought with her parents against everything that America represented. And today girls and women everywhere can look beyond the traditional roles and climb the highest mountain of power and privilege, irrespective of gender or race. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, most girls know where their mothers work and that tends to inform their professional preferences and pursuits in life. It no longer matters if you are from the deep South, rich North, East or West. So, it is obvious why it took over 200 years for
this miracle of a female Vice President to happen. How can the daughter of an Indian and Jamaican travel across the nation and shatter every glass ceiling? It comes down to parenting, mentorship, drive, determination and education. It is crucial to understand that every child is born a genius. Harris frequently references her upbringing in California, almost as frequently as Britain’s Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Diane Abbott, or Dawn Butler reference their own upbringings. Same goes for the first woman to be made Director-Gener-
al of the World Trade Organisation, Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Iweala. Their similarities reveal more about the debate of all-girls’high school against career education. This is more significant than just a mere symbolism for “smart girls” vs. supported girls. The story of every girl is different but there are fundamentals which determine pioneers versus pen-pushers.
first Black female presidential aspirant suffered. Ms. Harris, as a child, attended many civil rights and political meetings accompanied by her parents, Mrs. Shyamala Gopal Harris, and Professor Donald Harris. The fact that Ms. Kamala Harris attended a non-Ivy League historically Black college/University (HBCU) is further testament to the significance of early education as a foundation for success. HBCUs such as Howard University are unique to the USA as a legacy of segregation in education and that plants a seed of discord because of the underfunding and associated disadvantage. South Africa has since updated its universities to achieve some degree of equity and meritocracy. Speaking to Howard students recently, the then Senator Harris said “You students have joined the fight for justice - you protested. From the streets of Ferguson to the halls of the United States Congress, you have lived the words of James Baldwin, ‘There is never a time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.’”
All Black women understand how slavery differs from service. This generation seems to have completely forgotten that a Black man, Charles Curtis, on March 4th, 1929 was asked to serve President Herbert Hoover as Vice President until March 4th, 1933.
If America wants a steady supply of women and Black leaders, the work must start early. It begins from schools, colleges and universities all the way to internships and exposures. It must acknowledge that everyone is born a genius, irrespective of gender, race or background, and so there is a need for universal access to Ivy League education for every child regardless of economic status.
What is clear is the changing roles of ladies. Besides the above, every girl who saw the swearing-in-ceremony sees the increasing role of women in the world’s most prominent democracy. It does not matter if you come from an Asian, or Black background. Harris’ political opponents called her a “monster”, which really means fearless and confident. This is exactly what Shirley Chisholm, the
Then it will be visible to all girls that they also belong to the boardroom instead of just the bedroom, and belong to the Kitchen cabinet in Washington rather than the Kitchen in Wyoming. We know why company creation is more in Silicon Valley, it’s because of the pipeline in the universities and colleges. The magic is education which is designed to express the genius in each individual. 43
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Training & Development
on Finding a Job in the New Normal
Sophie shares her insights and what drove her to pursue a career in graduate recruitment. I don’t think anyone sets out to have a career in graduate recruitment if I’m honest. I didn’t even really know that it existed as a career until I sort of fell into it, and then I fell in love with it. The community of people who work in graduate recruitment is really fun, and I love working with universities and with students. I’d say graduate recruitment is the fun side of recruitment! It’s also really rewarding to see the results we can produce — we run large scale assessment centre simulations for universities to put their students through, and to hear feedback from students about how the simulations raise their confidence and help them to get a job is so rewarding. It’s quite an uncertain time for graduates who are job hunting at the moment, so what would be your top 3 tips for making an application stand out?
My third tip would have to be related to networking. There are still jobs, and the graduate market tends to bounce back quite quickly, firstly because graduates are seen as good value, but also because what employers have realised in previous recessions is that if they freeze their graduate recruitment or cut it back too much, then it causes shortages a few years down the line. So my advice would be to sign up for all the graduate job websites that you can so that you get alerts for roles that you’re interested in, try and speak to people that work at companies you want to work for, follow them on LinkedIn, and be proactive in finding out what opportunities are available. Then, when you find a suitable role, go back to my first tip, and apply for it! Your new book is called “The Ambition Accelerator”, and it’s about women and the job market. Do you think it’s been harder for you to get where you are because you’re a woman? Yes, in some ways. When I was younger, I never perceived
First thing is to actually apply. I think what’s going to happen right now is that there will be some students or graduates that think there’s no point, and actually, that’s not true. You need to be in the mindset of actually giving things a go in the first place, otherwise, you’ve got no chance. The second thing would be that if you were looking at going into an industry which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, like aviation for example, then it’s important to recognise that now probably isn’t the best time to apply for that industry. Consider temporarily finding work in another industry which will equip you with useful transferable skills that you can later bring back to your dream industry when everything has settled down a bit more. It’s about being patient and identifying what skills are transferable and relevant.
46 Unsplash @coleito
there to be any differences. I didn’t realise that sometimes women didn’t get paid as much as men, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought that I would have different career opportunities to a man. The point where it became clear to me was when I had my daughter. At that point, I realised it’s more about women who have children, rather than just women. In certain industries, women have been known to have a tougher time, not just mothers, as the culture can be quite challenging, but overall I actually think it’s more of a mother penalty, at least I only really noticed it when I became a mother. You’re expected to be a brilliant partner, a fantastic mother and at the same time be amazing at work. A lot of women go back part-time or take time out, and then they struggle to stay where they were in terms of male peers or females that haven’t got kids. So I think that’s the challenge, unfortunately. Initially, the book was just going to be the back story of my TEDx Talk, but over lockdown, I realised there was a brilliant opportunity to speak to other women while they had less going on in their lives. I interviewed 12 amazing women who I probably wouldn’t have had access to had things been normal, so I’m glad to have had that opportunity. So really, the book has gone from being this little idea about doing a back story to the TEDx Talk, to now covering all sorts of topics and challenges that women will experience and face in the career market. I’ve got a topic on work-life balance, stuff about the importance of choosing a good person to be your romantic partner (if you choose to have one), all sorts of important topics about women in the workplace. Sheryl Sandberg, the author of the book Lean In, said that the biggest career choice a woman will ever make is who her partner is. I read that when I was going through my divorce, and I thought, that’s actually really wise, because if you have someone that lifts you up and encourages you, then that will help you in your career, whereas if they tell you that you can’t do something, or if they try to distract you from your work, then they’ll have a negative effect on your career. At the end of each chapter of the book I’ve got action points to take away with you and act on, and then I’ve got tips from the women that I’ve interviewed. I did most of the interviews by Zoom, so I’ve now got the video footage too, which I’m going to release as a podcast at the same time as the book comes out, which will be at the end of November. What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? The greatest challenge I have had wasn’t a typical business
challenge, but I would have to say childcare. It shouldn’t be a business challenge, but actually, because I’m a single mother, it is. I set up the business in September 2013 with a business partner, and 6 months later, I was getting divorced, and my daughter had just turned 2. It was a nightmare. I was juggling a new business and caring for a toddler. Money was tight because I’d just set up a business. So I’m trying to balance being a good mum, growing a business, sorting out problems with keeping my house as I was newly self-employed and going through a divorce all at once. It was really hard. In terms of how I dealt with it, when I have tough times in my personal life, it encourages me to go harder into work. Work distracts me. If I’m working hard to grow a business that I’ll get some tangible return from, I can see the point of doing it. I was very honest with myself; I recognised that the next couple of years would be rubbish and that I wouldn’t be able to afford to do anything. It was rubbish, but I knew it was temporary. You have to have that belief in yourself that things will get better, because if you don’t, then things won’t get better. For 2 years things were really awful, and then they got better, they’re really good now. Despite everything that was going on, I never took a day off. Off the back of that, what’s been the highest point of your career? Last year was amazing! It was the dream business year. I sold the business to what is now CareerPass, which meant I could pay off my debts, and I got an amazing house, which is really big for me because it’s security for me and my daughter. On top of that, we won literally every business award we got entered for last year, which was so cool because nobody sees all the years of work that have gone into getting the award, but it represents so much hard graft. I also published my first book, which got loads of coverage within our industry press, and it was a bestseller in October! The business did triple what we did in the previous year, and we went into this year feeling really pumped, and then the pandemic interfered, but actually, we’re doing well this year too so I can’t complain. What do you want to be known for? I would like to see employability embedded in every degree in every university in the UK, because I feel like that levels the playing field for people who haven’t had as many opportunities as others. I’d also like to be known for having supported women in their careers, which is something I’d like to get a lot more involved within years to come.
Health & Wellness
Shawna Byrd (M.A., L.M.H.C.) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Florida. Her focus is helping working professionals overcome psychological barriers that hinder success. To learn more, see her Psychology Today profile at Shawna Byrd, Counselor, Clearwater, FL, 33763.
Do You Argue-Text? Four Reasons to Quit Now My client sits across the room from me, tears pouring down her cheeks as she fumbles in her bag for her cell phone. “I saved the text…can I read it to you?” she says. This is a situation I encounter many times a week. My clients bring their argument-by-text scenarios into sessions because they are hurt, angry and confused and are seeking my help with interpreting how a conversation with a partner quickly unravelled. As we evolve into our fast-paced, high-tech lifestyles, our text communication with each other becomes more frequent, but many times it is less clear. A 2016 article in Glamour quoted a digital life expert who advocated that text messages give us a chance to stop, think and clarify in a way that rarely happens with face-to-face Unsplash @tjump communication. Sitting in the therapist chair, I beg to disagree. I cannot recall a single client telling me “I typed a text, but then I took a deep breath, looked at it, and realized I was being passive-aggressive, and my boyfriend might misinterpret what I meant.” To be clear, I am not saying this would never happen, but I am saying that the rationale that texting allows for more intentional conversation is lofty and unrealistic in the heat of the moment. Here’s why:
We miss body language and tone. If you ever learned about the Mehrabian Communication Model in a psychology or communication class, you may remember the 55/38/7 rule. Fifty five percent of your communication is body language (this includes the subtleties of eye contact and facial cues), 38 percent is tone (vocal pitch and quality), and seven percent is words. What this model means is that our words communicate our ideas, but we back up their meaning and clarify our intent and emotions by using body language and tone. Which leads me to the next point.
Texting makes it easy to engage in avoidance, the tendency to move away from topics that are emotionally uncomfortable. But sometimes we must deal with messy emotions in relationships. Taking the avoidance route again and again means you and your partner will never develop the “muscle” that it takes to confidently move through the discomfort and find connection again.
We are arguing, so we already have a negativity bias, which means we look at the text and infer whatever hostility we can find. If there are unclear gaps, we fill in the blanks with the negative ideas we have and assume this is what our partner means. Assumptions in the communication start to pile up if we do not take the time to clarify (which can easily mean four to six more texts to gain clarity). When an argument is brewing, do you honestly take that time to ask neutral clarifying questions without feeling provoked?
Texting allows for sarcasm. Ok, so I’ll throw myself under the bus with this one. When I start to feel angry, I become sarcastic. As in very. If you can relate to what I’m saying, a sarcastic response to your partner fired off quickly before you click “send” can be like pouring gasoline on a forest fire.
Here is how to stop the flames from burning higher: The next time you start to notice you are sliding into negative feelings while you are texting your sweetie, dial the phone or make a video call. Tell them, “I love you and want to make sure I understand everything you are trying to say. You’re important to me.” You’ll be glad you did.
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Amazon Basic Curved Wine Rack, £26.66 (Buy here)
Is your mum a wine lover? Then why not gift her this lovely simple wine rack to store her favourite bottles in? This stylish wine rack can hold up to 14 bottles of wine, and the chrome design will fit into any household perfectly.
RITUALS, The Ritual of Ayurveda Gift Set, £29.90 (Buy here) Want to encourage your mum to take some pamper time? Then why not treat her to this luxurious and relaxing body care gift set! We’re sure your mum will love indulging in some me time with these Indian Rose and Sweet Almond Oil scented toiletries.
Maltesers Chocolate Truffles, £12.49 (Buy here) You can never go wrong with chocolates, right? This gift box is packed full of deliciously creamy Malteser truffles, so good you almost won’t want to give them away!
’ r e th o M
Gifts under £30
HoMedics Compact Percussion Massager, £39.99 (Buy here) This handheld deep tissue massager with heat is the ultimate relaxation tool. Being a mum can be stressful, so help your mum unwind with her own at-home full-body massager.
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2012 Box, £51 (Buy here) Champagne is one of the most appropriate gifts for a celebration like Mother’s Day, don’t you think? This bottle is from the exceptional Veuve Clicquot, and it is guaranteed to make your mum feel spoilt this Mother’s Day.
Hot Diamonds Spiral Silver and Diamond Earrings, £60 (Buy here) These beautiful earrings are crafted in the UK using 925 sterling silver and diamonds. They come in a luxury gift box, and are the perfect accessory for any stylish mum!
The Science of Spice by Dr. Stuart Farrimond, £20 (Buy here) If your mum is an adventurous cook, then this is the perfect present for her. This book explains the art of making delicious spice blends, as well as including recipes to show off your new skills. Your mum’s cooking is about to level up!
This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon, £24.99 (Buy here) Give your mum the gift of a good night’s sleep with this soothing sleep saviour from This Works. Not only does it help you drift off to sleep, but it also keeps your skin nourished with a blend of natural ingredients. Win, win!
Gifts between £30 and £60 Clare Florist Mixed Tulips Bouquet, £32.99 (Buy here) Flowers are a classic gift, and tulips are among some of the best of the bunch. Get your mum this beautiful tulip bouquet this Mother’s Day; they’re guaranteed to brighten up any room.
Vase in Mother of Pearl, £45 (Buy here) This beautiful vase has been hand painted to evoke the same luminous appearance as a pearl. The result is a shimmering effect, and the vase looks even more lovely when it is holding a bunch of flowers or greenery. The most stunning addition to your mum’s living room!
Cartwright and Butler Luxury Hamper, £79.99 (Buy here) This luxury hamper provides you with all the bits and pieces you need to give your mum a perfect afternoon tea this Mother’s Day. It comes in a beautiful wooden crate, making it just right for a special occasion.
Chanel Chance Eau de Toilette, £95 (Buy here) Perfume is another classic gift, and it doesn’t get more classic than Chanel. Help your mum feel glamorous by giving the gift of this gorgeous scent.
Gifts over £60 ghd Original Styler Professional Ceramic Hair Straighteners, £109 (Buy here) This is the ultimate tool for creating curls, waves or straight hair. Spoil your mum with these professional standard straighteners, helping her look her best every day.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser, £109.95 Tommy Hilfiger Tote Bag, £130 (Buy here) Treat your mum to a gorgeous classic tote bag this Mother’s Day with this staple Tommy Hilfiger bag. This stylish tote bag is timeless, so it’s a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.
(Buy here) Do you want top tier hot chocolate in your own home? Of course you do, and we’re sure your mum does too! The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser produces barista-quality hot chocolates and I promise it’s as good as it sounds.
Naeem Arif is a Director of United Carpets and the founder of NA Consulting, a Retail & Hospitality Consultancy in Birmingham. He is the Chair of the Midlands Retail & Hospitality Forum, a Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Forbes Business Council. Naeem is the author of several best selling books including ‘Customer First’ and ‘Customer Experience’.
Customer First Getting a Female Perspective In recent times there has been a big push around the world to try and address the balance of inequality in organisations, that for far too long seem to have been run by 50-year-old white males. Whilst there are many social reasons why this is wrong, I want to remind you that having a diverse work force makes more commercial sense. We live and work in a very diverse world, there can be no doubt about that. Organisations need to become more diverse in order to align themselves with the world today. Whilst many are thinking this way externally, they often forget the importance of being diverse on the inside as well. As organisations grow and evolve, having more female leadership brings variety to an organisation. In my experience I have worked with women who bring a nurturing approach to leadership. Through their own experiences they can bring a different method to building relationships and helping people achieve their potential. Other women can feel comfortable working with female leaders, and this can increase the team cohesion and productivity. Progressive thinking organisations will always want to retain their best talent and women need to see that there is a future for them. If they can see this, then they will strive to achieve even more because they will see that there is recognition for good performance. If you can get this right, then you will have a great culture internally which always leads to better customer service and engagement.
Marketing is about creating and sharing something that represents both yourself and your customer. What hasn’t changed though is the fact that marketing is complex, because it strives to understand human beings who can be challenging to satisfy. If a lot of buying decisions are made by women, then it would seem a good idea to get a female perspective on how to design a product and then position a product. In the short examples I have shared, I hope you can see why having a diverse workforce is not only a socially correct thing to do, but also a way to improve the profitability of your organisation. For me, as ‘The Customer First Enabler’, I strongly recommend that organisations who either employ women or sell to women, must look at this. In closing consider the following: What does your leadership team physically look like? Who are the role models that your employees look up to? What commitments have you made to ensure diversity in all parts of your organisation?
I believe marketing is the most important commercial function of an organisation; it is the reason why some brands can get us to pay for water in a bottle, when it’s freely available from a tap. Unsplash @linkedinsalesnavigator
Interview by Rafael dos santos
Raisa Flores, 28, is a CrossFit champion in Rio de Janeiro; she is winner of the Sunset WOD (2018), Interbald (2018), Rio Carioca Games (2018) and WOD Social (2019) awards. The athlete has been training since she was 13 years old and today, she is a CrossFit icon in Rio de Janeiro. She met with our Editor-in-Chief, Rafael dos Santos, to talk a little about sports, the life of an athlete and her professional future.
You've been training since you were 13; how did you start practicing bodybuilding and why did you decide to start? I started doing weight training at the age of 13 after receiving medical advice to start practicing physical activity in order to correct my posture and strengthen my muscles. My greatest incentive came from my father, who has always supported me and encouraged me to be as active and healthy as possible; he has been going to the gym since he was a teenager and knows the importance of physical activity and the benefits it can provide. When did you start taking bodybuilding more seriously and decide to work in the sports industry? When I turned 15, I was already becoming more interested in physical activity, mainly due to the changes that I could see in myself due to strength training. Aged 20 I decided to pursue a career as a physical educator, and at the end of 2017 I started at CrossFit as a trainer and practitioner. In 2018 I became a CrossFit athlete and won four championships, which was amazing. What is CrossFit and why is it different from other sports?
CrossFit is a sport where some of the main benefits are physical conditioning, improved breathing capacity and muscular endurance. In addition to being functional, it is high intensity, and it is always varied, making it a challenging sport in which you will notice an evolution after every workout. It has a variety of exercises and movements which allows it to escape being monotonous, therefore making physical activity more enjoyable. What is your diet and exercise routine? I try to maintain a totally balanced workout routine and diet, so I don’t deprive myself of eating a sweet or something I really enjoy, but I do try to keep my diet as healthy as possible. My training routine runs from Sunday to Sunday. I always try to balance the CrossFit with the bodybuilding, as one complements the other, and when the activities are performed correctly, they can become great allies. I try to take a day off every week for "an active rest day", on which I practice low-intensity metabolic activity to aid recovery. Do you take supplements, and do you advise that other women take them? Currently
me build strength and whey protein to complement my daily dose of protein. The use of supplements is very important for evolution in physical activity, whether for competitive purposes or not. However, this use should be supervised and suggested by a qualified professional, as they will indicate which supplements are the best according to the specific needs of each patient, not least because some seek hyper-
trophy, others are looking to lose fat, and so on, and therefore the supplements required vary from person to person. What are your plans for the future in the world of sports? Nowadays I try to practice physical activity more for maintenance and health promotion, but I intend to continue in the sport as a coach and compete once or twice a year. Do you want to have children, and how would your body aesthetics be after motherhood? After I became an athlete, aesthetics became a consequence, while sport became a lifestyle. We always try to be as healthy as possible and aim for top performance in sport. Motherhood is in my future plans, and I intend to keep up my exercise and healthy diet if I do become pregnant, of course with adjustments to make sure they are suitable for pregnancy. At the end of the day, my appearance can be easily adjusted with consistency and dedication post-pregnancy.
Beauty & Fashion
Renata Aron is 2020’s winner of the Fashion category at the Best of Brazil European Awards. She is the founder of Nothing To Wear Image Consultancy and the NTW app, as well as being on the board of AICI Portugal and having created the Impulse Method.
We Need to Move Away from
We are surrounded by beauty standards. How much we should weigh, what our hair should look like, what body shape is the most attractive, the type of clothes we should be wearing, what hobbies we should have... the list goes on. It is these impossibly high standards of perfection that have led women to become ill, to hate themselves, and to have serious problems with their self-esteem. But this isn’t a new phenomenon; beauty standards have existed throughout the history of humanity, and they have always had devastating effects. In each era, in each generation, a new beauty standard will take over, something different comes to be seen as beautiful, and the women who don’t fit this new standard end up feeling awful about themselves. These standards change depending on the historical, cultural and social contexts of the era, and, if you ask me, also thanks to capitalism.
becomes far easier for a new beauty standard to manifest itself in society. Not looking like the people we see on social media can leave us feeling frustrated, and that in turn can allow a lot of other emotional problems to develop. In my opinion, the biggest problem is that these beauty standards are totally unrealistic. There are already studies which demonstrate a huge increase in illnesses such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression and stress. In addition to being a major social problem, the ideal of beauty which has been drilled into us over time has created a stereotypical idea of beauty which does not value difference and uniqueness. Of course, we are seeing some small changes in this area in advertising campaigns, which are beginning to showcase a more diverse range of races and bodies. But that is just the beginning. A lot of women feel as though they are trapped in a prison when it comes to their appearance. The best thing to do is to do a self-knowledge exercise which will help us become aware of our qualities and will allow us to accept them. That is the real concept of beauty.
In the past, we could blame the media in general for creating and spreading these beauty standards, that is, TV, cinema, magazines, the traditional media styles. These days however, social media has made the perpetuation of beauty standards a much bigger problem. Access to information is a lot easier and a lot quicker, and because of that it
Every woman is unique, she has her own qualities and fears, and she also has her own sense of courage. There is no rule for what you should deem pretty in yourself. It is feelings, experiences and perceptions that allow us to truly perceive beauty. Therefore, what becomes essential is feeling good in yourself. Self-knowledge and self-acceptance are the key points for falling in love with the most beautiful person in your life: YOU!
57 Unsplash @christya_v
Marketing & Branding
Entrepreneur Pierre Coombes is considered a leading authority in Sales & Marketing. He recently featured in BBC One’s show ‘Call That Hard Work?’, where he showed what it’s like to spend a day as a Telesales person in his award-winning B2B lead generation agency Big Wolf Marketing
Why Your Greatness Can’t Be Held Back “I’m a salesman”. – When you think about it, in this day and age it feels strange that I define my profession by adding ‘man’ at the end. We do this in so many different sectors. What is worse is that still so many people stereotype jobs, for example, Sales is seen as a male-led profession, a wide boys club. This image couldn’t be any further from the truth, on the contrary in fact, some of the best salespeople I’ve known in my almost 2 decades in the sector are women. In the past few years my appetite for knowledge has led me to reading about the history of mankind (even that word feels incorrect in our day). It’s incredible to see the journey that we have taken over the many thousands of years and how the world around us has impacted our evolution. Along this incredible timeline, our ancestors story emerges, and we unearth yet more as science. It’s shocking by measurement to realise that popular history’s insight into the fight for female equality only accounts for a mere few hundred years, when humans are thought to have lived over 70,000 years. I am sure there is so much more to it than that! What is unarguable though is how so much of the history we have today, taught in schools and popularised in movie and TV screens is that of men leading the world. Today we should be proud of the world we live in. While it’s not perfect, female success shines, thanks to the handful of generations that fought for change and stood for what they believed in, despite hate and persecution. While there are new frontiers to support the cause on, for example in less economically developed countries where the lack of education still allows tradition to excuse injustice, on the whole, change is happening.
and strength cannot be oppressed, and through difficulty and challenge comes greatness. Something we can choose to learn from history, and through the inspirational women that have stood to make a difference, is that no matter who we are, or what cause we believe in, if it’s in the vein of good, then perhaps we can be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. We can stand up for what we believe in and make that our purpose in life. This meanders down into our own individual lives, with personal beliefs and goals. If we choose to be unfiltered in our vision and do so with righteousness, we can make real definitive moves. It’s amazing how many new entrepreneurs I talk to in marketing amongst whom a common point that I often see is self-doubt. It’s important to know two things: if it’s been done before, then it can be done again; and we are not alone when we stand on the shoulders of giants. We live in a world today where change can happen, where even the smallest voice can, through perseverance, be heard, across a multitude of channels, online and real-world. Whatever you apply this way of thinking to, business & sales, education & life or politics & cause, the only person holding you back is you. Remember: ‘Your greatness can’t be held back’.
One day I hope we live in a world where sexism, racism, homophobia, and all other discriminatory nasties are no more. A world that celebrates and sees our individual differences and expressions as that which uniquely connects us rather than divides us. One powerful lesson to take is that true love, empathy,
59 Unsplash @punttim
“I am a winner, never a victim”
- An Interview with
DJ China L’One by Rafael dos Santos China L’One is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and was nominated for “Businesswoman of the Year” in 2018. She is an international DJ who runs a female-only DJ agency called We Run The World which is based in London and has done events for companies including Boots, Made in Chelsea, Morphe, and many more. Her agency has been featured in international publications including Forbes.
China L’One is a pretty cool name; tell me the story of it. Everyone use to call me China Black, saying I have Chinese eyes, but I am black. So, I kept China and added L’One for Sierra LEONE, which means China from Sierra Leone. Before then, my DJ name was Victorious G. Some family friends still call me Victorious G, which means winner! You have shared your story of being a refugee from Sierra Leone who had difficulty speaking as a child. Now you are a successful female DJ – how did you overcome adversity? I always overcome adversity by applying my Christian faith, reading, using books by Christian authors, and committing to my personal development by reading motivational books and attending business leaders’ seminars. At the age of 16, I started reading books such as Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers and Christian authors’ books such as Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. Working on my personal development through reading self-help books has been a stepping-stone to fostering my confidence and belief in myself. I was extremely honoured to receive an RSA award from the Royal Society of Arts in 2000, and the society introduced me to Toastmaster International. Joining Toastmaster International was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The organisation changed my ability to speak in public and helped me with my speaking overall. I can confidently say I wouldn’t have been able to speak as eloquently as I do now had it not been for them. Although I went to speech therapy, it was Toastmaster International that helped me with my speaking than any other method did.
DJing is a predominantly male industry, as we know. You’ve gone beyond just being a DJ, as you have also created a female DJ agency. Why did you do it? Was it hard to break into the industry? In 2012, I created an all-female DJ agency, We Run The World Female DJ Agency, to help raise female DJs’ profile worldwide and endeavour to make an inroad to a male-dominated industry. I wanted the world to become more conscious of female DJs, and to be more deliberate in choosing female DJs as a DJ over their male counterparts for events. It’s tough to break into the music industry as a female DJ, especially if you are striving to stand out and follow your vision rather than being a sheep following or going with the flow of what everyone else is doing. If you are not on the radio
Culture & Society or have no desire to be on the radio, it can be challenging.
ly one of my favourite cities to date.
Creating We Run The World Female DJ Agency provided the platform for established female DJs to be booked; however, we are not a management agency. We also provide coaching and mentoring to aspiring female DJs at the agency.
What is your dream place to DJ? Why?
Do you think black women are underrepresented in the music industry? Of course, there are not enough black women on the front line in the music industry. I have never allowed that to cause fear in my mind or stopped me from pursuing my dreams as a DJ, though. However, the presence of black women in the industry is definitely beginning to slowly change since the start of the Black Lives Matter campaign. We live in a society where we have preconceptions about people based on race, sexuality, gender... the list goes on. You’re a female black refugee - have you been a victim of racism, sexism or any other kind of phobia? I am a winner, never a victim. I have, however, come across people with prejudiced views about my race, sex or how I see the world, as well as people with unconscious bias. Having been born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone and then having come to the UK at the age of 13, I see the world differently from most people born in the UK. I am happy and I feel blessed to have been born in Sierra Leone because I appreciate everything and everyone. Because of my commitment to my personal growth, through reading self-help books and my spiritual teaching, I try not to allow another person’s way of thinking affect my decisions in life or how I feel about myself. Though it can be challenging, I make it my number one goal to continue to focus on my personal development. I look at people for who they are; I try to see the best in them, rather than judging them for what they might be or for their weaknesses. My own life is my priority, not other people’s lives and how they choose to be or live.
Las Vegas would be my dream place to DJ. The lights, the glam, the city and the show! Some DJs that I have come across over time have shared some fantastic stories about DJ’ing there! It would be a dream come true to DJ in Las Vegas, maybe opening for a big show night or playing for a night club. Who are your role models? My mum is one of my role models. When I was seven years old, my mum was a single mother raising me; she was a qualified Midwife, had a part-time job at a pharmacy and also had her own business all at the same time. She was very hardworking and gave me everything as a child and looked after her mother too. I admire that very much. What advice would you give to girls who want to be female DJs? Work on having a thick skin. Work on your mental and emotional health. Know the type of music you want to DJ very well. Work on your craft, your mixing ability. Build a fan base of people who like your mixes and upload mixes regularly. Network with promoters and other male and female DJs to know what’s going on in the industry or news. And join an agency if you want to work with big brands, not just clubs, as most brands will go through an agency rather than directly to the DJ. Finally, have fun, and enjoy the process and be patient! What is your message for women around the world? Be your own friend; give yourself advice as you would to a friend. Love everything about yourself, the bad and the good. Take time out from your daily tasks to know yourself, the world preys on people who don’t know who they are or where they are going. Remind yourself daily how great, strong, beautiful, and unique you are because you need to hear those words every day. Don’t be afraid to stand out; it’s OK if some people don’t understand you or judge you or even speak ill of you. You cannot control what people say about you, but you can choose how you react to it. Someone once said, ‘Focus on your character and your reputation will take care of itself.’ Continue to laugh every day, find joy in every little thing you do and keep believing that happiness is always within us, not outside of us. Beauty is everywhere we go; do keep looking for it. Favourite film: Sound of Music Favourite food: Food from Sierra Leone! Favourite song: True to Myself - Eric Benét Favourite playlist: Gospel Hits
d me an
What is the most memorable party you ever played at and why? In 2013 I DJ’d in Malmo in Sweden at a club night that over 3,000 people attended. It was in a triple storey nightclub, and I remember arriving in Malmo and seeing my flyers on the street, it was overwhelming! The flyers said, ‘London’s Number 1 Female DJ’ China L’One’, and it was incredible to see. It was the first time I had ever visited Malmo. I absolutely loved the city. I felt at home there. Everyone had a bicycle; I felt so peaceful, so still, so calm. The promoters, the guests, everyone was so happy to see me and welcomed me with open arms. Malmo is definite-
Favourite male DJ: Calvin Harris Favourite female DJ: Maya Jane Coles Favourite singer: Anita Barker Favourite club in the world: Pacha - Ibiza, Spain Favourite clothing brand: Gucci Favourite hairstyle: fringe, long hairstyle, red or blonde High heels or flip flops? High heels Beach or mountain? Beach Summer or Winter? Summer Sea or lake? Sea
Beauty & Fashion
& y t u Bea care r i a H
s e v a H t s u
Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush, £12 (Buy here)
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If your hair always ends up in knots and tangles, then it sounds like you need a Tangle Teezer! This amazing little brush detangles your hair without causing you any pain whatsoever, and what’s more, it comes in a huge range of colours, so you can look stylish even when brushing your hair!
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Health & Wellness
Wake Up the
Spirit Within You! Martina Coogan is better known as the Metaphysical Monarch. With over 20 years experience of teaching ancient lineage healings and tools of power which balance the human energy fields, mental and emotional bodies, she specialises in empowering people to achieve inner peace and opening and developing spiritually. Reach her at her website.
As we approach International Women’s Day this year, we once again look at all the powerful influential female leaders we have in our lives and honour them and the women before them who paved the way for where we are today in society. Thank you one and all! We hear a lot about gender and the many aspects of this topic. All around us, especially now in this Covid Era and with all the changes of these times, this topic is prominent. If you look at a human, you first see the physical body and identify it as female or male. However, if we go past the physical body, we sense the energy and the spirit of the being. Every human has this as part of their energetic makeup which we call the Spirit. The Spirit of each human is unique and expresses itself in its own individual and unique way. We know from science that the DNA of a woman holds unique qualities while men have their own qualities unique to them. These are stored deep within and are the things that make us connect and come together with one another. This is a common attraction or common denominator.
cally. It is essential that all women feel safe, secure and empowered from within. The spiritual connection to oneself facilitates an awakening. It’s so important and truly impactful on the progression of humanity, especially for women. When each of us women know ourselves and our personal power, we become community supporters, leaders, and motivators with great power and passion. This is a role that women have always held in society. The more awake we are on all levels, the more we can progress as individuals, as humans. Once men and women are in harmony we can live in peace as one race. For this reason, it is crucial that we ignite the curiosity in each other to awaken to who we truly are. Once we stand in alignment within ourselves, we can find our mission, create our vision and live the happiest lives every day!
The Spirit of a woman is different from that of a man, just like the physical body has its differences. Each one of us must wake up the spirit within. For women it is most important to reach alignment, inner fulfilment, and freedom. For over 20 years I have served both men and women on their spiritual journey, and I have more female clients than men. For every 100 clients, 70% is female and this is an international statistic. This does not make women more spiritual than men. However, it does indicate that for a woman to truly embody her purpose and be fuelled by her passion in life, she needs to embrace and align herself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physi-
Health & Wellness
Adam is a certified independent teacher of Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness facilitator, and Reiki Master. Teaching his processes internationally, both faceto-face and online, he is now based in Sydney, with a large client base in London.
But Get Work Done! “Once I get this, I will be happy...”, “Once I achieve that, I will be happy...”. Perhaps you have found yourself in this mental trap? “I’ll put my life on hold until I have x, y, z...”. It is very normal to want to expand in life; we may want to improve our business, health or upgrade our lifestyle. Our drive to improve our life circumstances can help us to move mountains and inspire people to improve their lives. Whatever motivates you to succeed, never allow yourself to feel unsatisfied in life. Now, this may go against all you have heard! There is a school of thought that advises that you should never be satisfied. Always strive for more, always look to be better and so on! Motivational speakers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders (whatever that is!), will often encourage this. And I (partly) agree. Yes, work towards your goals. Let passion and love for your end result motivate you to create more but never strive for dissatisfaction. To create from a place of lack, unhappiness and being ill-at-ease means you put a lot of energy into something you do not want. To curse or hate the present moment brings an uncreative charge to your life. To live a life where you are never satisfied makes your journey much tougher. Finding happiness in your day becomes impossible and motivation to continue soon becomes a grind. Each morning you wake not feeling excited or inspired to create but tired and ready to fight. It is a fight that you will ultimately lose. This is because you only have so much energy and so much drive and when things do not go your way, you can only struggle uphill for so long before you become demotivated.
Appreciate you as you are. Recognise you in the present moment. Where are you right now and can you be happy with that? It is OK to feel proud of what you have achieved so far in life. For some, merely living through the day is an achievement. Look at yourself as the brilliant, flawed being that you are! Maybe your business has not taken off as quickly as you wished but that does not make you a failure. See the present moment and the gifts it brings. With an appreciation for self, gratitude for what is and an eye on your goal, you can muster the energy to create what you love. That charge can be guided towards fulfilling your dream. Contentment isn’t a weakness or an excuse for laziness, it is an opportunity to see what you have realistically. To get to any destination, you need to know where you are. Hating your current reality doesn’t speed the process up but it does make it more unpleasant. When you do achieve your goal, whatever that may be, you can speak of the hardships and lament on the let downs you experienced. Or you can celebrate the journey that strengthened you, gave you greater focus and enabled you to serve others with your unique product or service! Be content now, but get your work done!
Shift focus. Bring your attention to your original motivation and the love of what you do. Remember the excitement you felt when you started your new journey. Acknowledge the work done to get to this point and the people who helped you and be grateful for it. Be content with what you have. Appreciate the present as it is. Unsplash @ante_kante
Training & Development
Mary Senkowska is the youngest PCC Certified Coach in the world. She has been shortlisted for “The 20 Most Successful Businesswomen to Watch in 2021”. With 10 years of experience in training & development, she is passionate about inspiring leaders to create sustainable positive change in their businesses.
Do You Suffer from a Success Bias? Harsh truth #1: Comparing ourselves to other people’s timelines As a child, I never understood what International Women’s Day was supposed to be there for. Are we celebrating just the pure fact that we are of a female sex? How’s that a benefit? Then I think of the type of content that was used to promote the day, showing how those amazing women tackle the impossible, get a seat at the “big boys” table, make a career against all the odds, and I can’t stop myself thinking where would I classify in that ranking? And yes, this is also pointing out (not accidentally) that the narrative that highlights “big boys” stuff and having a career against all the odds is, frankly, just misplaced, but think about it this way, how much more empowered and fulfilled would you feel if you were free of asking yourself these questions: How far along a success timeline am I? Am I still “on track” or am I 30 and just realising I don’t absolutely love what I am doing yet, and am wanting to start over at 30, 40, 50..?
I am just getting my career started but isn’t it time for a
I am single when actually I should be getting married and settled at this stage? Isn’t it too early or too late for my own business? You are not too late, too early, behind or ahead of others, on the “right” or “wrong” path. You are on you own adventure, going on your own road, getting fulfilled by doing what is good for you and you only. Find your purpose and you’ll begin to understand your path. Harsh truth #2: Hanging on to stuff forever Do you remember that conversation by the coffee machine where your boss looked at you a bit funny? Are you obsessing over a few scenarios, thinking of what you could have done differently about last week’s team meeting so that your team-
mate wouldn’t have felt put on the spot during the discussion? Does that piece of negative feedback that you felt was a complete misjudgement still hurt when you think about it? LET THAT GO. We all tend to hang on to stuff forever. Whether it’s a teeny tiny failure or major screw up, we wrap it up in some cling foil so that we can see it clearly, but the feeling won’t spoil over time and we set it on a little shelf in our brain to keep coming back to. That distract us, puts us in distress and negatively affects something we already struggle as a gender with – confidence. Think about all these situations as food for your talent muscles. What do you do with food? You eat it. Once situations happen, the food is in your mouth. Whether it’s good or bad (healthy meal or sour jelly), you have got to digest it. As your body digests, it picks what’s nutritious for you and gets rid of the rest (I don’t think I have to visualise that for you). Do the same. Digest situations. Oh, and remember, often toxic behaviours from other people can feel like they are your fault, but remember that some behaviours tell you more about that person than you. Harsh truth #3: How you frame it is how you get it Did you know that there’s actual research showing that happy couples take little mean jokes as a proof of the compatibility and love they share, whereas couples experiencing problems take the very same jokes as these little things that just move the needle the wrong way? That is a great example of how negligent we are of the process of framing, often leaving it to the unconscious. When an event happens, your brain tries to understand it by assigning a meaning to it. That is when an emotion is born. When you consciously assign a meaning, you control the emotion that this event will be categorized by. Know what emotions are good for you. Choose them.
What is Amazon Wedding List? Amazon Wedding List offers couples access to over 250 million products, from glassware to guitars, and toasters to trampolines. With lots to choose from, spouses-to-be can create a wedding gift list that’s as unique as they are. Benefits of Amazon Wedding List include: Recommendations of popular wedding gifts Share your wedding list with friends and family at the click of a button, via social media or email Downloadable thank you list to easily track gifts Free shipping for Prime members or on orders over £20 (restrictions apply). Use Amazon’s Universal Wish List tool to add gifts from around the web to one wedding list. Personalise your list with pictures and notes, and highlight the items that you love the most.
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Marketing & Branding
Sahar is a video editor who studied in Lebanon, and now has over 4 years’ experience. Her clients include SME businesses, influencers, fitness gurus, and many more. With over 1 million views across YouTube and social media, Sahar helps clients grow their social presence and stand out in a competitive market.
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BUSINESS THROUGH VIDEO There is no doubt that women are making increasingly impressive strides in the world of business. Nothing has exemplified this more than the recent IPO of Bumble, led by its founder and CEO, a 31-year-old woman from Utah – the company now (at the time of writing) has a market cap of just under $9bn. The dating app, which famously has a women-message-first policy, has been praised for protecting and empowering women, giving them the first move whilst shielding them from the barrage of unwanted messages other dating apps were unable to prevent. The message of empowering women has rightfully hit home with many of us over the past few years, and encouraging women, whether that is in business or simply in their everyday lives, has started to become part of the focus of many campaigns. The everyday woman Over the past 5 to 10 years attention has started to turn towards the disapproval of unrealistic body standards and stereotypical roles. Businesses need to think carefully about including these stereotypes in their promotional videos and marketing, and a wrong step could greatly harm consumers’ view of your brand. On the other side of this, there is now a great opportunity to use your brand to promote “real” women and give others confidence. A classic example of this in the UK is Dove’s “real beauty” advertising campaign which featured “ordinary” women as opposed to models in their TV adverts. The super-woman Whilst some businesses have focused on the everyday, others have looked at high performance women bosses who rule in work and life. People like Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand who became only the second political leader to give birth whilst in office, who are seen as powerful but fair.
Of course, with empowerment comes the message that all women are superheroes - that single mum balancing childcare with work, the student studying to change the world of science. There are a thousand different ways of conveying your message, however getting it right is absolutely key. Communicating your message The first thing to consider in relation to your promotional videos is tone - are you looking for a comforting, confidence boosting advert, or an all-action problem-solving advert? The pace of editing will have a massive effect on how the message is conveyed. Slower transitions can give a sense of calm, whereas quick cut-shots can imply urgency. Accompanied with the right sound, a slow-moving piece can come across as deep-thinking and powerful, with faster pace pieces bringing fun and laughter instead of action and drama. Then there is the colouring. Think about how the material should be framed - it may be that a shock of red demonstrates the confidence of the subject, or a cool blue gives
a sense of trust and assurance. Perhaps you wish you celebrate femininity with a light, or even bold, pink, or perhaps it is a combination of all of these that really works for you. Whatever it is and however you wish to communicate your message, there are a thousand ways in which women and all their achievements should be celebrated, and the availability of platforms to share this celebration means that it is an opportunity not to be wasted.
Nicole is a senior graphic designer and the “boss lady” of Green House Media. She is based in South Africa, but has worked with businesses across the world. Nicole is passionate about animal welfare, and her dream job is using graphic design to help animal charities to promote the work they are doing.
We Need to Recognise the Women of Art Growing up I had my fair share of female role models. My late mother, Diane Weatherby, my late gran, Patricia Wolhuter, my art lecturers, Andrea Zapp and Sharlene Khan, my Marketing and Design Mentor, Celéste Burger and the list goes on. I feel that in every aspect of your life you have a role model, and this month is the month to celebrate women. This month I am dedicating this article to Iconic Female Artists/Designers that I feel you should know. The general perception of Masterpiece and Master is strongly influenced by the fact that most of our old art history books and museums did not cover female artists. There are many, many amazing female artists and designers out there and they deserve the recognition. Female artists are still underrepresented in the museum landscape. The art market information company Artnet revealed in an analysis that between 2008 and 2018, only 11 percent of all work acquired by the top American museums was by women. Thus, when it comes to a historical understanding of art, there is still much work to be done to increase visibility for female artists and their work. So, my top 5 female artists are: Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) was a French American artist. Although she is best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the unconscious. These themes connect to events from her childhood, and she considered her work to be a therapeutic process. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists, and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement Carolyn Davidson - If there ever was a surprising “secret” in the design world, it is that perhaps one of the most famous logos of all time,
the Nike logo, was designed by a woman that no one knows. It was originally contracted for a mere $35 dollars (roughly $200 today). Susan Kare is a hugely significant figure in icon design, having designed internationally recognisable symbols for Apple, Microsoft, and PayPal. You would be surprised about how many icons you would recognise on her website! Sue Doeksen of Amsterdam is a true sight for sore eyes in that she is perhaps one of the few prominent designers today still working in the wonderful medium of cut paper. This was the medium that designer Paul Rand used in nearly all his designs and is also a medium that was sadly lost for the most part after the arrival of digital tools. There is something that cannot quite be replicated about it on a computer and for that reason I highly recommend checking out Sue Doeksen’s portfolio. Lastly, Elaine Sturtevant (American, 1924-2014). The works of Elaine Sturtevant (known by her surname) caused a double take; what at first looks like a painting by Andy Warhol or Jasper Johns is in fact her own work, appropriating the forms and techniques of the original to a disturbing degree of accuracy. Since 1964, Sturtevant has appropriated the work of her male contemporaries to question the hierarchy of gender, originality, and authorship, as well as the structures of art and culture. In fact, Warhol even consented to let Sturtevant use his screen maker to produce the same Marilyn screen that he used in his own work. As Sturtevant recalls, when Warhol was asked the details of his process, he would tell people to "ask Elaine”. There are, as stated previously, so many more amazing women of art and design that the world needs to learn and appreciate, but these are my top 5. “Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” - Barbara Januszkiewicz, Artist.