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How to start, scale or buy a business


Jan | Feb 2020 #2


STOPPING THE TROLLS How can we make female MPs safe?





16 STANDING TALL Gina Miller


Anne-Sissel Skånvik, Norwegian Air



Kerry Watkins, Social Brighton








How to start, scale & sell a business


NEXT ISSUE OUT late Februar y 2020

Jan | Feb 2020 #2


STOPPING THE TROLLS How can we make female MPs safe?





Anne-Sissel Skånvik is the Chief Communications Officer at Norwegian Air, one of Europe’s leading low-cost airlines. Dynamic spoke to Anne-Siss el about gender equality in aviation and her personal business journey


According to a recent survey, about 3% of CEOs in aviation are women and many of them are at lower-profile companies. Why is there a lack of female CEOS and what can be done? I think it is a real shame and it is obvious that this is a trend that needs to change. Diversity and inclusion is always good for business. The airline industry has historically been male dominated, but Norwegian has a strong tradition of practicing equality since its inception in 2002. Norwegian prides itself in maintaining a

talented and highly competent workforce and is committed to recruiting both women and men to key positions. In 2018, for instance, 44 percent were female and 56 percent were male and among our administrative staff, there is roughly an equal ratio of male to female staff. At the same time, our Board of Directors has more than 40 percent female representatio n. When companies actively practice equality, and I am proud to say that Norwegian does, we are at least heading in the right direction.




Can you tell us about your studying at the same time helped journey in becoming the Chief me in my future professional Communications Officer? career, especially to It’s been an exciting stay calm journey, and keep a cool head in difficult I started my career as a journalist and stressful situations. at the age of 17, which was a great My experience from steppingstone to where working I am in the Norwegian today. Combined with Ministry of my degrees Finance under five different in political science, journalism ministers from different political and management I had the right parties – including Labour and tools and background to explore various avenues within Public Affairs and Communica tions I’ve always enjoyed a busy routine, looking after I E W while working three children and


the what is around not knowing ters Close encoun next corner. as c animals such with majesti giraffe or rhino leopard, lion, away. I can’t take your breath type of holiday think of another impact on huge a that has such to you have been people. Once return. to want Africa you always


any experience you for Did the way? South Africa challenges along so You lived in did your career Nothing happens quickly repeat nine years, how in the UK? patience and that fe you learn there differ to (This is Africa). ce in work-li the mantra TIA think The differen felt huge. Cape Although frustrating, I balance initially for being me deal with made known has in Town is well sly this challenges having previou problems and than laid back and with better far hours g long workplace been workin I was the es it felt like I used to. tight deadlin was a huge back. Becoming a parent ity getting my life as a destination challenge. Limited matern Selling Africa a are costs and there made pay, private healthcmeant I was and being based s my knowledge to problem ce staffing huge differen weeks. of the region. g after six back workin tive We speak to and understanding have a suppor for travel were I was lucky to opportunities for a newborn was easy. Hazel Adeyemo The l and access partner but caring quotes plentifu out country a ng trying to send of Signature Safaris Living and breathiadds n wasn’t an extra whilst post c-sectio culture ch six weeks on her life-changing and itsion planned. to how you approa what we had . encounters with dimens life in general work and your

favourite place Where is your to visit? e to asking someon This is like te child! Each pick their favouri y – special memor place has a its most a in Zambia for been your South Luangw What has for having the e encounter? remoteness and magical wildlif seen. remember being most leopard I have ever the I will always in Kenya as boat on the Mara tender Masai on a small We tion, a hot in Botswana. l safari destina Chobe River the vast by the origina t over trip elephan of air balloon saw a herd our guide cut plains is a must. in river bank and go Delta and we slowly The Okavan the boat’s engine sat through Gliding s them. We na. ls in a drifted toward was Botswa water channe like hours but canoe for what felt s as the narrow a few minute nal Mekoro dugout probably only and traditio family, mum is so tranquil. the elephant has everything. splashed in and Africa South I safari, babies, played beaches, were so close Mountains, the water. We and so holding my breath amazing food and wine found myself much more. in case we moved.

on in three words hasn’t been Describe Africa For anyone that nging. nce? e the experie l, diverse, life-cha safari, describ ble Magica see an incredi Being able to its natural information husband in of wildlife in for ◗ For more gnature You met your he adjust to variety is so special and did email info@si environ ment Africa, how com or visit quite emotional. africansafaris. many to h life here? ent excitem reafricansafari easily althoug There is an g and signatu Surprisingly of fire. The in the mornin out g baptism a headin he had met his future first time he when we moved in laws was ! for three months in with them and friends Having family UK was a huge living in the also English is help. His ed that combin so t, excellen work ethic with a strong able to find . meant he was integrate quickly work and what he finds If you ask him probably say hardest he would for someone shock winter. It’s a life most of their lived has who in Africa.




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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Anne-Sissel Skånvik Norwegian Air




Fighting Breast Cancer



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW First Lady of English Sparkling Wine, Tamara Roberts

Who inspires me

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FROM 18.30 AT









Tables of 10







welcome Welcome to the second issue of Dynamic and we could not be more delighted with the response to the launch issue

It has been received with open arms and we had trouble keeping up with the demand. The comments we hear most often are: ‘Thank goodness, a serious magazine for women’; ‘It is packed with information and l am still getting through it’; ‘I have learnt so much from this one magazine keep them coming’. Our sincere thanks to you all and we will certainly ‘keep them coming’. We continue our efforts in lobbying government with our Flexible Working manifesto and were delighted to see some movement on this subject in the new governments own manifesto but it does not go far enough by a long shot. We will keep

the pressure on to bring equality to the workplace. Having a government with a real working majority for the first time since the Tony Blair days means that they have the opportunity to actually get things done and this can only be good for the country, and business as a whole. We sincerely hope you enjoy this second issue and we welcome your comments to dynamic@ The Dynamic Team


WWW.PLATINUMPUBLISHING.CO.UK DISCLAIMER All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Dynamic Magazine is owned and published by The Platinum Media Group.



Our illustrious steering committee guide the editorial tone of the magazine

JULIE KAPSALIS CEO Chichester / Crawley College Group

EMMA LANE Director Allied Irish Bank


ALISON ADDY Community Officer Gatwick Airport


VICTORIA KERTON ROSEMARY FRENCH OBE Regional Director Executive Director NatWest Gatwick Diamond Initiative

ABIGAIL OWEN Corporate Partner DMH Stallard

LOUISE PUNTER CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

LESLEY ALCOCK MAARTEN HOFFMANN Commerical Director CEO/Publisher The Platinum Group The Platinum Group


MAXINE REID Partner Quantuma

FIONA GRAVES Events Director The Platinum Group

ANA CHRISTIE CEO Sussex Chamber of Commerce

ALISON JONES Partner Kreston Reeves


IAN TREVETT Publications Director The Platinum Group

NICOLE KEMBLE Commerical Manager The Platinum Group


Well, wasn’t the inaugural edition of Dynamic well received? We were reasonably confident but keeping our fingers crossed that the magazine had the right tone, appealed to as wide an audience of businesswomen as possible, was informative but not intimidating, and was frankly a jolly good read! Yes, there will always be bits we can improve but the magazine will grow into its own skin, shaped by its readers and contributors. The end of 2019 was dominated by the election campaign. I was so excited that we were being offered so many female party leaders – the SNP’s incredibly strong Nicola Sturgeon, the determined Jo Swinson of the Lib Dems, the former small business minister Anna Soubry of Change UK, the Digital Crime Chair Liz Savile Roberts of

Plaid Cymru and the indefatigable Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. However, apart from Nicola in Scotland, the remaining female leaders stood little chance of getting to Prime Minister positions. Once again, the real contenders were firmly in the male camp. Indeed, I wonder how much of this is a case of the ‘glass cliff’, where women and other minorities are put into leadership positions during times of crisis. They are being set up to fail as if getting pushed over the cliff. I enjoyed listening to these inspirational women far more than the ugly party politics played by the men at every opportunity. Because women are so collaborative, would it not have been great to have a cross party of all our female leaders taking us forward?



A FEMALE FORCE A coalition of more than 100 women who have held leadership positions in some of Britain’s most influential organisations have joined forces to start a campaign to tackle the gender pay gap. Fronted by Moya Greene, the former boss of the Royal Mail, the campaign #MeTooPay, named in honour of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault, aims to tackle discrimination. The organisers have launched a website which will provide a platform where women can share stories about pay discrimination they have suffered.

{up f r o n t } All the latest bulletins from the world of business

Pay gap stagnation Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that progress towards closing the gender pay gap has stagnated for the past seven years, and between 2018 and 2019 the gap has widened for full-time workers. This has left women earning on average 8.9% less than their male colleagues – an improvement of just 0.6% from 2002. This slow progress, according to ADP’s 2019 Workforce View report, has left UK employees impatient, as over two-thirds state that they would consider looking for another job if there was an unfair gender pay gap at their company.


LATIN AMERICAN INNOVATORS While women remain underrepresented in STEM fields worldwide, Latin American women are innovating today more than ever. Just 12% of engineers were women in 2013, today, women make up 35% of STEM students in higher education, driving a significant part of Latin America’s innovation revolution.





The Golden Years guide Baby-boomers looking to find fresh purpose in life, and younger readers trying to gain insight into their elders may be interested to read more of Sussex-based coach Sheila Rantor’s new self-help manual. Boomer Warrior: How to Live with Purpose and Power in your Third Age highlights experiences from Sheila’s life in executive coaching to help her peers make the best of their golden years, whilst avoiding the sense of life passing by. Boomer Warrior is available for Kindle (RRP: £4.99) and in paperback edition (RRP: £9.99) from the Amazon bookstore.

THE PIANO FILMMAKER TOPS BBC POLL In BBC Culture’s Critics poll of the 100 greatest films by women, Jane Campion’s The Piano was chosen as the number one film in a remarkable list that showcases more than 100 years of female filmmaking. In 1993, Jane Campion made history when she became the first woman (and the first New Zealander) to receive the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.


OF BRITISH WORKERS WOULD RATHER HAVE FLEXIBLE WORKING OPTIONS THAN A PAY RISE Proprietary research from ETZ Payments reveals that over 35% of British workers would rather have flexible working options than a pay rise. This applies to 41% of middleclass professionals – 7.4 million people. Furthermore, nearly half of the UK workforce – 47% of British workers – would convert from 9-5 to working flexibly if they knew that they would get paid regularly.

The formidable five In a poll run by online tech company UENI, over 1,000 UK business owners were asked to name an entrepreneur who inspires them. Five out of the top twenty entrepreneurs chosen were women, with Oprah Winfrey, Deborah Meaden, Rihanna, JK Rowling and Karren Brady all making the list. Christine Telyan, co-founder and CEO of UENI, said: “We’re sharing the results of this poll to show that female entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in inspiring British small business owners.” Telyan was recently listed as one of the Top 10 Female Tech Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2019 by About Time Magazine.

Europe’s startup influencer Seedstars World co-founder and CEO Alisee de Tonnac, has been named in the Top 50 list as one of Europe’s most influential women in the startup and venture capital space. She has also been named Social Entrepreneur Forbes 30 under 30, Innovation Fellow of Wired UK, and the 29 Powerful Women by Refinery29. Seedstars is a Swiss-based investment holding with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.





PRESIDENT Ridgeview Wine Estate will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. Kate Morton meets its CEO, the First Lady of English Sparkling Wine, Tamara Roberts It was only a matter of days following my interview with Ridgeview Wine Estate’s CEO Tamara Roberts, that her 2020 International Presidency with the International Wine & Spirit Competition was announced. Not only is this the first time that an English wine producer has been appointed as President, but it’s the first time that a female has been selected for this highly regarded role – a testament to


the rising global status of the English wine industry and most importantly, testament that females are becoming trailblazers in an industry which, for so many years, has been dominated by the opposite sex. Rewind a few days and I met with Tamara on a cold autumn day at Ridgeview Wine Estate, the vineyard where the awardwinning English sparkling wine is produced. Situated at the foot of the

South Downs, the estate is tucked away just outside Ditchling, the quintessential East Sussex village, and is surrounded by stunning English countryside – flame-tipped trees, snowy dots of grazing sheep and crisp rolling landscapes. On arrival, you can’t help but notice the grandeur of the estate, the smart charcoal-panelled outbuildings clearly hold an abundance of skill and magic. And beyond these, you can’t miss the acres and acres of luscious grape-bearing vines – 20 acres to be precise – as far as the eye can see. Tamara greets me with enthusiasm. She’s an extremely busy lady; she’s a CEO and now a President, yet she’s calm, collected

They were taking on Champagne, not Cava or Prosecco but Champagne and oozes a glowing charm. You can instantly sense she is methodical, a vital skill, I’m sure, required when pursuing a career in wine production. Ridgeview was the brainchild of Tamara’s parents. With entrepreneurialism at their heart

having run their own successful computer business in the 1980s, Mike and Chris Roberts had a revelation. Tamara recalls: “At the time there was a small inkling that something was going on in the wine industry. There were glimmers of new things starting here with Nyetimber who were successfully growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and I think that my father cottoned onto something special. That, along with his massive love for the Champagne region – it was his favourite wine region, he adored the wine and knew vast amounts about it – it was then that the penny dropped.” In the early 1990s Mike and

Chris purchased Ridegview. Originally a sheep farm, the Roberts planted over 20 acres of planted vines – Tamara notes this is small in comparison – and focussed on their sparkling new venture. She continues: “The ambition of my father and mother right from the very beginning was that the wine would be of the highest quality and compete at the top level of the sparkling wine category. They were taking on Champagne, not Cava or Prosecco but Champagne.” Roll on 25 years, and they were absolutely right. With its unique climate and soil, England is pretty much the only other region in the world that has the ability to compete against the likes of Champagne because of its perfect wine-making climate. “From the research my father did, he had the knowledge of the climate but he also took a




calculated risk. You can only be proven right by what you produce in the future. “We immediately won a gold medal in a domestic wine competition and then the trade starting coming to us very early on with the likes of Direct Wines and Waitrose who were all knowledgable about wine, and intrigued by us. “One of the biggest door openers for us was in 2005 when our 2002 Vintage won an International Wine and Spirits trophy - then in 2010 we won Top English Sparkling at the Decanter World Wine Awards. We were in a top 10 category amongst

world wines and we beat them all, Champagne too, in a blind taste test. There are certain moments in your life that you won’t forget and that was one of them. It moved us from a slightly niche ‘cottage’ industry into a world-class industry.” Joining Ridgeview as General Manager in 2004, Tamara become CEO in 2014. She has won numerous awards including Sussex Businessperson of the Year at the 2019 Sussex Business Awards as well as Sussex Business Woman of the Year in 2017. In her role at Ridgeview she has overseen the growth of production from 25k bottles per annum to

We are all human beings after all. Some of us have better skills than others regardless of whether we are male or female 14

400k bottles, and is responsible for the day to day running of the business. With 30 employees and a capacity to produce one million bottles on site, Tamara’s background in finance has certainly given her an edge when it comes to understanding growth, profitability and production, and of course having a nose for good wine helps. The success of Ridgeview is most certainly down to free will, determination and a whole lot of passion and love thrown in. Sadly though as a woman in wine, Tamara is in a category so tiny, that she is few and far between. With a strong desire to bring females in the industry further into the spotlight, is it an unusual career for a woman to be in? “It is fairly rare to see a woman head a wine brand but we certainly aren’t unique – we’ve got Sam Linter, Managing Director and Head Winemaker at Bolney – but unfortunately there are very few women on the commercial side of things and that’s disheartening. However, when I look at the industry as a whole, there are lots

of female wine makers coming through. With that comes a lot of media attention and that’s a great thing.” Tamara continues: “To be fair it is an unusual career as it is quite practical. I still feel in the industry as a whole there is a lack of encouragement and perhaps ambition to take on these roles. Maybe it’s a fear of failure. But it is a lonely place being a CEO, you are on your own making a lot of hard decisions. If you are on your own in the gender profile it is even more lonely as you don’t quite fit in. There are subconscious gender differences going on and you have to manage that but at the same time I don’t want to pretend to be a man!” Have you suffered from sexism? “It’s happened to me a number of times and from other women too which I find very strange. I often think, ‘why do I have to sit and justify my position?’ There are certain guys who find it very difficult to make eye contact with a woman in a meeting; for example I will be out with my husband at an event and people will direct questions to him rather than me. I can’t quite understand the reasoning behind it, perhaps it’s a slight fear. At one particular business meeting, a guy referred to my husband as the CEO and turned to me and said; ‘and you must do the marketing’?” Is it changing? “Yes, there is

another side to it. I sit on two boards, the Wine and Spirits Trade Association and Wines GB, and I get respect from those. I don’t feel like I’m the token woman there. “My father was way ahead of his time with his attitude towards women in the workplace. There was no gender specific roles, my mum was very entrepreneurial. I grew up in that environment and then naturally you take it on yourself. We have to encourage mutual respect. We are all human beings after all. Some of us have better skills than others regardless of whether we are male or female.” Tamara continues: “But in the last five to ten years I have seen much more of a collaborative approach in and around business. We talk about successes more and encourage flexibility for both male

and female employees. But sadly there is definitely a fear of failure out there; I’m not sure what would change it… perhaps politics?” Tamara’s journey is inspiring, extraordinary and encouraging. Championing women in business, she certainly deserves all of her successes. Looking back in history, in 1805 Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was the first woman to run a Champagne house, taking the helm at a time when women in France couldn’t hold a bank account, let alone run a Champagne house. However, Barbe-Nicole grew the business into an international empire, driven by passion and determination and ‘President’ Tamara, an effervescent female CEO, is too making her mark on the international sparkling wine scene. We raise our glass to you!

There are subconscious gender differences going on and you have to manage that but at the same time I don’t want to pretend to be a man



S PE AKI NG OUT S TA N D I N G TA L L Brexit and the subsequent Parliamentary paralysis divided our nation and unleashed shocking levels of pent-up rage and vitriol. Few were subject to as much abuse as the successful businesswoman Gina Miller, who led a legal challenge against the government to ensure that Parliament was not bypassed in the process of leaving the European Union. Miller has always been a committed Remainer and her vociferous critics castigated her for being motivated by stopping Brexit at any cost. But this misrepresents what Miller believes in and stands for. As a citizen of the Commonwealth, she has a deep respect and commitment to the British Law and Parliamentary democracy, and she put herself in the firing line to protect the institutions that, too often, we do not value enough. By Ian Trevett







 Brexit High Court Judgement 3rd November 2016

“As we walked towards the iron railings of the Royal Courts of Justice there was already a daunting crowd gathered outside. Some of them wore nooses round their necks and tabards with my name printed on their chests. “This was the first time reality struck - I realised that people actually wanted me dead. It took all my strength to stay calm and carry on walking past. I wanted to stop, I wanted to talk to them, I wanted to explain, but my team hurried me on. “On the walk towards the entrance, I heard photographers screaming my name. One angry voice rose above the fray and shouted, ‘Traitor!’ “It was the strangest feeling. I knew I was doing this because I loved my country, not because I wished to betray it. I was doing this because I wanted to protect the freedoms that made Britain great, not destroy them. I was doing this because I believed I was right. And here I was, accused of being a traitor by someone I’d never met. It was hurtful and bewildering…” Miller’s recollection of arriving at the Royal Court is stark and terrifying, and she must have wondered what she had got herself into. Miller, along with two fellow claimants, had instructed City law firm Mishcon de Reya to challenge the authority of the British Government to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union


using prerogative powers, arguing that only Parliament can take away rights that Parliament has granted. When Mishcon first announced they had been instructed to pursue a case against Her Majesty’s Government, the firm was immediately subject to a torrent of online anti-Semitic abuse and its offices were attacked. Realising what they may be facing, Miller’s co-claimants quickly withdrew from the action, leaving Miller alone. Miller, though, was made of sterner stuff. She recalls, “Mishcon de Reya was asking the court’s permission to clarify a matter of constitutional law and it was a

perfectly legitimate but urgent question. To attack them with such foul language and venom seemed to me to be out of all proportion. It was bullying - and I hate bullying.” There is nothing that bullies hate more than a victim who fights back. If they thought they could intimidate Gina Miller, they made a big mistake. But she has paid a big price. Viscount Rhodri Philipps offered £5,000 to the “first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant. If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles.” Subject to endless horrific racism and threats, Miller has

I wanted to protect the freedoms that made Britain great, not destroy them effectively lost her freedom. She reveals that, “Outside of my home, I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. I have developed a sixth sense for possible conflict. We used to love going to the theatre or concerts, but now we rarely go. For the first time in my life, I became the target of unadulterated, blatant racism as well as receiving threats of being attacked with acid.”


since living here. Whilst studying at university she was subjected to a brutal and savage attack by a group of men, some of whom were students at the university. She was too traumatised to finish her studies. At the age of 23, she gave birth to her daughter LucyAnn, who tragically suffered brain damage at birth,


The mistrust of Members of Parliament has never been higher. The BBC and other news broadcasters come under fire from every side. The most experienced judges in the UK have their faces plastered across the front page of a top-selling newspaper with the headline: “Enemies of the People”. British institutions that are admired across the world have been under siege, but seemingly few people here seemed that bothered. We take our institutions for granted. It took someone born outside Britain to recognise what we were at risk of losing. Miller was raised in Guyana, where her father was a barrister. She learnt from him a respect for the law and an innate sense of fairness. Many of the clients were too poor to pay a barrister’s fees but he would take their case anyway. He told his daughter, “No matter how little people have, you still have to fight for them.” He also instilled an admiration

for Britain. Gina says, “As a child of the Commonwealth, I had been brought up to believe Great Britain was the promised land: a culture where the law was observed and decency was embedded in the national fabric.” Her Guyana childhood was idyllic but it came to a shuddering halt. Her father was an outspoken critic of the government and the political climate was increasingly volatile. Worried about the safety of the family, her parents sent Gina and her older brother to England. At the age of 11 she started at Moira House Girls School in Eastbourne. She suffered from homesickness and the situation became harder when she received a letter from her mother saying that the president in Guyana had introduced stricter currency controls, meaning Miller had to get a job before school to survive. In Guyana, Miller learnt notions of respect and fairness. In the UK, she learnt resilience and how to survive. She has faced the most incredible trial and tribulations

I dread to think what the rise in race-hate crimes means, and where it might lead 20

 Gina Miller Attends Conference on Brexit May 2017  Speaking for a People’s vote on the final UK Brexit deal June 2018

COV E R resulting in severe developmental problems. Miller refused to allow her daughter to go into a home and dedicated her life to raising her child, and in the process she sacrificed her career and her first marriage. She married again in 2000 to a man who quickly became physically and mentally abusive, to the point that she had to escape with her daughter when he was


out, spending several nights sleeping in a multi-storey car park. Gina looks back at that time as the one of the lowest points in her life, but also a turning point: “I thought to myself, ‘Gina, you have to be strong, rebuild your life, for your daughter.’ “… I knew I was strong enough to look after myself and my daughter. I didn’t need anything or anyone.”


Happily, she did find someone who she could trust and would look out for her. She married Alan Miller in 2007, and found not just a husband, but someone who shared her values and determination. The couple set up an investment firm SCM Direct with deliberately transparent fees, and have campaigned against the practices of the industry, where investors are ripped off by excessive hidden fees. They also launched the True and Fair Campaign to promote transparency and challenge misselling. Many in the City were furious as she was undermining their practices of overcharging. Just as with Brexit, Miller faced the most vicious insults.

Attending an Anti-Brexit March June 2018


Quick Q & A


Boris Johnson’s claims that he will bring the country together has been met with much scepticism. There has been a terrifying spike in hate crimes and acts of racism, and the values that Miller admired from afar are in short supply. Despite the terrible abuse she has suffered, Miller is adamant that we must all speak out on discrimination and bullying. She says: “We cannot afford to become compact or lazy. As the saying goes, ‘good people must speak out or bad things happen’. “… I dread to think what the rise in race-hate crimes means, and where it might lead. You look back at Nazi Germany and you think, ‘How could people have sat in their houses and watched out of their windows as they saw old men, women, children beaten and rounded up, and not do anything stop it? “They stayed silent because fear set in. They stayed silent because they were scared that if they raised their voice they too would be taken away. And for a long time people didn’t speak up about the small things. But small thing grew into much larger, and more dangerous acts. “… We feel safe looking at history with the twenty-twenty vision that comes with hindsight, and yet we are sleepwalking into some of the same dangerous mistakes of our forebears.” It is down to us all, not just Gina Miller. We all need to speak out and stand tall.


After all the abuse you have received, how did it feel at the Brighton Chamber of Commerce summit, where you received a standing ovation? Over the last three – four years, I have steeled myself against abuse and hatred, so it was very emotional and heartening to receive such warmth and support. I have never spoken up to be liked but respected for my values, principles and fighting for fairness so in those terms it made me feel both humble and honoured. Do we take our Law and Parliament for granted? It is a normal perspective to take what we have for granted, so I don’t necessarily think it is a UK issue. What I do think about being brought in a Commonwealth country in the 1960s and 1970s was that we were still instilled with old fashioned ‘British’ values, but these have also, perhaps, been diluted.   How worried are you about the future of the UK? I am very worried that hatred, intolerance and a closing down of debate is being encouraged all too often by those in positions of power. I worry about a lack of leadership, compassion and empathy. A nationalist fervour is being perpetuated by media barons with an ideological political agenda that is anti-social and that is then amplified by social media

◗ To find out more about Gina Miller, buy the excellent autobiography Rise by Gina Miller, published by

Do you have advice on how can people overcome their fears and stand up for what is right? Fear is crippling but the effects of not speaking out when you know something is wrong can cripple society and our way of life. Take the time to reflect, think through all options all angles before you speak out as unintended consequences can be even more damaging than the issue you sought to act against. If you can, act as a collective as there is both power and protection in numbers.    What are your ambitions and hopes, both personally and for the UK? I will not stop using the campaigning voice I have developed over the last 30 years. I will continue to speak out against injustice, inequality and the abuse of power, whenever I see it. But great opportunities lie ahead, just as much as threats. I will be open to opportunities for reform and change that materially improves the quality of life for our families, our communities and our country, as we usher in a new decade with new challenges. They must not be discussed through a narrow ideological lens.



From kitchen table


BUSINESS Sally Pritchett, CEO at the creative communications agency Something Big, offers advice on starting and succeeding in your own business 23




When it comes to male vs female led businesses, females under index in successful owner-operator businesses. The facts from last year’s Rose Report show that fewer women start their own businesses, and when they do, less of them sustain them long-term and worse still, far less scale them up. In fact, men are five times more likely to grow their businesses to over a £1m turnover than women. Having run Something Big for over twenty years and scaled it from the kitchen table to being ranked in the Top 100 independent agencies in the UK, I reflected on our growth journey to share my learnings in this article. Noting it’s always a lot easier with the benefit of hindsight!

There’s no doubt we could have scaled quicker if I had been more confident. To begin with the business was a lifestyle choice, I had three children in the first 10 years of running the business and that’s not something you can do in your lunch break but even taking this into account, I’m not sure why we weren’t more audacious with our original vision. In hindsight, I’d encourage my female counterparts to dream bigger from the start. Think about what you feel you’re capable of and then add a bit more – you’re likely to be selling yourself short.


Over the years, I’ve worked with a series of mentors, coaches, non-exec directors, advisors and CEO groups. They’ve all served a purpose, giving me invaluable insight into how to approach things differently, sharing their experiences and perspectives

and more often than not, encouraging me to ‘lean in’ and go for it. I see no shame in not having the answers or needing help. My reflection would be that we need not just advice but sometimes a sharp kick in the backside, to be brave and leave our comfort zones.


If you haven’t already read up on ‘growth and fixed mindsets’ don’t hang about, get Googling and read up on how to accept failure as a part of the journey to success. It might sound like the cheesiest thing you’ve read, but seriously scaling up a business requires failure and quite literally, if you’re not failing at anything you’re potentially not trying hard enough. Call it test and learn if it makes you feel better, but trust in the fact that your male counterparts, in other businesses, have likely learnt to fail fast and are scaling up as a result.

Burning out is a real obstacle for growth so take your time, you don’t have to win the race today, remember the hare and the tortoise 24


Since running Something Big, my three children have evolved from babies to teenagers and they need me as much today as they did when they were younger. There have definitely been times when the business also needed a lot of me and it’s easy to feel guilty about the sacrifices I might be making, from school runs and playdates to after school activities and bedtime reading. But before you rush around trying to be everything to everyone, stop to consider the gifts you might also be giving your children along the way. Have you ever wondered how inspirational it might be to be brought up by someone who’s making up their own rules, who’s learning everyday and who’s feeling fulfilled. So far, my children appear to be wellrounded, hard-working, business savvy young people so for sure they have sacrificed some stuff but to date they’ve also benefited from some gifts. Try and lose the guilt.


At a recent round table for female entrepreneurs we talked about why only 2% of funding is making its way to female led businesses. I was hoping to stamp my feet and cause a riot on the unconscious bias being seen in often male dominated investors, when it became fairly clear that whilst there are issues with bias there’s also a bigger challenge – women are not seeking funding and if you don’t ask you sure won’t get! If you are thinking about seeking funding, do approach NatWest, where CEO Alison Rose (and author of the Rose Review*) really is on a mission to get more funding to female led organisations.

In hindsight, I’d encourage my female counterparts to dream bigger from the start #7 IT’S A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT


It’s often said, you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, so find great people and get talking and collaborating. If you haven’t already, join the Surrey Chambers and talk to people like Enterprise M3 or the Scale Up institute, you’ll soon find yourself networking with people in similar situations to yourself and together we go further.

There is no doubt, running a business is relentless, and much like being a parent, it’s often 24/7 so try to go easy on yourself, take breaks when you can, for years I struggled to take holidays so I took long weekends when I could. Burning out is a real obstacle for growth so take your time, you don’t have to win the race today, remember the hare and the tortoise. The great news is there’s never been a better time for anyone to start up a business, male or female. Ignoring the economic instability for a moment, there’s a plethora of advice and encouragement, an array of digital tools to get you started from your kitchen table, great flexible work spaces for when you start to grow and an appetite to invest in small businesses. If you think you can do it, you probably can so make 2020 a year of bravery and new opportunities. ◗


THE NATWEST DEBATE ATTENDEES: Somayeh Aghnia, Lesley Alcock, Jaz Blake, Ann Chapman-Daniel, Inez Cooper, Cynthia Danove, Sally Fenton, Alison Galvin, Sarah Gobran, Kate Jolly, Victoria Kerton, Kate Lester, Amy Lewis, Charlotte Melia, Pippa Odell, Kate Perceval, Sally Pritchett, Peter Quilter, Mandira Sarkar, Amanda Shovelton, Kathy Slack, Sally-Anne Stevens, Nancy Thomson, Ian Trevett, Jarmila Yu

Has the Rose Review (the independent review of female entrepreneurship led by RBS CEO Alison Rose) shown the way forward in encouraging women to set up and grow their businesses? Hosted by NatWest in partnership with Surrey Chambers of Commerce, the round table debate was facilitated by Sally Pritchett MD of Something Big. REPORT BY TARA WAVRE



NatWest, in partnership with Surrey Chambers, recently hosted a Round Table at their Guildford offices to discuss funding and mentoring following the ground-breaking Rose Review. Gathered together were women from some of Surrey’s best female-led businesses, and with Sally Pritchett from Something Big facilitating the discussion, the ideas were flowing freely, with a carefully selected group of inspirational women sharing their knowledge.


After a twist on the traditional afternoon tea, courtesy of Mandira’s Kitchen, the session started with an overview of the Rose Report from NatWest Regional Director, Victoria Kerton. The Rose Review was a g o v e r n m e n t- c o m m i s s i o n e d inquiry into the barriers facing female entrepreneurs. It was carried out over the course of more than a year and was published in March 2019. The report identified five key challenges facing female entrepreneurs: 1 Low access and awareness of capital.

2 Greater risk awareness. 3 Perception of having missing skills or experience. 4 Disproportionate primary caring responsibilities. 5 Lack of relatable sponsorship, mentoring and role models. It listed several recommendations: • An understanding of what motivates female entrepreneurs going into enterprise. Often it isn’t about world domination but out of a desire to make a difference. • Increased funding for female entrepreneurs. • Greater family care support. • Expanding awareness and access to support, funding and mentorships.




Sally then opened up the floor for discussion around the topic of funding, by asking the women what their experience of funding had been so far. Several of the women commented that they had felt unprepared when they applied for funding. They made the point that there is little or no information available on what you can expect when you start this process. This uncertainty, coupled with a concern for the volume of paperwork she’d been asked to produce, led one woman to decide she’d rather do it with her own personal funds. Another businesswoman was successful in her funding application, but ultimately declined it as the lenders wanted to secure the funding against her


house, which she felt was too much of a risk. We then heard from a CEO who was currently going through the process of funding with the aim of scaling up her business. She has sought funding from a variety of sources but found that learning the lingo of Angel Investors and VC investors is extremely hard, like learning a new language. Like others she experienced a high level of sexism throughout the process and has had to combat damaging false assumptions about who she is. One CFO noted that whilst female Angel Investors have been very supportive, she had to combat sexism from funding

More women need to ask for funding, and they need to ask for higher values

panels. Usually made up solely of men, the questions posed to a female CEO around work/life balance or risk were very different to the questions asked of a male CEO. It was clear from the discussion that there is both conscious and unconscious bias in the funding process. More diversity and representation is required throughout the process. A big takeaway from the funding discussion is that more women need to ask for funding, and they need to ask for higher values of it. There was recognition in the room that this may stem from a lack of confidence and being less willing to take risks than men. As all the women in the room are successful scale-up businesses their focus might be on supporting the next generation of start-ups through the process, to counter the feeling of unpreparedness around funding applications. Women in the room felt their businesses would be bigger, better or improved had they asked for or been successful in getting funding previously.


The topic of discussion moved on to mentoring and everyone in the room shared their experiences of being mentored and mentoring others. Those that have mentored others noted that the women they have mentored are often much more prepared but lack confidence. It is really important as a mentor to develop confidence. Many in the room agreed that they have used mentors to grow their confidence very effectively. Something that was echoed around the table was that many of those present never really viewed themselves as ‘women’ in the sense of how sex-based bias might be affecting them in the working world. It is only in retrospect that they have realised things probably were a little bit harder or more challenging than they would have been for a man in the same position. All agreed that a mentor can be of great benefit but it is really important to find the right one for you. Businesses need to consider many different elements and viewpoints but are often unsure about where to get advice. When looking for advice, the first port of call can often be to professional service providers such as accountants or lawyers, however the advice will often not only be costly but may be biased.

Many of the women in the room have found excellent mentors in their business network, amongst friends and family and through asking their bank or Surrey Chambers. If a business is experiencing an issue, the Chambers can connect them with other businesses who have been in a similar situation. Victoria pointed out that NatWest have excellent links with a variety of business support organisations that they routinely connect their business clients to. What is preventing women from asking for advice? The answer, again, was believed to be lack of confidence coupled with imposter syndrome. Many in the room have found that there is so much help ready and waiting once you ask for it. But you have to ask.


From the discussion it was clear that women need to ask more for advice and help, often we can let a lack of confidence get in the way.

As women, our success in business is often fuelled by our emotion and passion for what we do and it is important not to underestimate the power of an emotional support network, as well as a practical one. Our networks are what make us stronger and empower us to take more risks. Only by playing to our strengths will we succeed and be able to achieve more. If you play to someone else’s strengths then you won’t get far, but if you use your own you can be brave, bold and take on anything. The women in the room were all representing successful scale-up businesses and have achieved a high level of success already. It was really powerful to hear them pledge that they will look at supporting and mentoring the next generation of female-led businesses.




FLYING HIGH Anne-Sissel Skünvik is the Chief Communications Officer at Norwegian Air, one of Europe’s leading low-cost airlines. Dynamic spoke to Anne-Sissel about gender equality in aviation and her personal business journey


According to a recent survey, about 3% of CEOs in aviation are women and many of them are at lower-profile companies. Why is there a lack of female CEOS and what can be done? I think it is a real shame and it is obvious that this is a trend that needs to change. Diversity and inclusion is always good for business. The airline industry has historically been male dominated, but Norwegian has a strong tradition of practicing equality since its inception in 2002. Norwegian prides itself in maintaining a talented and

highly competent workforce and is committed to recruiting both women and men to key positions. In 2018, for instance, 44% were female and 56% were male and among our administrative staff, there is roughly an equal ratio of male to female staff. At the same time, our Board of Directors has more than 40 percent female representation. When companies actively practice equality, and I am proud to say that Norwegian does, we are at least heading in the right direction.

Can you tell us about your journey in becoming the Chief Communications Officer? It’s been an exciting journey, I started my career as a journalist at the age of 17, which was a great steppingstone to where I am today. Combined with my degrees in political science, journalism and management I had the right tools and background to explore various avenues within Public Affairs and Communications I’ve always enjoyed a busy routine, looking after three children while working and studying at the same time helped

me in my future professional career, especially to stay calm and keep a cool head in difficult and stressful situations. My experience from working in the Norwegian Ministry of Finance under five different ministers from different political parties – including Labour and


Our greatest success has been to the US where the company is now the largest foreign operator to the New York area

the Conservative Party - has also been a great learning curve. You have to adapt quickly and relate to different political priorities and personalities. My former experience from Statistics Norway was also a good steppingstone and I am a Board Member there today. I strongly believe that you never stop learning and developing your skills.  You were the Deputy Director General in The Norwegian Ministry of Finance. How does working in the private sector differ for working for the government? In my experience, the differences haven’t been very noticeable. In a way, working in aviation and for the ministry have a lot of similarities; there are always many different things going on at the same time, and you have to act quickly.


What have been the challenges that Norwegian has faced in your time with the business? And how did you go about communicating the right messages when faced with challenges? Firstly, being part of Norwegian’s fantastic journey, from a small local company to a global player, has been an amazing experience. It was a historic and unforgettable moment back in 2012 when we announced the largest European aircraft order of 222 aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus. Entering into the low-cost long-haul market was also a milestone for the airline, many predicted that it could not be done but Norwegian has now been operating longhaul for five years. Our greatest success has been to the US where the company is now the largest foreign operator to the New York area. For Norwegian and all of

DY NA M IC us working for the company it is very satisfying to have been named “World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline” for the fifth consecutive year proving that our concept of high quality and low fares resonates with consumers. There is never a dull moment working for a company like Norwegian. Media-wise, it is one of the most covered companies in Scandinavia and my team work tirelessly to ensure that the brand is both promoted and protected in equal measure. Facing challenges comes with the job and this is when we really get to use our knowledge and experience and evolve as communicators. I’ve definitely experienced some challenges during my time here at Norwegian; everything from strikes to grounding of aircraft. I n situations like this, good teamwork is essential. Thankfully, we are a team that works particularly well in challenging situations, but we are also fully dependent on cooperation, help and input from other departments. It’s important that the Communications Department “owns” the message and controls all the external and internal communications. Another challenge that we are facing and will be facing


Norwegian Facts ◗ Norwegian carries almost 6 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester Airports to 30 destinations worldwide ◗ Norwegian is the third largest airline at London Gatwick, with 4.6 million annual passengers, and with more than 1,500 UK-based pilots and cabin crew ◗ Norwegian has been voted ‘Europe’s best low-cost carrier’ by passengers for six consecutive years at SkyTrax World Airline Awards from 2013-2018, along with being awarded the ‘World’s best low-cost long-haul airline’ in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

even more in the future, is that we need to make aviation more sustainable. However, we cannot underestimate the value of aviation; it brings people, cultures and economies together. At the same time, Norwegian recognises its responsibilities as a significant market player and takes direct action to reduce emissions per passenger. Aviation accounts for around two percent of the global CO2 emissions and awareness around aviation and a more sustainable approach is high on the agenda and that is a good thing.   

Have you experienced any discrimination or bias as a female in the aviation industry? If so, how did you tackle it? Thankfully I haven’t personally – not in this industry. But sadly it does occur in most industries, and probably Norwegian is not an exception with more than 10,000 people working for the company. We have very strict and clear policies. Discrimination is not tolerated at Norwegian and the cases that are reported are immediately investigated.

We cannot underestimate the value of aviation; it brings people, cultures and economies together 33

CRACK IT IN BUSINESS Lessons for start-up business success from Anna Richey and Alla Ouvarova, Founders of Two Chicks Good friends Anna and Alla started their business Two Chicks from scratch more than 14 years ago after they saw a gap in the UK market to launch an entirely new product category. Two Chicks free range liquid egg white is now available in major supermarkets all over the UK and is sold internationally. Here, they share three pieces of advice on what it takes to bring a new product to market with several big challenges along the way.


In some cases, female entrepreneurs typically start businesses with half as much capital as men, and fewer than one in five small and medium-sized


enterprises in the UK are led by women. Although investment banks are now taking steps to close the funding gap for women, such as launching accelerator programmes, there’s still a long way to go and it’s a tricky challenge many women-led businesses face.

In our case, finding the initial investment to start our business was a real challenge: neither of us had a background in business or food, and with just an idea, breaking into the multiples seemed like a long shot to potential investors. Finally, a family friend agreed to give us £25,000 in return for some equity. Paying in equity in exchange for work such as design and production is another way you can gain traction in the market as a start-up.

When we were first starting out, there was an assumption that two women with just an idea and no experience in food or business could ever make a success of it


The difference between failure and success is perseverance Arianna Huffington PERSISTENCY AND INNOVATION IS KEY

Part of our success was down to never taking no for an answer and just persevering with what we believed in. When we were first starting out, there was an assumption that two women with just an idea and no experience in food or business could ever make a success of it. Thankfully we didn’t listen but there were times that were very challenging. Starting our business on such a low budget meant that we had to be extremely persistent and innovative in order to get into and remain in the marketplace. It was a question of always thinking outside the box and pushing boundaries - ducking under the red tape at food shows to hand samples to celebrities on stage. When we first got listings in the multiples, we would drive around the country leafleting outside the stores. Initially, we couldn’t afford the in-store marketing options so we would go into supermarkets and place our own point-of-sale on the shelves. But this activity came to an end once we were removed by security from a major supermarket chain and got a call from the buyer!


skills from the start. When we first set up the business we were introduced to a food broker who advised us on the best way to launch into retail, and also on margins. Having a mentor was invaluable and something we’d recommend to anyone thinking of launching a new business. It is encouraging to see that the proportion of companies run by women is increasing (compared to men), but there are still many women out there with great entrepreneurial ideas who could benefit from more encouragement to help build their confidence. This really made all the difference for us at the beginning of our business journey.

◗ Find out more at Follow us Instagram: @twochicksproducts Twitter: @2chicksproducts


We’ve grown a network of relationships with our buyers organically and have never outsourced the sales side of things. However, this has meant that we’ve had to develop vital


DIGITAL TR ANSFORMATION – it’s not just about technology, it’s a business strategy Carlene Jackson, CEO of Cloud9 Insight on why digitalisation is a game changer for business RETHINK YOUR BUSINESS

Digital technology is redefining the way every industry is operating. Organisations are reinventing themselves to create new revenue streams, exceptional customer experiences, and even entirely new business models. Those not leveraging technology are quickly being left behind.


Digitalisation can drive huge leaps in business performance through improved productivity, business insight and better decision-making. Automation and streamlining of business processes is freeing up more time to invest in initiatives that will grow the business.


It’s no surprise that 86% of CEOs believe that technology will change their business more than any other trend in the next five years (according to PWC CEO Survey). But digital transformation is not just about technology – it’s a business strategy that requires leaders to re-evaluate their existing business models and embrace a wholly different way of bringing together their people, data, and processes to create real value for their customers and capture new opportunities for their business. Embracing digital enables you to: ◗ Engage customers with personalised experiences ◗ Empower employees for success with a collaborative, ‘anytimeanywhere’ data-driven culture ◗ Optimise operations with smart processes that accelerate response times and ultimately reduce costs ◗ Transform your product and service offering for the better Use the right software and harness the power of your data Intelligent business applications like Microsoft Dynamics365,

Power BI and Microsoft Teams are the ultimate enablers of digital transformation and collaboration. Businesses now have masses of data at their fingertips. The challenge is how to enable business leaders to make better and more timely decisions to drive business performance and to allow customer-facing employees to have better customer insight to improve customer experiences and drive up loyalty. Organisations should identify capability to modernise the business. Microsoft Dynamics has an integrated set of business applications, each delivering capability that supports all areas of the business. Businesses should identify priorities for a phased delivery to ensure business change can be embraced at a pace that is culturally acceptable.


Get your copy of my new eBook on Digital Transformation, at and ensure your business is ahead of the curve.


Businesses now have masses of data at their fingertips


Cloud9 Insight is an awardwinning business change consultancy and Microsoft Gold Partner for Dynamics365, helping SMB clients navigate the future of the modern workplace. Recognition in 2019 includes Gatwick Diamond’s ‘Investing in People for Business Success’ Award, and voted in the top 20 SME Companies for Culture. Carlene is frequently featured in the media, including BBC Global, to discuss technology trends and the importance of culture to create a modern workplace. ◗ If you’d like a free consultation to discuss how companies in your industry are adapting to the digital revolution, email or call 01273 921510



Eleanor Richards, Partner in the litigation department at Healys, talks us through the issues which directors need to be wary of when their company is facing insolvency

What do you do if your business is struggling to survive? I am often asked this by female directors of companies facing financial difficulties. When is a company’s financial position serious enough to warrant doing something about it? The danger is that if you are a director (or a manager acting as director without having been formally appointed), you can end up on the wrong end of court proceedings. You could be sued by the Liquidators or Administrators for wrongful trading or misfeasance (misapplying money or breaching any duties owed to the company), or pursued by the Insolvency Service under the Company Directors’ Disqualification Act. In respect of wrongful trading the court will look at whether or not you knew, or ought to have known, that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into insolvent Liquidation or entering Administration.

It is very important that directors work together, share information and make decisions together on commercial issues 38

However, it is difficult to establish the exact moment when this happens. If you are aware of a problem, it is important to act swiftly to avoid the company’s financial position deteriorating further and creditors’ liabilities increasing. But there is also the risk that taking action prematurely may prevent the company trading out of a temporary financial problem.

DY NA M IC So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? There are a few practical guidelines which will help: ◗ Make sure that you have all the up to date financial data for the company at all times and that they are in regular communication with the company accountants. ◗ Be vigilant that the company is keeping up with regular monthly payments that are due to creditors and keep abreast of unpaid debts due to the company. ◗ Hold regular board meetings where minutes are taken. It is very important that directors work together, share information and make decisions together on commercial issues. If there are concerns these should be communicated to fellow board members and decisions made at board level. As soon as you become aware that there is a serious risk of pending insolvency then you

should raise the problem with the rest of the board, and then take independent financial advice. You need to consider what Personal Guarantees you may be asked to give to the company’s creditors. If the company is seeking to refinance or enter into an invoice finance agreement with a bank where it has not done so before, then you should fully investigate your personal potential liability and the merits of increasing Guarantees where the company is in financial difficulties, as well as taking legal advice on your position. Disputes can arise between directors when the company is facing financial difficulties and in those circumstances a director may decide to resign and walk away, particularly if he or she is not a shareholder. If they do decide that this is the only option available, then these concerns need to be set out at a board meeting and documented in


board minutes. Resignation will not necessarily protect a director from being pursued, in circumstances where he resigns shortly before the company is wound up or goes into Administration. When a company is nearing insolvency you have a common law duty to act in the best interests of their creditors. Failure to do so could leave you open to being sued and ordered to repay, restore or account for, cash or property that had been withdrawn from the company prior to insolvency. Since 2015 it has also been possible for the court to order a disqualified director to pay compensation following the company’s failure for the benefit of creditors. The risks are very real if you don’t act in the right way when a business is on the ropes. Make sure you know your responsibilities.

◗ Healys act for directors in connection with actions being pursued against them by Liquidators and Administrators, and also where they are facing disqualification proceedings. They provide advice on Personal Guarantees, shareholder disputes and other contentious matters. For further information or advice, please email Eleanor Richards on or direct dial 01273 810072



FINANCIAL DETOX: HOW TO MAKE WELLNESS A PRIORITY For women in business, it’s important to have a plan in place that will provide you with financial security, says Tracey Evans, Associate Director at Progeny Wealth Avoiding your financial affairs can become a source of nagging stress, which is bad for mental and physical wellbeing. Not having a clear financial plan in place is like leaving your bills unopened – you will have to address it someday, and the sooner the better. However, unlike paying your bills, getting your affairs in order can significantly reduce anxiety and bring you peace of mind. Many women feel too busy; they fail to make their own wellbeing a priority.


Engaging with a professional adviser can save you money, time and a lot of worry. They can help you to define your financial goals, sort out the tedious paperwork, and better manage your savings and investments. The key to finding the right financial adviser is working out what type of advice you need and finding a qualified professional who makes you feel confident about your decisions.




Release your heart and mind from worry about the what-ifs of life WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISER?


Financial advice comes in many different guises. There are several professional titles that are often used interchangeably, but actually refer to different capabilities and offerings. When looking for general financial advice, the most common titles you will come across are Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) and Restricted Advisers. Both are qualified and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that there are rules they must follow when dealing with you.

Many people start by seeking answers to specific questions. How can I be more tax-efficient with my savings? Which pension should I choose? Can I get a cheaper mortgage? Do I have the right insurance? Restricted financial advisers often work directly for banks or large networks and are restricted in the type of products they can choose from or the number of providers they can offer. For example, an adviser at your bank may only be able to offer you their insurance solutions. An Independent Financial Adviser (IFA), on the other hand, is most importantly Independent. They are not restricted in the type of advice they can give, either in relation to specific products or the providers they can recommend. You therefore know that you will be getting the widest choice of solutions available. It’s important to ask if they are independent or restricted.

Some professionals may have more than one type of accreditation, and the lines blur a little between advisers and planners, with some professionals offering both services. The main difference is in what you hope to achieve. A financial planner will help you to define your financial goals and show you the best ways to achieve them, bringing together your spending habits, insurance and taxes, savings and investments, pensions and properties. For women, the lifestyle planning process tends to be very important. A financial planner can carry out cashflow modelling to visually demonstrate your entire financial life, analysing your present circumstances and projecting your future with a comprehensive long-term plan. I’ve known high earners that feel depleted every month, wondering where it all goes. Working with a financial planner can be life-changing. Building a good relationship may take time. You should feel that your financial adviser has listened to your needs and fully understood your goals. Whatever is right for you, what’s important is to overcome any financial barriers to success.

◗ Tracey Evans is an Associate Director at Progeny Wealth. She is one of the most qualified individuals in the financial planning profession, as a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner™, Registered Life Planner®, Chartered MCSI and Chartered Wealth Manager. Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn, call +44 7825 070 660 or email Progeny Wealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


SETTING UP A NEW BUSINESS Alison Jones from Kreston Reeves provides some invaluable tips if you are considering launching a startup There might be many different reasons for wanting to start your own business and to be your own boss however, if you are thinking about setting up your own business there are a few practical things that you should consider first.


Make sure that you have done some research and are confident that you have the right product or service and a suitable market to sell this into. There is no point selling ice to Eskimos but they might like a fur lined coat! Silly example I know but hopefully it emphasises the importance of thinking carefully about your product or service before you launch your business.


It is important that you understand how much it is going to cost to produce your product or provide your services and what is an appropriate selling price. You need to ensure that you have a large enough


margin to ensure that your business is profitable and that it will provide you with a decent living. Putting together a budget and cashflow at this stage will save you a lot of heartache later if it becomes apparent from this exercise that you will not be able to pay yourself a wage. I would always suggest that you show this to someone first just to make sure that you haven’t missed any expenses which could radically alter your decision


Make sure that you have thought about how you are going to fund your business. It is unlikely that your business will be profitable immediately so you need to have a plan in place. Are you going to borrow from friends and family or are you going to talk to your bank for some funding – having a budget and cashflow in place is essential if this is your planned route. Nowadays there are more options available such as crowdfunding but you will still need to have a plan in place.


You will need to ensure that you have some form of recording system in place to record all of your income and expenses. An excel spreadsheet is perfect in the beginning but if you anticipate lots of transactions then an online accounts package such as Xero is a good idea. A lot of businesses fail in the first couple of years because they have not recorded everything in a timely manner and so have not been in control of their finances. Xero is fantastic as it integrates directly with your bank account and allows you to raise and email invoices directly. It also connects to many other systems in the marketplace such as Paypal, all of which helps you monitor and control your cash.


Setting up your own business can be scary, but it is also exciting and with the right advisors on your side there should be nothing to stop you from living your dreams. It is also important to think about your own skill set and what you are good at and also like doing and to build a team around you that brings a range of other skills together.


Once you are ready then make the most of all of the different opportunities there are to reach your target customers and to tell them about your products or services. From social media to websites, advertising and PR


campaigns, this can be done to suit a range of budgets but it is vital to help create awareness and a demand from customers. If you have recently set up or are planning to set up a new business and would like advice, there are a range of services which we provide at Kreston Reeves to help you achieve your business goals. â—— Alison Jones is a Partner at Kreston Reeves


Ladies, we need to talk about pensions!

Saving for the future is one of the most important life choices a woman can make says Samantha Kaye, Chartered Financial Planner at Wellesley Wealth Advisory

At the last Women in Business Expo in October 2019, I was struck by the amount of like-minded professional women who have made incredible successes of their individual paths in business – I’m not surprised that 53% of UK millionaires are predicted to be female by 2025!1 However, it is clear that women can still be reluctant to discuss their finances and longterm plans. But planning for the future is more important than ever – unfortunately, women are still at a disadvantage, with several factors making it harder for us to build up a comfortable amount of retirement savings. Although it’s important to protect and build on our business success, we need to take time to plan ahead for a secure future, too.


A recent report by NOW: Pensions has revealed that women in their 60s face an enormous £100,000 pensions gap. They are expected to have accrued a pension worth £51,100 to retire on – a mere third


of the £156,500 men have saved.2 Factors such as the gender pay gap and women living 3.7 years longer than men, on average, are making it harder for women to build up a comfortable amount of retirement savings. However, there is another force at play...


According to the report, women taking time away from work or working part-time, generally to look after family, are the biggest drivers in the gender pensions gap.3 This so-called ‘motherhood penalty’ can have a huge impact on your pension prospects. The problem is particularly evident in the new State Pension, despite the fact it has recently become equal for men and women. According to the ONS, the average age of first-time mothers is 28 (28.8 years to be exact!4), and many mothers this age will likely be on reduced pay for a number of years, and can therefore face a significant gap in National Insurance and state pension contributions.

In 2016, 550,000 professional women in the UK were on an extended career break, with 1.9 million UK women not in paid employment as they are looking after family and home. 5



I’m not surprised that 53% of UK millionaires are predicted to be female by 2025!


But all is not lost – there are steps you can take to mitigate the gap in pension wealth. The months of January, February and March are the perfect time to take stock and get a better picture of how much your retirement will cost. A financial adviser can help you better understand how much you need to save to bridge the gap between your income and your ideal retirement. One thing is clear: saving for the future is one of the most important life choices a

◗ Wellesley House, 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9LH

woman can make, and we need to start taking greater financial responsibility in order to ensure a secure future.


Wherever you are on your business journey, it is important that you’re getting the right advice on planning for a financially secure future. If you have a question about pensions or would like more information about my services, please contact me today – and I will also be at the next Women in Business Expo if you want to pop by for a chat!

Sources: 1 Centre for Economics and Business Research, 2019 2,3 NOW: Pensions, Facing An Unequal Future – Closing The Gender Pensions Gap, July 2019 4 Office for National Statistics, Birth characteristics in England and Wales: 2017, released January 2019 5 Women Returners for Employees, 2016

St. James’s Place guarantees the suitability of advice offered by Wellesley Wealth Advisory when recommending any of the services and products available from companies in the Group. More details of the Guarantee are set out on the Group’s website Wellesley Wealth Advisory is a trading name of Wellesley Investment Management Ltd. The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Wellesley Investment Management Ltd: Registered Office: 44 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England TN2 5TN. Registered in England & Wales, Company No. 06530147




STOP THE TROLLS If l walked up to a random woman in the street and threatened to rape her, l would be arrested and put in the dock for threatening behaviour and/or public disorder. And quite rightfully so. But if l do it on social media or any other online platform, l will escape scot free. Why? BY MAARTEN HOFFMANN

Enough is enough of these sick little cowards who sit in their grimy little holes spewing forth insults, death threats, rape threats and the like. This case has been highlighted by the number of female MP’s who have decided to quit the political arena. The fight to get more women into parliament has been going on for years and good progress has been made but this toxic topic has set the cause back a decade or two - and we will be all the poorer for it. If we are to be ruled, then let it be by representatives of both the genders over which they rule. It’s tough enough for women to enter politics with the crazy hours and macho culture whilst trying to start a family and care for children, but when it comes to threats to that very family, nasty missives that inform that the nonces know where their children go to school


and that they will be raped on their way home, enough is enough. The murdered MP Jo Cox suddenly and tragically brought this to light. Earlier this year, Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, told parliament-arians the number of threats to female MPs had risen significantly. In the first five months of 2019, MPs reported 152 crimes to the police, who also received reports of another 600 incidents involving MPs. This is a 90% rise on the same period last year and the Met has predicted that if the trend continues, more than 450 crimes will be reported by the end of the year. In 2018, the number of crimes reported by MPs more than doubled from 151 in 2017 to 342. A range of charges can be used to tackle threats of

violence, including making a threat to kill, sending malicious communications, or harassment. Threatening to kill is at the most serious end of such offending, carrying a potential 10-year prison sentence, but the charge is rarely used. Earlier this year, the Met commander Adrian Usher, told MPs: “It is a notoriously difficult offence to prove because it contains an element of intent, and as soon as we get into intent as a point to prove, my own experience in the courts is that that is very difficult.” More commonly, offenders are convicted of harassment or malicious communications. More

often than not the case is never followed up with the usual claims of budget cuts and not enough manpower. How long can this continue?

In another incident, a person threatened to kill their MP for “not fixing their leaky roof

Instead of the simple act of tracing the senders IP address and arresting them, the police seem to think it’s a better use of their time that they find the budget and manpower to add extra security to the threatened MP’s. “Such cases are commonplace,” an all-party committee of MPs and peers concluded. “Death threats are frequent.” Social media was not the only source of threats. “We heard about threats by letter and threats from a constituent at a public meeting,” the report said. There is no doubt that Brexit has cause a spike in these cases but once the nonces think they can get away with it, they will be emboldened

over every slight they feel they have suffered. The committee report also records that one unnamed MP was forced to hide from his flat because police had found a note that “an individual was planning to kill him” until the author was apprehended. In another incident, a person threatened to kill their MP for “not fixing their leaky roof”. The committee chair, the Labour MP Harriet Harman, is concerned that public tensions could prompt further




The cabinet minister Nicky Morgan has said she will not be standing as a candidate, with one of her reasons being the abuse she has received intimidation, and wants police to ensure that political events remain peaceful. “We cannot have a situation where many MPs are looking over their shoulder,” Harman said. “There needs to be a zero tolerance of threats to MPs. That is not free speech. It’s a threat to our democracy.” Of the 58 politicians who have announced they will not stand again, 18 are women and 41 are men, which is roughly proportional to the current makeup of parliament. However, since cohorts of retiring MPs usually reflect historical intakes, the expectation would be that


the number of outgoing female parliamentarians would be lower. Among Tory ranks, the female MPs stepping down are on average 10 years younger and have spent a decade less in parliament than retiring male MPs. The cabinet minister Nicky Morgan has said she will not be standing as a candidate, with one of her reasons being the abuse she has received. The former home secretary Amber Rudd is also among the moderate Tory MPs who have said they would not fight the recent election. Despite this, the proportion of female MPs will reach 34%, the highest portion of either chamber in parliament

to date. However, there are stark differences across the party divide: just a quarter of Conservative party MPs are female, whereas the Labour party will now be represented by more women than men – with a record 104 female MPs. How long these new female MPs will stick it out is another matter. Heidi Allen, the former Conservative MP who defected to the Liberal Democrats via Change UK, also said she would not stand, highlighting “the nastiness and intimidation that has become commonplace”. Sam Smethers, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said it was extremely worrying that so many women were leaving parliament at the election and had cited “either the abuse they have received or the pressure it has put on their family life”. “We have to confront the fact that our toxic politics is driving good women MPs away. In 2019 it is still a hostile environment for women,” she said, adding that the figures should particularly worry the Conservative party, where only one in five MPs are women. “I fear that we will see the number of women MPs fall after this election. We are going backwards,” said Smethers. Something has to be done as this will only get worse if left alone. Imagine the company you work for causing you to receive, in one MPs case, over 900 death threats in a single week? Would you quit to make it stop?

GET A HEAD START IN BUSINESS Why haven’t you thought about buying your own business, asks Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, hard work is inevitable in order to succeed. The advantages of being your own boss, though, are often appealing to those who are looking to go the extra mile. Being your own boss will mean having greater control over large parts of your life. You will be the one making the decisions that will affect the future of your business and your role in it. And you’ll have the advantage of dictating your own working hours. Working hard will mean building your own legacy, rather than someone else’s and, as the business succeeds, you will be able to have the satisfaction that it was because of the risks that you took. Born entrepreneurs will be excited by these potential advantages and may be looking for the best way that they can dive into this next challenge in their life. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until you have the perfect idea and the time to build a business from scratch. You


DY NA M IC can buy a business and jump right in! Here we look at some of the reasons you may want to buy a business instead of starting one.


Buying a business will need a lot of capital. It will, of course, vary depending on the business and its potential profits but there is going to be a significant capital outlay of some sort. The advantage, though, is that there are fewer risks if you are buying a business that has a proven track record. Hand in hand with the reduced risk comes the increased chance that banks will loan you the money you need. To make sure that the business


Working hard will mean building your own legacy, rather than someone else’s is less of a financial risk, you will have to do a thorough due diligence of any business you are thinking of buying. Be sure to get a clear idea of how the business has been doing over the last three or so years. You should also be sure to identify whether there are areas in which you can expand and so make the maximum return on your investment. While starting your own business will take less capital at the start, significant investment will be needed throughout the growth stages of the business. And, without a proven track record, you may not be able to acquire the necessary loans.


Building a business also means building a brand. It can take years to establish yourself in the market with a reliable customer base. Buying a business will let you buy an already established brand. This doesn’t appeal to everyone. The challenge of building a brand and creating a marketing strategy from the ground up and the creativity that this requires is sometime the allure of starting a business. However, an already established brand does not eliminate all the creativity. Rather, you can use it as a platform to start from. As long as you don’t move the business in a completely unrelated direction, some changes to an already established brand can really develop the business.


Starting a business from scratch will necessitate a relatively indepth knowledge of cash flow procedures, the industry, hiring staff and other vital parts of running a business. Buying a business will give you the opportunity to take over already established systems that have been fine-tuned over the years. Not only this but you will also be able to see how the business fairs within its industry. Your due diligence before buying any business will determine the usefulness of the existing systems to you as you will need to have a clear understanding of how well they work. You can also get to know who it is that will be working for you were you to take over the business. If you are new to the industry or to running a business, consider negotiating a handover period. You may also want to enquire about the availability of seller financing. If the seller is invested in your success, they may be more willing to get you up to speed with what you need to know to keep the business moving in the right direction. ◗ For further information please visit


Grants for small businesses are now available through the Coast to Capital Grant programme

THE ROAD TO SUCCESS Are you cautious about investing during economic uncertainty? Coast to Capital Growth Grants could help. If you are based in West Sussex, Greater Brighton, East Surrey, Croydon or Lewes District you could apply for a grant of up to 40% of project costs, covering the cost of capital investments that provides you with the opportunity to innovate or improve productivity.


Gemini Print has been trading for more than 40 years and is the region’s award-winning accredited printing, promotional products and multi-media company with a team of more than 180 people. A £105,100 Growth Grant helped Gemini Print with the deposit to purchase a new high-speed print folder which has allowed the company to invest in more leadingedge, world-class technology to achieve cost-effective, high-quality print results for clients. Suzanne Heaven, Marketing Director at Gemini Print, said:


“With clients ranging across many sectors, every single project is bespoke and unique, but the factor that everyone has in common is a demand for the highest quality, fast and timely turnaround response, personal customer service, and the best value for money! “When you have the first contact with the Grant application process, it can appear to be very daunting. However, work through it with the confidence that the team at Coast to Capital Growth Hub are there to give positive support and guidance. While they have to stick to absolute principles of due diligence and professional process, they are friendly and approachable

at all times. I do suspect they may groan when I call them for the umpteenth time, but they hide it well! “If successful with your application, you are invited to do a short presentation to the Growth Grant Programme panel. The team will help you ensure this includes the key information the panel is expecting, so then it is your opportunity to shine by demonstrating why your investment is the right decision. Don’t expect any reaction or decision on the day of presentation – there is some nail chewing to do for seven to fourteen days. Good luck with your application!”

The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female



Julie Kapsalis

PROFILE Vicky Stevens

Expert in Residence at Coast to Capital Vicky’s role is to ensure that the Coast to Capital Growth Hub engagement with, and support of, women business leaders is equitable. This includes making sure that the Coast to Capital Growth Grant programme is accessed by more women-led businesses. As an ambassador for women in business she holds an accreditation in NatWest’s Everywoman program which supports female business owners to turn their dreams and ambitions into a reality. Vicky commented: “The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female - we need to be more ambitious and find ways to unlock the huge untapped potential. I am extremely passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs and I am delighted to have been given the exciting opportunity to work on this secondment project with Coast to Capital.”

Coast to Capital Vice Chair, Diversity Champion and Chair of the Growth Grant Awards Panel

“Ten years on from my work as an Advisor to the UK Women’s Enterprise Taskforce (2006-2009), significant challenges and barriers remain to enabling more women to set up and grow their own businesses. I am passionate about supporting more women to set up and grow their own businesses and welcome established and growing women business owners to apply for the Growth Grants Programme.”

◗ To find out more please visit, contact the Coast to Capital Growth Hub on 01293 305965 or email



A ten-point guide to flexible working by Emma Cleary, Flexibility Matters

FLEXIBLE WORKING With 87% of all full-time employees either working flexibly already or wanting to and 40% stating they would choose flexible working over a payrise*, having a flexible approach to recruitment certainly makes business sense. But how easy is it to implement and what is the best way to go about it? With the help of over 25 Sussex, Surrey and South London based businesses, at Flexibility Matters, we think we’ve come up with the answer. Over a series of roundtable collaborations, senior members of organisations including Leaders, Brandwatch and Pfizer shared some of their challenges, but most importantly their tried and tested solutions to realising flexible success. The result is a 10-point best practice guide to successfully implementing flexible working into any size business in any industry. In terms of undeniable business benefits, it was agreed


that a flexible workforce improves productivity and decreases absenteeism and companies committing to this way of working are attracting and retaining the best talent. “If you want to hold on to talent, you have to be an organisation that works for your employees”, comments Surrey roundtable participant Jess Hornsby, HR and Change Management Business Psychologist for Thales. Discussions recognised that the main key implementation challenges for most businesses, were; ‘enabling the flexible

Having a strong shared purpose, vision and set of values is crucial

working mindset to filter through multiple levels of management’ and ‘tackling tech, training and communication at a team level’. Mark Sweetinburgh, Director of Sweetinburgh and Windsor says, “It’s important to lead flexible working practices from the top and filter them down. If senior managers want it for themselves, then it will work”. Essential reading, we think, for any business about to make this vital cultural change are some of the key strategies needed for success, detailed fully in the 10-point best practice guide: ◗ A cultural core value shift that requires implementation from the very top, led by example and evident in CEOs and line managers working flexibly themselves. ◗ Internal promotion of success stories regarding retention, talent and productivity, proving that flexible arrangements improve the bottom line. ◗ A clear set of guiding principles,

FL E X I BL E training and tool kits that enable and empower managers at all levels to navigate their own team’s varying work patterns and different needs. ◗ Fostering a results-based culture rather than focusing on time spent at work – supporting managers with the tools to measure this. ◗ An investment in technology and training that embraces both business progression and new ways of working. ◗ Flexible working options to feature within job advertisements to attract the best talent and, at interview stage to establish an ideal work pattern that meets the demands of the role. “Having a strong shared purpose, vision and set of values is crucial in ensuring flexible working is seen as a positive part of organisational culture”, comments Zoe Wright, Group Director of People, B&CE At Flexibility Matters, we’re dedicated to the benefits that flexible working brings to both employers and employees and are hopeful that our recent collaborations and resulting best practice guidelines will now see it on more business agendas. *Source: Timewise Flexible Job Index


Flexibility Matters, Propellernet, First Central Insurance, The Student Room, Man Bites Dog, Futrli, Crunch, Brighton Chamber of Commerce, Platinum Publishing, B&CE, Brandwatch, Change, Grow, Live, Leaders, Kreston Reeves, Mumbelieveable, Thales, ABS Law, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Sweetinburgh and Windsor, Venture Business, The Light Bulb Tree, 3, Leadership Academy – NHS, Guidant Global, SRM, FSCS, Pfizer, Amazon, Baby to Boardroom, Become Communications.


◗ To request a full copy of the guide, email emma@flexmatters. Flexibility Matters are dedicated to flexible recruiting, best practice in flexible working, events and training. Flexibility Matters help local businesses reap the rewards of a flexible workforce and professionals secure a role that achieves the work/life balance they need. For more information, contact Emma at Flexibility Matters on 0781 0541 599,






Surrounded by women at home and at work, there is no better person in the UK to launch the Dynamic Manifesto. By Maarten Hoffmann, CEO, The Platinum Group As we explained in the last issue, the Dynamic Steering Committee have agreed that our campaign for the year will be on the subject of Flexible Working – an issue that causes heartache and angst across the country. We need women in business and therefore this country must make it easier for women to return to work after having a family. We need women to give birth to keep the country going but it is imperative that we make it easier to them to return to work whenever they choose to do so. As the Managing Director of the Platinum Group, l decided many years ago that l could not bang on about this subject without standing up to be counted, I make a conscious effort to employ women who are returning to work. I have to admit, it has its challenges but with four children myself and being a full-time hands-on Dad, l understand them

quite well but from an employers point of view, things have to adjust to this new reality. Firstly, it can be tough around school holidays and half-terms and if little Johnny falls ill, there is a strong chance that I will lose that person from the business for a while but is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes as the company gets so much from women that having days when she cannot be with us equal out quite well, with all the extra effort she puts in. Women suffer from guilt more than men and l see constant worry etched on her face that she is not pulling her weight compared to those not on flexible working but this is a guilt that is not justified in any way. Her answer to this is to work harder than anyone else and l will often see mails going out in the evening when Johnny is in bed. It’s just a different way of working and one that we had all better get used to.


Men need to understand this too as it is men that l find cause many of the problems of flexible working. When half-term pops up, it is often the women who ask to take the week off as their husbands assume this is the way it will be. Does that mean that men are afraid of asking for time off for such school breaks whereby they expect that their wives will? If so, that needs to change. The half-term breaks should be split equally between mum and dad and not assumed to fall onto mum’s shoulders. Platinum has five flexi-workers on the team and recently this arose when one lady mentioned that she would have to work from home the following week


as it was half-term. I commented that surely her partner would be taking some of that responsibility but the reply was “Oh no, he has to work”. If women are to get back into the harness, then men must pull their weight and accept at least half the burden of the children they created – and their employers have to understand too. The other element of this subject that gets my goat is the cost of pre-school childcare, resulting in many women going back to work for nothing as every penny earnt is sucked up in expensive childcare provision. So keen is she to get back to work that she is prepared to work for nothing and that is not acceptable. I have heard this time and time again. Of the Dynamic Manifesto published here, you will see that number 2 is: All pre-school nursery

places should be free of charge on recognition that the country makes more from working women taxes than it would pay out in childcare. I see the Conservative manifesto (which l fully recognise could be a total work of fiction) states: Raising a family should be the most fulfilling experience of your life. But for too many parents, the cost of childcare is a heavy burden, which is why we will put more money into creating more childcare places. Under the Flexible Childcare Services fund, there would be £250m for 2021-22, £255m for 2022-23, and £260m for 2023-24’. Their manifesto does not clarify who would be eligible for the extra childcare places or whether it would be distributed to local authorities or providers. Contrary to previous press reports, there is no commitment to expand ‘free’ childcare to all two-year-olds. It also does not



creating a huge and growing shortfall of two thirds of a billion pounds and forcing thousands of providers to close.” The £1 billion promised goes to after school and holiday provision and that is great and much needed but it ignores the most important element and that is pre-school nursery provision. Therefore, the burden will have to fall on large companies and that is where the Dynamic Manifesto number 1 comes in: All companies with more than 800 staff should be bound by law, and common sense, to create a crèche/nursery in the workplace. In the last issue, we interviewed the CEO of the North East Surrey College of Technology (Nescot), Frances Rutter who has an inhouse nursery with 52 places and this offers huge reassurance to staff and students alike that their children are being looked after one floor below and they can pop down to see them, and reassure them if required, at any time they choose. So it can be done and when the numbers are crunched with the costs versus the increased income, it soon becomes clear that this is the way forward. In addition, it ensure that the company is a very attractive, progressive place to work and increases the pool of talent applying for each role. The corporate world has to bypass government and tackle this subject directly and head-on. Let’s get going. mention increasing funding to meet the actual delivery costs of the free entitlement. The Chief Executive of the Early Years Alliance, Neil Leitch said, ‘Promises of business as usual like this will mean little to those providers struggling to

make “free childcare” work. Even as we have seen soaring costs in wages, pension contributions and business rates, early years funding levels have remained stuck at what they were when they were set in 2015. That underfunding has plunged the sector into crisis,





Dynamic hears the inspirational story of Emma Knight, Head of Partnerships and Major Donor Giving at the Martlets, on her battle to survive and thrive


In the last nine years I’ve weathered several storms while living alone with my two young daughters and holding down demanding but meaningful work. I have come through all this ‘stuff’ mostly with a smile, the support of my family and friends, and a knowledge that this is all relative and my fortune is greater than that of many people. I still believe that, despite the latest challenge; a diagnosis of and treatment for a rare, aggressive cancer. On January 31st 2018 I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer which had spread to my lymph nodes. Three months later I was told I also have the BRCA2 genetic mutation meaning I am at greater risk of other cancers. Life’s latest dose of pain was harsh and at times made me wonder what lessons the universe


thought I still needed! I already knew how comparatively lucky I am. I also knew I was working too hard, but I love my job for Martlets and my girls weren’t suffering; in fact, my role was teaching them valuable lessons. This latest ‘challenge’ made them suffer though. They were given an even more exhausted mum and a weight far too heavy for their young, beautiful shoulders. It was up to me to make this terrifying experience okay for them and I knew within 48 hours of diagnosis what I had to do.


Never has my own resilience and inner strength been tested to the extent it was throughout and, to an extent, after treatment. However, two nights after a devastating diagnosis, having lain awake all night considering my own mortality and the impact on my two young daughters, I made a firm decision. I decided that I would put my mental health before anything else in order to give my body the best possible chance of recovery. That night I created a state of being that stemmed from an urgent need for self-preservation. Thereafter I often referred to myself as feeling zen. I would not tolerate stress around me, actively

Life’s latest dose of pain was harsh and at times made me wonder what lessons the universe thought I still needed!

No hair, don’t care. May 2018, mid chemo



pushing it away; I knew I would have a tough experience to get through but that I would survive, just as the clinical team had told me; and I created quiet space just for me. It became blindingly obvious that I was not going to be a mother, daughter, friend or employee if I didn’t survive, so I simply needed to put myself first. I experienced a lesson in mindset that came from somewhere deep-down, somewhere I must have stored some wisdom. This was a very personal experience and I am aware that we all respond very differently when faced with scary situations. However, I knew at that moment that I could not expect anything of my body if I didn’t take care of my mind. It really was a case of sink or swim, and I swam like nothing was in my way and I wouldn’t stop until I reached land, however far that was. This mental strength felt connected to my gut. I’ve failed my gut in the past, not trusting it, but I began to trust it at every turn. I often felt afraid and deeply sad, but I had an unshakeable feeling in my gut that I would get through this toughest challenge yet, and I did. It wasn’t all about the mind and gut, of course.



Above: Martlets Halloween Ball, October 2019, five months after second major surgery. Right: Brighton Pride, August 2017, five months before diagnosis.

Nineteen weeks of chemo, two surgeries, radiotherapy, daily green smoothies, massage, yoga, uplifting reading and films, and the support of my loved ones all played into my treatment and recovery. And I still have some to go.


It comes as a surprise to many but work also played a large part. At my first appointment my oncologist asked about my life and my lifestyle. She encouraged any exercise I felt capable of, the odd

It really was a case of sink or swim, and I swam like nothing was in my way and I wouldn’t stop until I reached land, however far that was 62

glass of wine, fresh air, good food and work – as much as I could manage. Her overriding advice was to try and live as normal a life as possible, as those of her patients who did so recovered faster after each round of chemo. This carrying on as ‘normal’ was given further impetus as I was also in a position of having no back-up. Being the sole income for a house of three with no critical illness cover (get it people!), meant I simply couldn’t even afford a reduction in pay. So, I worked. I worked immediately after a day’s chemo as the steroids coursed through my veins giving me boundless energy. I worked at home when my immune system would have been too delicate for an open-plan office. I met with major donors and secured Ambassador relationships and partnerships in support of Martlets life-changing hospice care. This was ultimately made possible with the support of a team of the most extraordinary


colleagues and my ongoing commitment to avoid any stress – especially other people’s. I focused on what I could do to achieve the very best results for Martlets with the time and energy I had between treatments and I did so with the unfailing support of some very good humans.


I attribute much of my resilience and attitude to the most frightening experience of my life to that one moment, alone in a dark room at 2am. The light-bulb moment when I knew I had to put my own mental health before anything else. However, the cliché ‘there’s no i in team’ exists for a reason, both at work and in one’s personal life. I experienced love and support in glorious technicolour. So strong, vivid and powerful that I can honestly say the most painful experience of my life included some of the biggest moments of pure joy. I had the steadfast

‘Still I’ll rise’, as will my daughters support of family, friends, colleagues and the kindness of new friends and total strangers. I also had the magnificent NHS by my side. My resilience was fuelled by the people around me.


I also discovered writing! It’s therapy. It occupied me when I was sleepless; it allowed me to purge my thoughts and feelings; it enabled me to share the story as it unfolded, meaning an understanding for all who cared and less repetition for me; and, the most wonderful part, it went on to help women and men dealing with their own frightening experiences.

At times I felt broken, particularly after active treatment as life very suddenly went ‘back to normal’ and everyone around me got on with their lives. I wondered if I’d ever be the same and how I’d manage with the ongoing after effects and the ever-present fear of recurrence. But I’m here and I am. Feeling like you’re not coping doesn’t mean you’re not resilient. Recognising your struggle, the emotions you feel and how challenging something is, is part of being resilient. Asking for help and accepting help make you resilient. Humans are put to the test all the time and seem to be able to come through the most adverse situations, sometimes in the most inspiring ways, sometimes quietly and in pain. But we do it. My friend Liz attributed my own good outcomes to ‘positivity and science’, as did my oncologist who told me simply to keep doing what I was doing. Cancer is scary, intrusive, physically hurts, and takes away so much control. So, my mind, accompanied by my gut, science, medicine and healthy choices, was my priority in order to survive. An instinct we all share. In the words of Maya Angelou, humbly quoted, as she wrote of very different challenge and injustice of the kind I will never know, ‘still I’ll rise’, as will my daughters.


CELEBRATING WOMEN AT MANNINGS HEATH International Women’s Day Lunch Thursday 5th March 2020 This inaugural lunch will be a highlight in the estate’s 2020 events calendar, The International Women’s Day event - which men are very welcome to attend too of course! Guests can enjoy a wine tasting and talk by our own wine expert. This will be followed by a two-course lunch in the Latilla Campbell Suite, with a warm welcome by the estate owner Penny Streeter OBE - the highly successful entrepreneur, who will share her story and some invaluable tips. There will be another guest speaker, followed by what we are sure will be a lively question and answer session.  The event is supported by the Institute of Directors and Platinum Publishing Group and is strictly a limited, ticketed event at £40pp. So please mark the date in your diary and further details will be available closer to the time.

Mannings Heath estate owner, Penny Streeter OBE

To register your interest please email Gill Fee at 65


Julie Kapsalis looks at the significance of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th each year. It dates back to an event organised in New York in 1909 held in solidarity for a group of women garment workers who had gone on strike to protest over working conditions. The following year, a meeting in Copenhagen established an international day to focus on achieving universal suffrage for women and promoting women’s rights. In 1975, The United Nations began celebrating the day and in some countries the day is a public holiday. Events can range from protests to celebration – and pretty much everything in between. In the UK, the day has gained an increased profile over the past 20 years and I welcome it as an opportunity for debate, discussion and celebration. In 2019, I hosted an event in partnership with NatWest and

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to celebrate and thank female role models and leaders. A lack of realistic role models is often cited as a barrier to women whether in starting a business, building their career or looking to attain their personal goals. Our event was held at Crawley College and brought together female students starting their career journey with established female professionals in the local area. It was an opportunity to learn from each other and address the challenges we still face. At the event, we also invited the business leaders to bring a guest - someone who had inspired and supported them. This gave us a powerful grouping of around 70 women to celebrate and mark International Women’s Day. IWD must not however be an annual ‘one off. I am proud to be continuing work with NatWest on

International Women’s Day reminds me of both how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go 66

INTER NATIONA L WOMEN’S DAY the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. The review is a Government commissioned report to consider the barriers women face in business and how these can be addressed. At the heart of the report is a compelling evidence base as to why this is not just an issue of equality but an issue for the economy: “The UK is the start-up capital of Europe, attracting more venture capital than any other European country, yet only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female. In comparison with 15% of women in Canada, almost 11% of women in the US, and over 9% of women in Australia and the Netherlands, only 5.6% of UK women run their own companies. But without more women in business, the UK is losing out. The advancement of female entrepreneurs is a £250bn opportunity for the UK economy.” This year, the theme for IWD is #EachforEqual - an equal world is an enabled world. The International Women’s Day website states:

“Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.” In my role as Vice Chair and Diversity Champion at Coast to Capital LEP, we are continuing to address gender equality. We are working with NatWest running a banker in residence programme to

support female entrepreneurs and are working to develop a network of peer support and role models in the Gatwick Diamond. In addition, we have gone from a Board with just one female private sector representative to six – although there is still more to do to address our wider diversity and to ensure we are representative of our region. For me, IWD is a lens – it focuses debate and attention – celebrating success and calling out the barriers and challenges we still face. It also reminds me of both how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go.

Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us Christabel Pankhurst


WHERE TO CELEBRATE ACROSS THE COUNTRY International Women’s Day 2020 Sunday March 8th #EachforEqual




MARCH 5TH 18.30-22.00 MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL, HYDE PARK, LONDON Join Bazaar At Work for their second annual celebration of International Women’s Day. Guests will enjoy a champagne reception, followed by a threecourse dinner in the company of the magazine’s editor-in-chief and an exclusive line-up of inspirational speakers. ◗ iwd-harpers-bazaar

MARCH 6TH 08.00-11.00 LONDON GUILDHALL A celebration of the contribution of women to the Square Mile, this inspirational breakfast event will have a particular focus on encouraging and supporting young people on their chosen career pathway. The event has run in the Guildhall for the past 12 years and has raised much-needed funds for Refuge. ◗

MARCH 9TH 18.00-21.00 BRIGHTON GIRLS SCHOOL MONTPELIER ROAD BRIGHTON An evening of talks and networking with four fantastic speakers SheSays Brighton helps #womenintech and design through inspiring events and keynote speakers. ◗ shesayswomensday2020.

WOW - WOMEN OF THE WORLD MARCH 6TH-8TH SOUTHBANK CENTRE, LONDON Celebrating 10 years since its launch, the WOW – Women of the World Festival returns this year to explore the state of gender equality and celebrate women and girls across the globe. This three-day event will see author Emma Dabiri take to the stage and will feature an ”Under 10s Feminist Corner”. ◗


An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION MARCH 7TH FROM 10AM BRIGHTON MUSEUM BRIGHTON DOME Brighton Women’s Centre and Brighton Museum come together to celebrate International Women’s Day with a packed creative programme for everyone. Learn about a variety of feminist causes and campaigns at the heart of this day from inspiring speakers, activists and innovators. ◗

And if you fancy a trip across the pond… WOMEN IN THE WORLD SUMMIT APRIL 1ST-3RD A THREE-DAY SUMMIT IN NEW YORK CITY Celebrating a milestone in the American women’s movement, the Women in the World Summit will mark 100 years of American women winning the right to vote. Speakers range from CEOs and world leaders to artists, activists and peacemakers. Previous speakers and panellists include American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.


We speak to Hazel Adeyemo of Signature Safaris on her life-changing encounters with Africa 70

You lived in South Africa for nine years, how did your career there differ to that in the UK? The difference in work-life balance initially felt huge. Cape Town is well known for being laid back and having previously been working long hours with tight deadlines it felt like I was getting my life back. Selling Africa as a destination and being based there made a huge difference to my knowledge and understanding of the region. The opportunities for travel were plentiful and access was easy. Living and breathing a country and its culture adds an extra dimension to how you approach work and your life in general.

Did you experience any challenges along the way? Nothing happens quickly so you learn patience and repeat the mantra TIA (This is Africa). Although frustrating, I think this has made me deal with problems and challenges in the workplace far better than I used to. Becoming a parent was a huge challenge. Limited maternity pay, private healthcare costs and staffing problems meant I was back working after six weeks. I was lucky to have a supportive partner but caring for a newborn whilst trying to send out quotes six weeks post c-section wasn’t what we had planned.


I N T E RV I E W not knowing what is around the next corner. Close encounters with majestic animals such as leopard, lion, giraffe or rhino take your breath away. I can’t think of another type of holiday that has such a huge impact on people. Once you have been to Africa you always want to return.

What has been your most magical wildlife encounter? I will always remember being on a small tender boat on the Chobe River in Botswana. We saw a herd of elephants by the river bank and our guide cut the boat’s engine and we slowly drifted towards them. We sat for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes as the elephant family, mum and babies, played and splashed in the water. We were so close I found myself holding my breath in case we moved.

You met your husband in Africa, how did he adjust to life here? Surprisingly easily although he had a baptism of fire. The first time he met his future in laws was when we moved in with them for three months! Having family and friends living in the UK was a huge help. His English is also excellent, so that combined with a strong work ethic meant he was able to find work and integrate quickly. If you ask him what he finds hardest he would probably say winter. It’s a shock for someone who has lived most of their life in Africa.

For anyone that hasn’t been on safari, describe the experience? Being able to see an incredible variety of wildlife in its natural environment is so special and for many quite emotional. There is an excitement to heading out in the morning and

Where is your favourite place to visit? This is like asking someone to pick their favourite child! Each place has a special memory – South Luangwa in Zambia for its remoteness and for having the most leopards I have ever seen. Masai Mara in Kenya as the original safari destination, a hot air balloon trip over the vast plains is a must. The Okavango Delta in Botswana. Gliding through the narrow water channels in a traditional Mekoro dugout canoe is so tranquil. South Africa has everything. Mountains, beaches, safari, amazing food and wine and so much more. Describe Africa in three words Magical, diverse, life-changing. ◗ For more information email info@signature or visit






WE FACE In the second part of our interview with Rosemary French OBE, the Chair of Dynamic’s Steering Committee, Rosemary recounts the sexism she has faced during her business career and looks at the ongoing challenges that women still encounter

Have you ever experienced any sexism in your career? It is difficult to explain but, so often, sexism was ‘just the way it was’ during most of my career. I would avoid travelling in an elevator in case I was trapped with a lewd, usually old man. I would lock myself in my hotel room instead of having dinner and being seen because men would go to great lengths to find out your room number and knock on your door. My first bad experience was at my second national retailer, when I had really proved myself and received an excellent appraisal. I asked if I could get a pay rise to bring me up to my equivalent male colleague’s salary. I was so angry and confused that the reply was that I did not need a pay rise because I would never be the breadwinner of the family. I never forgot that HR Director’s name – Bob Black. I had just been told that I would never be as good as a man at work, in the most effective way possible, in my pay packet.

How have attitudes to women (and opportunities for women) in business changed in your time in business? I think that attitudes have improved to some extent but that also many attitudes today are hidden and suppressed. My very own nephew, who is 32, has just left his job because he is ‘fed up with women getting time off to have babies or to go home to

tend a sick child’. I have raging rows with him about his arrogant attitude. I also know of many small businesses that are afraid to employ young women in case they get pregnant and leave them in the lurch not knowing whether they will come back. I do think that there are far more opportunities because of the full employment situation in the UK currently. Employers, especially large employers recognise the importance of enticing those top young women into their firms. But the opportunities are still restricted at the higher levels where the glass ceiling continues to exist.




Do barriers still exist for women seeking a business career? There are still huge barriers for those mothers who find it hard or impossible to get back into work because of the cost of childcare or because they cannot continue a long commute to work due to family commitments. I find it so sad that way back around 2006, such great conversations were taking place in the Labour government about childcare issues. Yet in 2019 we are looking at the Rose Review which is telling us the same thing - that the economy is not tapping into the enormous potential of women returners. In those 13 years, other countries in Europe have really got their act together. My sister who lives in France had five children and each was put into the nursery, still in nappies at only two years of age, with a hall filled with camp beds for an afternoon sleep – all fully paid for by the government. What would you do if you were Prime Minister with regards women’s opportunities? More than anything it is solving this childcare issue. It is truly a vicious circle. FE Colleges are being denied funding to take on enough childcare students and,


like nurses, the students must pay their way. We do not have nearly enough childcare trainees in the pipeline which results in demand being higher than supply and as a result the costs escalate. Mothers with a child need to forget about taking home any pay at all for those years in childcare because the costs will suck up all their salary. You need to earn at least £60k just to be able to pay full time costs. If you have a second child below five, you can forget about going back to work unless you or your husband is at CEO level and earning huge sums! Also, the government never recognises the huge role that grandparents play in looking after children. They should receive some sort of voucher or tax relief to recognise the importance of this work.

Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around in a job. Find another!

Since 2010, cabinet positions for diversity and women’s equality have gone down in seniority. Last year, the government has appointed its tenth Equality and Women’s minister. That says it all – it is an inconvenience rather than a priority. What advice would you offer to a young woman starting her career now? If you are finding it difficult to choose a career, don’t worry, an employer will choose you if you can demonstrate willingness, enthusiasm and passion. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around in a job. Find another! Try hard to be in a good geographical position when you have children to enable you to work locally. A career in London is no good if you live in Brighton and have a one-year-old child. Research the interesting and well paid careers, often with global and nationally known brand companies that are on your doorstep. You do not need to be a commuter and put a strain on your personal life. Remember that work should be enjoyable and not a chore. What’s more you get paid to have fun, meet new friends and to continue to learn.



Snapshot… The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company recently announced that Caroline Criado Perez is the winner of the 2019 Business Book of the Year Award for INVISIBLE WOMEN: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, published by Abrams Press in US and Chatto & Windus in the UK. The award recognises the book which provides a compelling insight into modern business issues, and how designers and developers have persistently excluded or played down women in the data they use. PICTURE CREDIT: RACHEL LOUISE BROWN

{at a g l a n c e } The Big Issues I Facts and stats

Just 9% of the funding funnelled into UK start-ups goes to women-run businesses, according to the Entrepreneurs Network.

More than two-thirds of female entrepreneurs admitted they find it hard to bounce back from failures, compared with 55% of men, according to a report conducted by Vistaprint.

No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens Michelle Obama


Just 6% of executive board seats in the energy industry are filled by women, and 42% of major energy firms have no women on their boards at all. Powerful Women

As of June 1st 2019, 32.1% of the FTSE 100 board positions were held by women – up from 12.5% in 2011.

TOP 8 CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE IN BUSINESS Limited funding Balancing responsibilities Fear of failure Inadequate support network Gender equality Limited knowledge Unfavourable business environment ◗ Timidity ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗






SOCIA L Ian Trevett meets Kerry Watkins, the Founder and MD of Social Brighton, who is on a mission to help people unleash the full potential of social media

A question I like to ask in an interview is: What is your elevator pitch? Kerry Watkins immediately launches into a well-prepared and upbeat mini-speech which starts, “There are 3.5 billion social media users in the world, with 9% year-on-year growth. There are 1.6 billion people logging into Facebook every day, half a billion people using Instagram Stories every day. The new boy TikTok has already gained 500 million users, and was the most downloaded app in the US last year.” The volume of users on social media is staggering, and it is no wonder that almost every business, large or small, is tweeting, posting and engaging like crazy. But how many have a genuine plan on how to convert the activity into customers or

advocates? Do they know why they are posting content and whether or not it has any effect? Back in 2010, Kerry instantly recognised the potential of the platforms. Then working as an Operations Manager in hospitality, she recalls, “It was clear to me that social media was going to be a game changer in terms of marketing and communicating, particularly in the hospitality sector at that time, full of young people and early adopters. And this was exciting - these were our customers and advances in tech were changing the way that people communicated, discovered events and shared information. “I saw a huge opportunity to embrace social media. Not only to promote the businesses I looked after more effectively but also to

engage in two way communication with our customers using the channels they were spending all their time on. “The result was an ambitious social media strategy, shaving tens of thousands off the expenses line, an engaged audience and our organisation getting ahead of the game at an early stage in terms of digital.” As well as disrupting the approach of the business, Kerry started her own social media blog, and Social Brighton was born. The blog quickly attracted attention and Kerry realised that she was able to help other businesses take advantage of social media.





In 2014, she reached a crisis point in her career, which many female entrepreneurs with families will recognise and identify with. “I was travelling a lot to London when my daughter was young,” says Kerry. “There’s something about having kids that gives you a different perspective. I remember opening my laptop one Monday morning and fighting back tears because I was so stressed. I was working for a group of middleaged male directors and I had a completely different outlook to them.” With a five-year-old daughter to look after, she took the plunge and Social Brighton became a fullterm business. Despite a bout of Imposter Syndrome, Kerry’s drive came from her resolute faith in the possibilities that social media presented. She says, “What was

really exciting about social media, and I still think is very exciting, is the way it gives individuals a voice. We are all self publishers. We can share opinions and messages globally in an instant. And whilst there are risks that come with this, there are also huge opportunities.” “My mission was to empower businesses to implement a coherent social strategy. It’s not just about putting content out there. It is essential to set clear goals, otherwise you have no clear objectives and no way to measure how effective your campaign has been. Social is really more of a communications channel than a marketing tool. If you think about who your target customer is and what they’re interested in, you are going to stop them scrolling past your posts. Your content should be more aligned to them rather than just talking about yourself. “We deliver training and coaching and we also encourage businesses to look at their culture, so that it’s not just a marketing person who works remotely doing the social media. We have also developed an agency side of the

business, particularly in paid social which is more complex than organic social, but the emphasis is always to help businesses deliver results through social.

“We have to be creative and excellent communicators but also act as data analysts.” Dropping overnight from a decent salary to zero was a big risk, but it was a gamble that paid off. Now based in Hove’s Platf9rm with a young and talented team of creatives, Social Brighton is firmly established as the go-to business for social media marketing and training. Five years on, Kerry has no regrets, “I still love what I do and I love being able to come into the office and work with a brilliant team. We’re still small, but I think the people that I work with is very important and I’m really lucky to find our particular team of people who are just great at what they do. “I see my role as leading and developing these young people in their 20s. I’m trying to develop them all to make myself not so needed in the business in the future. I want them to treat it as if it was their business.”


For Kerry, creating a business has no value unless it has a purpose, as she explains, “I want to offer good employment with a work/life balance (we recently implemented a four-day week!) as well as to try and help businesses use social media more responsibly. “Businesses have a responsibility to make the digital space a positive place for our children. My daughter will be a teenager soon and I don’t want her going on to Instagram, seeing things that aren’t real, seeking validation through engagement or seeing things that negatively impact her mental health. “I’m keen to work on more social impact projects, particularly around gender equality. I’ve worked on four or five different global projects with gender equality objectives in developing countries. “For instance, the aim of one project was to improve health care

and education for women who live in the slums of Kenya. We’ve managed campaigns to challenge social norms in certain African countries where violence against women is a norm. We’ve delivered global advertising campaigns for a charity called The Girl Effect, which tries to improve confidence and opportunities for women. These projects really give me job satisfaction and represent to me the good that social media can do. “We organised a conference in October 2019 called ‘Grow19 – Make Marketing Mean Something!’ which we’re going to run annually. Over 100 people came along who were interested in how to become more responsible and ethical marketers; something I really wanted to develop as the heart of our business. We’re going to continue doing these kinds of annual conferences and events. It’s all about using social for good whether we’re businesses or individuals – and making the digital space a positive and progressive place to be for all.”

◗ @social_brighton





A countryside hideaway boasting a cutting-edge spa, Health Editor Tess de Klerk spends a day unwinding at The Spa at South Lodge Hotel I admit that I struggled to contain my glee when I received an invite from the lovely Sara to review The Spa at South Lodge Hotel. I then had to remind myself to temper my expectations as these things rarely live up to the purported hype but I am pleased to report that this hype is well deserved! South Lodge Hotel can rightly be proud of their award-winning, state-ofthe-art spa which opened its doors last year.


Set into the natural contours of the breathtaking Sussex Downs, the oak clad premises meld seamlessly with their surroundings, with floor to ceiling windows throughout the thermal suite, a gym and an indoor infinity pool. Never have I had such a breathtaking view whilst enjoying a sauna! Amongst others, The Spa features a steaming outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Yes, an outdoor pool hot enough to comfortably

laze in during even the coldest of winter days. Oh, and did I mention the spectacular, everpresent views? With these facilities, one gains the benefits of spending time in nature whilst indulging in the lap of luxury. But just in case you might feel the desire to plunge further, there is a beautiful 18m wild swimming pool on the grounds. My morning flew by in a jasmine-scented haze of decadence and I reluctantly made my way to Botanika for a spot of lunch. My reluctance quickly disappeared as I sat in the beautiful restaurant, spoilt for choice. Head chef Jonathan Spiers has created a Mediterranean

influenced menu using the South Downs as a larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients. Although not vegetarian, the menu features a plethora of plant-based plates with something special for all dietary preferences. I was served a perfect dish of seabass with Jerusalem

artichoke, samphire and a black garlic dressing only to be topped off by the lightest, creamiest of cheesecakes. Aaah, all in a day’s work... Next, I was led to the calming treatment rooms. The Spa at South Lodge offers a wide range of body, face, nail and hair treatments in their treatment rooms, mud room and Ridgeview Beauty Bar. All their treatments use luxurious brand products, carefully selected for their company philosophies and results-driven properties. I opted for the bamboo massage and my therapist, Dawn, clearly knows her stuff! She found areas of deeply seated tension I hadn’t

She found areas of deeply seated tension I hadn’t realised I had and she deftly massaged me into utter bliss

realised I had and she deftly massaged me into utter bliss. After a refreshing drink of juice blended with herbal elixirs, it was time for my treatment at the luxury clinic, Aesthetic Collective. The clinic offers the latest in non-surgical cosmetic and aesthetic treatments performed by skilled medical practitioners and therapists. I was curious to try the relatively new, no downtime Byonik pulse-triggered laser treatment as it seemed the ideal accompaniment to my luxury spa day. I have not often come across a technologically advanced treatment after which I can pop straight back to the steam room. Still, I expected discomfort during treatment, as it is more often than not with laser, but I can attest that it felt like any other relaxing facial but with super-charged results. All in all The Spa at South Lodge Hotel is superb and I walked away from the beautiful premises feeling radiant and revitalised. ◗




Does it work? Tess de Klerk explores the pros and cons of this latest health craze You might have noticed the buzz around the practice of intermittent fasting. Everyone from the fitness guru Ben Greenfield to Jennifer Aniston can’t seem to praise the practice enough but what does it entail, is it safe and does it work? Let me start by expelling the notion that fasting is starving. I for one shudder at the idea of struggling through 24 hours without sustenance and it simply prompts me to add Camembert to my grocery list! The good news is that the benefits of intermittent fasting start kicking in after abstaining for 12 hours. Yes, this can simply mean not eating after

8pm and having breakfast after 8am. Do-able. The most obvious use of intermittent fasting relates to weight loss and the myriad of advantages a healthy BMI brings but proven benefits include increased energy levels, reduced inflammation, reduced leptin levels which can lead to an increase in testosterone in men, an increase in cell detoxification, and perhaps the most exciting discovery of all, protection against neurodegenerative diseases.  We are so used to frequent eating to ensure optimal amounts of nutrients pertinent for health,

We are so used to frequent eating to ensure optimal amounts of nutrients pertinent for health, that it might be hard to grasp why fasting works 82

that it might be hard to grasp why fasting works. It can be helpful to understand the bodily process. When we eat the body transforms food into glycogen, which is stored in the liver. During times of fasting, glycogen reserves are lowered. When glycogen/energy reserves reach a certain low, the body responds by releasing fat cells into the bloodstream. These fat cells are now converted into energy, for the body and brain, in a process known as ketosis. Fundamentally the body switches to ‘survival mode’ and uses body fat to survive.


Studies have shown an increase of up to 60% of energy converted from fat in people who fasted between 12-24 hours, with the biggest change occurring after fasting for 18 hours. It is obvious that burning fat reserves for energy will go a long way in losing weight but in the brain ketones also trigger the release of BDNF, which helps strengthen and build neurons and neural connections in areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning. One of the most impressive studies has shown an increase of ketone production significantly improving the

memory of people with early signs of dementia. Fasting is not necessarily the only way to boost ketone production as cutting back on carbohydrates and increasing intake of healthy fats can have a similar effect. However, research has shown that the ketogenic diet (low-carb, high-fat intake) increases ketones fourfold whereas fasting shows an increase of up to twenty fold.  In other words, fasting intermittently for periods of 12-24 hours can be beneficial for the health of many but it is not for everyone. Fasting is


contraindicated for expectant mothers, youths, and the elderly, and anyone with any medical condition should consult their health care provider first. One might also be concerned about dealing with that ‘hangry’ monster hidden inside many of us! That destructive force spawned by hunger but I can report that by the second day of my experimental fasting, hunger seemed to fade away, I felt quite calm and did not feel the need to eat until 12pm. It is early days but thus far, in my case, intermittent fasting has, mercifully, not been as arduous as I expected.




Are you sitting comfortably? Why is occupational posture important and interventions that work Occupational posture describes how we use our body to perform effectively at work. When our muscles are strong and flexible and we work in a balanced manner, taking adequate breaks to move and reset and managing stress through mindfulness, we become creators of our own wellness. We are mentally resilient, physically strong and perform at our best. Unfortunately, in the majority of workplaces, this is not the case. Long hours sitting without moving and a lack of functional physical fitness lead to poor posture, weak core muscles and poor breathing techniques. Repetitive movement and muscular holding create neck, wrist and back pain, high stress levels and poor performance. So, what do you need to know in order to change how poor posture affects your health and your employees’ health?




Simple, take regular breaks and stretch during the day. Use your wellness app to remind you to move and practice a one-minute breath meditation.


As sports massage therapists we know that everyone experiences physical tension on some level. Trigger points are created to allow the body to compensate for our poor posture. Experiencing these points through massage treatments or by stretching creates awareness of holding patterns and imbalances. In our wellbeing at work sessions, we are regularly approached by people who have ‘niggles’ with their shoulders, neck and lower back. Educating people to understand that neck pain may emanate from tight pectoral muscles in their chest and the rounding of their shoulders only takes a few minutes and can have a profound effect on a successful outcome.


Take the stairs, walk across the office, take 15 minutes at lunch and walk in nature – it’s great for the mind and body.


Everyone wants to stretch their way out of aches and pains, citing the tight muscle as the root cause. However, in the majority of cases it is weakness in a particular muscle or muscle group that leads to aches and pains (though where there is overuse and inflammation this needs to be addressed first). Focusing on strength work will resolve the problem in many cases.


It has been recently reported that sitting for hours at a desk impacts our fitness. Sedentary life is worse for us than smoking. Movement and fitness help to reduce incidents of heart disease and other major diseases. Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital reinforces what we know. “Sedentary,


Ask for a ‘Fit to Sit’ assessment from Brighton Wellbeing Company to educate your people about a balanced sitting posture.


Getting others involved always makes change ‘fun’. Create a ‘plank’ challenge or walking challenge to engage your people to get involved.

DY N A M I C R E A D ER O F F ER 20% OFF all bookings that quote DYNAMIC

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Western lifestyles have led to a higher incidence in heart disease and this shows that it’s modifiable. It is reversible,” he explained. “We’re meant to walk, run, exercise. It’s all about getting up and moving.” (Source: CNN)


The strength of our posture is relative to the strength of the muscles and muscle groups. When our posture is strong, everything flows (lymph, blood) within the body and that dynamic movement facilitates wellness.

Want to do more? ◗ Try a ‘Fit to Sit’ session at work ◗ Get a personal training session at the gym ◗ Book a physio appointment ◗ Try a Pilates class


Ultimately there is no quick fix solution, we are, after all, changing behaviours. Start small, get moving and engage colleagues, recognising that strength and fitness is the key to postural wellness.


Want to know more about how to get your people ‘Fit to Sit’ then contact Brighton Wellbeing Company to learn more about fit to sit posture workshops and DSE assessments. ◗

NEXT ISSUE Massage at Work and Mindfulness – supporting physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace.






The story of Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C. J. Walker, is an unbelievable success story against all the odds. Penina Shepherd, the Founder & CEO of Acumen Business Law and Acumen People, profiles one of the most inspirational female entrepreneurs of all time I asked Rona, 12 years old: “What do you think the first woman who became a millionaire entrepreneur looked like?” Rona replied: “Mmm. blonde, smooth skin, shoulder length hair, red lipstick, blue eyes, American.” According to the Guinness Book of Records, the first woman to become a millionaire entrepreneur was Madam C. J. Walker. Born in 1867, Mrs Walker was the African-American daughter to two slaves and became an orphan at age seven, when she was working as a servant. She got married at 14 years old, became a mother at 17 only to lose her husband who died two years later. As many others in her community in the 1880s, she was working in the fields picking cotton earning $1.50 a day, on a good day. You wouldn’t have thought that would be the foundation story for a woman to become the first self-made millionaire. But it was. What was unique about Mrs Walker was that while most only see the (metaphorical) lock on the door, she saw the door and knew that it had the potential to open. She just needed to get her foot in the door and that’s exactly what she did!

She was applying it on herself and on women in her close community and it worked. So she made the incredible decision: she decided to leave her job and set up an independent business.


Madam Walker was a single mother, living in a racist world, without capital or connections; this was her starting point. She was going door to door offering to perform the treatment for women for free in the hope that they would buy the product. And it worked. People loved her and her product. She recruited more women for marketing work, developed more products, set up a production plant and even a women’s empowerment school for her agency. And if that wasn’t enough, she also became a philanthropist and worked tirelessly to help African-American women.


Mrs Walker was suffering from hair loss and she was not the only one. The poor hygiene conditions caused hair loss to many women in Mrs Walker’s community. At the same time she was helping her brother who was a barber to sell hair products. That inspired her to make various attempts to find a solution to her own hair problem and she found that a combination of sulphur and Vaseline caused her hair to grow.




In 1912, she addressed an annual gathering of the National Negro Business League (NNBL), where she declared: “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there, I was promoted to the kitchen. And from there, I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.” When asked what it was that made her successful she said: “The only thing I did was that I just got up and started doing.”


Getting started is the most difficult but also most important step for anyone who wants to be successful in business. While, thankfully, we live in a completely different era, we are all nevertheless faced with own closed doors. We all want to get our foot in whatever door we are staring at. So many people tell me they want to be led by their passion but there isn’t any obvious passion. That’s because they think passion is something you are born with – or is revealed to you from a young age. Sometimes it is. But much more often passion comes from getting through the door and DOING! So many get to the door – see that it is shut – and freeze. But not doing is the killer of passion. And we have all faced closed doors in our lives. I know I certainly have in my journey. My dream was to set up a unique and modern law firm but when I decided to set up Acumen Business Law I, too, was facing many barriers and the warning voices in my head were fiercely shouting: ‘You are a partner in an established firm with a good salary, don’t risk it!’

Above: Penina Shepherd, Founder & CEO of Acumen Law

Madam Walker was a single mother living in a racist world, without capital or connections; this was her starting point 88

‘You have a shoestring budget!’ ‘You can’t start a law firm alone with no other partners!’ ‘You are trying to compete against many established law firms around you, it won’t work!’ ‘You can’t do it now when we are experiencing the worst recession in decades!’ ‘You just had a new born baby and you have two other young children! I mean seriously!’ ‘You are the main bread winner! You have to earn a wage!’ ‘You have just been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer and had been told you might not survive.’ So that was the locked door I was facing. But, the key point is that I understood it was a door and therefore knew I had the potential to open it. I just needed to get my foot in. To get our ‘foot in the door’ we need to, firstly, believe there is a door, really want to get through it and, most importantly, we need to get up and get to that door! What is behind your closed door? Maybe after reading this and being inspired by the wonderful story of Madam C. J. Walker something will happen that will get your closed door slightly ajar. Here’s to getting started with whatever your first step might be in 2020! *This story is an edited version of the keynote speech by Penina Shepherd at the 2019 Acumen Business Convention at the Brighton Grand Hotel. ◗ ◗



BUSINESS WOMEN EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2019 The Winners are announced!

The 2019 Business Women Excellence Awards – Sussex Edition, organised by Carrot Events, and sponsored by Kreston Reeves, took place at the Grand Hotel Brighton on November 21st 2019 with over 265 guests attending the glamorous black tie gala. Alison Jones of Kreston Reeves took to the stage for the welcome address and Samantha Harrington-Lowe of Title Media was the evening’s keynote speaker. Hosted by radio host and media professional Lynsey Bartlett, the entertainment was provided by the Brighton Academy of Performing Arts, which saw a dancing troop wow diners with an acrobatic musical routine. Guests enjoyed a drinks reception sponsored by Brighton Gin, and a three-course sit down meal. The awards ceremony saw many familiar faces as well as some brand new faces, and many of Sussex’s talented business ladies took the opportunity to network with each other on the night.


1 ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Title Media WINNER: Rachel Gaisburgh-Watkyn of Tiny Box Company


2 WOMEN IN UNIFORM Sponsored by Clarity Digital WINNER: Dawn Whittaker of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service



BUSI N E SS 3 LEGAL & PROFESSIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Platinum Publishing Group WINNER: Debbie Silvester of Eckington HR



4 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSWOMAN AWARD Sponsored by Brighton Gin WINNER: Christina May Butts of Christina May Ltd

5 START UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Aces JOINT WINNERS: 5 Orange Beach Inns Ltd 6 Admired Aesthetics

6 7 MENTOR/COACH OF THE YEAR Sponsored by The Mumpreneurs Networking Group WINNER: Jo Gough of Rise


8 SUSSEX WOMAN IN THE ARTS Sponsored by: Worldwide Webdesign WINNER: Sarah Hopwood Glyndebourne Opera House

7 9 MOST ENTERPRISING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Let’s Do Business Group WINNER: Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures




10 EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Southern IT WINNER: Haybury

10 12

11 90

SUSSEX BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Gemini Print JOINT WINNERS: 11 Tiny Box Company 12 DMH Stallard


13 DIGITAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Sussex Title Magazine JOINT WINNERS: Ruth Darcy of Active Sussex Pauline Baker of Ringmaster Marketing 14 BEST NETWORKER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Fentimans WINNER: Lisa Pantelli of Become Communications

13 15 THE WELLNESS AWARD Sponsored by Fountain Digital WINNER: Body Happy


16 WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AWARD Sponsored by Fountain Productions WINNER: Harmony at Home

16 17 SUSSEX CORPORATE WOMAN OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Locate East Sussex WINNER: Komal Helyer of Pure


18 THE AMY JOHNSON WOMAN IN ENGINEERING AWARD Sponsored by Avensys Hire & Events WINNER: Fliss Filed of UK H20

18 20

19 BWEA 2019 GOLD AWARD Sponsored by Kreston Reeves WINNER: The Tiny Box Company 20 THE INSPIRE AWARD Sponsored by Martin Riley JOINT WINNERS: Kathy Gore of Friends of Sussex Hospices Sadie Mason MBE of Active Sussex

19 21 SUSSEX BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Kreston Reeves WINNER: Francesca Lidbetter of Haybury 22 COMMUNITY SPIRITS AWARDS Sponsored by Enterprise Shopping Centre WINNER: Kathy Gore of Friends of Sussex Hospices


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FLIGHT OF THE SWANS One woman’s mission to save the endangered Berwick swan

Many of us worry about the loss of wildlife species and might, on occasion, send off a couple of pounds to aid the effort but Conservationist Sacha Dench went one better. Dedicated to saving Europe’s smallest swan, the highly endangered Berwick swan, she decided to fly their entire migration route to highlight their predicament at great peril to her life. Sacha accompanied the swans for the entire length of their migration from Artic Russia, covering 6,500km across 11 countries, to their final destination in the UK in just a Paramotor - a small propeller engine strapped to her back with a simple fabric wing – facing in the process


enormous challenges to her own safety on top of those presented by her efforts to save the swans themselves from extinction. Sacha’s expeditions are supported by leading law firm, Rix & Kay, which has been a lead sponsor both of the Flight of the Swans and also Sacha’s upcoming adventure, the Flight of the Osprey,

but also by patrons such as Sir David Attenborough, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE and Dame Judi Dench. Sir Ranulph Fiennes called Flight of the Swans “especially worthwhile and innovative” and Sir David Attenborough said “this expedition is marvellously imaginative and adventurous”. The film had its premiere at

This expedition is marvellously imaginative and adventurous Sir David Attenborough


and our next major expedition – the Flight of the Osprey. Rix & Kay’s support has been and continues to be key to the success of these expeditions. We thank Rix & Kay for their terrific contribution” Dynamic interviewed Sacha on the day of the premiere and she the Picture House in Uckfield in November where Sacha performed a Q&A session with the audience of business leaders and local conservationists. Sacha said: “WWT is incredibly grateful to the many people and organisations that have already generously supported Flight of the Swans. It’s wonderful that we work with businesses, charities and individuals that have a genuine interest in the conservation and environmental issues we’re trying to address. “I’m delighted to be able to present the Flight of the Swans documentary to Rix & Kay’s distinguished guests and to be able to introduce them to our newly formed charity “Conservation Without Borders”

spoke of the dangers she faced on the trip where she flew at the same height as the swans, including heavy storms, sea crossings and extreme cold: “I’m humbled by the support that Flight of the Swans has already gained. People all across Europe and Russia are using this expedition as a lever to improve things for the swans, which is all I could have hoped for. “Each winter, I’m fortunate enough that a small flock of a couple of hundred Bewick’s swans returns to my workplace – WWT’s Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire. To get there they need safe passage all the way from the northernmost wilds of Russia, and for the last two decades fewer and fewer have made it. Numbers have halved over the last twenty years and we have less than 20,000 remaining so it’s crucial that we act now before it’s too late.” Bravo to Sacha for literally putting her life on the line to highlight the dilemma of these beautiful little swans – the world needs more people like Sacha Dench.

FURTHER INFORMATION ◗ Rix & Kay: conservation ◗ Flight of the Swans: flightofthe ◗ Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT): ◗ Conservation Without Borders:



STEM SINKS Globally, female students’ enrolment in STEM subjects is low: 5% in natural science, mathematics and statistics 3% in ICT 8% in engineering, manufacturing and construction UN Women News

{at a g l a n c e } Education I Facts and stats

A record rate of 34% of UK 18-year-olds entered higher education in 2019, a total of 241,515. In 2017–2018, over half (57%) of students who enrolled in higher education were women. ONS

A 2003 study by UNESCO showed that for every year that a country’s average years of schooling increases, its long-term economic growth increases by 3.7%.

According to the World Bank, just one year of secondary education for a young girl can equate to a wage increase of 25% later in life.

Over 100,000 more women than men are applying to UK universities UCAS


Almost one million school pupils are in classes of 31 or more, a surge of nearly 30% since 2010, according to a report from the National Education Union.

The last state all-girls school in Scotland is to admit boys for the first time. In 2021 boys will be allowed to attend Notre Dame High school in Glasgow, which has taught only girls since opening in 1897

Dynamic Education is sponsored by Hurstpierpoint College Excellent all-round education with a strong academic core 95



THE VALUE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Interview with Michelle Zeidler, Director of Professional Development & Performance at Hurst College It is important that we never stop learning throughout our career. Passing exams or gaining professional qualifications is only the start of the journey. Hurst College takes the education of their staff so seriously that they have a Director of Professional Development and Performance. Dynamic asked Michelle Zeidler about her role and how it benefits the school How important is professional development in education? Continued Professional Development (CPD) is critical to maintaining high standards. The growing movement within education for research based professional development is key for shaping the most effective CPD provision. At the college, providing a varied and rich programme is a priority. Our annual Performance Review System (PRS) cycle, which I have developed, allows staff to identify areas for growth and development across all aspects of their role as well as reflecting on future career avenues. These areas can then be met through varied


opportunities including our weekly teaching and learning bulletin; weekly CPD sessions delivered by colleagues; funding for external courses; and whole school INSET days which have included influential educational speakers. What does a Director of Professional Performance and Development do? I lead across three interconnected areas: the development of the academic teaching staff, our innovative Teach Hurst teacher training scheme and Continued Professional Development. There is a national shortage of teachers and it is hard to recruit quality staff. Hurst has taken the bold and unique step of recruiting the majority of staff through its Teach Hurst programme. I led this initiative and the college has successfully met this challenge. Our staff body now includes a healthy proportion of young and enthusiastic teachers at the start of their careers who bring energy and new ideas into the classroom and help to make us a thriving institution.

Is professional development harder for women when their career may be interrupted by maternity leave as well being a primary carer? Many of our middle leadership posts are taken by women however, when we have offered senior leadership training, we have found that some very good female staff have not had the selfbelief to take part. Women often feel that to take on a role they need to have already acquired the required skills, seeing their perceived deficits rather than their strengths and ability to grow in post. Self-doubt does not seem such a barrier for men. Being a woman should be no barrier to aspiration or taking on any role within our profession. Although there are some notable exceptions, it is still often the case that when their children are young, female teachers continue to take on the role of primary care giver with many returning from maternity leave to work in a part-time capacity. Whether this impacts on the career progression of women depends greatly on the attitude of the Head and

their ability to see the benefits of part-time workers, rather than perceived disadvantages. Do you have to juggle work and home life? I have been fortunate in my career to have worked with leadership teams who have given me leadership responsibility and who have recognised my capacity to do the job effectively whilst working part-time. This has, as common to most jobs, come at a cost. Across the years I have had to juggle childcare; be willing to work

flexibly coming into school on my out days when required; and spend numerous evenings marking and preparing whilst my children entertain themselves in another room. However, I have always felt that teaching is a lifestyle choice and one which I have relished and, through longer holidays with my children, have benefited. Have you found any barriers in your career progression? I have now reached the stage when my three children have left home

and are leading independent lives. The departure of my third child to university was an opportunity to refocus on my career and, with still many years ahead of me in the teaching profession, I found that I had the time and energy to seek more responsibility. At a time when age could have presented a barrier to further progression, I was once again recognised for my potential and was given the opportunity to join Hurst’s senior management team. I continue to undertake training for future leadership opportunities.



S PA Go Bespoke’s guide to the ultimate spa getaways and luxurious retreats for a new year escape As we return to normality in the aftermath of the festive period, the ringing in of a new year is often the time to take stock and set some new goals or aspirations, whether professional or personal. Today’s fast-paced, demanding lifestyle means many of us unknowingly risk upsetting the balance on a regular basis. Regain your sense of wellbeing in 2020 by booking into a restorative spa break which allows you to re-set both mind and body. In this first issue of 2020, Go Bespoke recommends four unique spa breaks you’ll want to treat yourself to for some ‘me time’ this year.





SHA Wellness Just 45 minutes by car from Alicante airport, SHA Wellness is hidden away in the beautiful Sierra Helada mountains. Considered one of the best medical spas in the world, SHA fuses ancient Eastern philosophy and advanced cutting-edge Western techniques to help guests adopt a healthier lifestyle. SHA is entirely serious about the ‘wellness’ in its name and qualified medical staff include naturopaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists and other experts in the healing arts. This is a place where you can even comfortably turn up on your own to address specific challenges such as sleep issues, quitting smoking or weight loss. Rebalance your life with the SHA Discovery programme which includes five personalised treatments and a comprehensive nutrition and health plan – prices from £1,156pp for four nights on Full Board basis in a Deluxe Suite Mountain View room. INSIDE SCOOP Coffee is outlawed, so don’t expect any caffeine fixes during your stay – instead lots of nutritional and detoxifying teas are readily available.


Espace Chenot at L’Albereta With breathtaking vistas of Lake Iseo, between the hills and vineyards of Franciacorta, L’Albereta was formerly a private villa for many years, and is now an exquisite 57-room hotel and home to one of the best spas in Italy. The Espace Chenot Health Wellness Spa within the hotel offers a rigorous detox method, combined with innovative diagnostic tests and anti-ageing skincare programmes. There are private cabins for treatments and a vast indoor/outdoor

swimming pool – the vibe is intimate and nurturing. Try the three night Rebalance Body & Face Programme which includes body scrubs, ultrasonic facial cleansing, massages and Pilates sessions - prices from £1,769pp on Full Board basis. INSIDE SCOOP Book the Cabriolet Suite which comes with its own balneotherapy bath and features a retractable roof above the bed for some in-room star-gazing.



Go Bespoke is delighted to offer Dynamic readers £500 off their first booking* Quote ‘Dynamic’ when making your enquiry *Ts & Cs apply - offer valid on bookings over £5,000


Givenchy Spa at Hotel Sahrai The five-star Hotel Sahrai in Fez enjoys magnificent views of the largest medina in the Arab world, taking in twelve centuries of the city’s history in one fell swoop. Located in the heart of this airy retreat, the Givenchy spa is a true oasis of calm, beauty and relaxation. Designed according to a concept overseen by architect Patrick Ribes, it is understated, refined and a blissful place to unwind. The spa has five treatment rooms, including a double room featuring a beautiful terrace with a spectacular view of the city, perfect for a romantic couples’ treatment. The spa also features an open-air relaxation area including a jacuzzi as well as a Givenchy boutique. Other highlights include beautifully designed, spacious rooms, two restaurants and a luxury rooftop bar. Prices from £240 per night in a Deluxe Room. Choose from spa packages such as the ‘Sahrai Détente’ which includes a facial, massage, pampering wrap and light lunch at the hotel’s restaurant ‘Les Arcades’ at £250pp. INSIDE SCOOP Fez’s labyrinth-like medina is just moments away – take one of the hotel’s guided tours through the alleyways and watch locals create beautiful leather goods at the Chaouwara Tanneries.


Vinothérapie® Spa at Les Sources De Caudalie Located between the Grand Cru vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte and surrounding forests, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie® Spa is the birthplace of skincare brand Caudalie’s award-winning wine-based lotions and potions. A short 20-minute journey from Bordeaux’s city centre, this pioneering spa hotel combines the virtues of natural, mineral-rich hot spring water drawn from 540 metres beneath the earth with the most recent scientific discoveries of the benefits of the grape and the grapevine. Whether you’re looking for anti-ageing, slimming or fitness treatments, discover the unique, nourishing benefits of vinotherapy here. Prices from £275 per night plus the cost of treatments; book the ‘Vine ritual’ which includes the signature 35-minute Crushed Cabernet scrub, a warm oil massage and 50-minute facial (£300pp).


If you want to splash out for book the L’Isle aux Oiseaux which stands over a small lake. on Sunday afternoons so bear weekend stays.


a romantic stay, Suite (pictured) The spa is closed this in mind for

TR AVEL NE WS Travel snippets from around the world

It’s time to book Give yourself something to look forward to in early 2020 and book in a cultural weekend getaway. A UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety, Venice is a wonderful labyrinth of majestic canals and intricate bridges; simply getting lost in the streets is an unequalled experience. Book into Palazzo Cristo, a stunning 13th century Venetian palace which has been converted into three elegant boutique apartments designed by French architects. Located in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of Venice’s most beautiful squares and


close to St Mark’s Basilica and Rialto, it is the perfect base from which to explore the floating city’s museums, galleries and ancient palaces. Described by Vogue as ‘easy to fall in love with’, the apartments are beautifully styled with their own state-of-the-art kitchen facilities and luxurious en-suite bathrooms. Materials such as Carrara marble, travertine, plush velvet and rare woods contribute to the calm and chic interiors. ◗ Prices from £375 per night in Suite II (a one bedroom apartment).

◗ TOP TIPS The oldest Venetian bakery, Rosa Salva, is located next door and offers sumptuous breakfast pastries and cappuccinos which you won’t want to miss out on!




FAMILY TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS South African Tourism has welcomed new legislation softening entry requirements for families travelling to the country. It means foreign children from countries where visas are not required, such as the UK and Ireland, can now enter South Africa without supporting documents relating to proof of parentage for all international travel to and from South Africa. ◗ For more information visit

GATWICK TRIALS SPEEDY BOARDING Britain’s second-biggest airport, which serves 46m passengers a year, is working with easyJet on plans to get passengers on planes more efficiently. Screens at boarding gate 101 at Gatwick will show passengers how to get on board their plane, and will trial several sequences over the two-month test period. One method will involve boarding passengers in window seats first, working from the back seats of the plane to the front. Gatwick said the techniques may shave

Capella Hotels launches community projects

off a tenth of the amount of time it takes to board a plane. Passengers who have booked priority boarding – or those who require special assistance or are travelling with young families – will still board first during the trial.

Capella Hotels and Resorts has launched a series of new community-focused initiatives at five of its properties, including several projects to help local children. The luxury hotel group said the initiatives at its Singapore, Ubud, Shanghai, Sanya and Dusseldorf properties renew its “commitment to socially-conscious travel and charitable endeavours”. The brand is also introducing “Our Community Promise”, which will see hotel staff serve as mentors to local children through supporting school projects and helping to build a strong sense of community for a sustainable future. Projects include Capella Ubud in Bali which will donate 1% of revenue from all online bookings in December to Trash Hero Indonesia, helping communities to clean the local environment.

O N E TO WATC H New hotspot restaurant Amazónico has just opened its doors at Mayfair’s 10 Berkeley Square. The menu is curated by husband and wife team, Sandro Silva and Marta Seco - two of Madrid’s best-known restauranteurs – and features a collection of Latin American cuisines and all their influences, from traditional Brazilian dishes and cachaça cocktails, to Peruvian sushi. With nightly live jazz and a resident DJ, the lush décor is jungleinspired including model peacocks and abundant tropical plants. The 20-person rainforest-themed private dining room is also available to hire for a party or dinner. ◗ Amazónico, 10 Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR


ARE WE WINNING THE FIGHT TO SAVE OUR ENDANGERED SPECIES? Hazel Adeyemo of Signature Safaris offers some insight into the latest African animal conservation efforts Having lived in Africa for almost a decade and continuing to have both a personal and professional interest in the region’s wildlife, I am always inspired by projects that attempt to increase dwindling numbers of our animal and birdlife. It seems these initiatives are becoming more daring and the efforts of both local and international conservation organisations are quite aweinspiring. None more so than the recent Black Rhino translocation project that saw 17 endangered black rhino relocated from South Africa to Malawi. Rhinos are well known as being an endangered species and conservationists have a constant fight to help with their protection and to help increase their numbers. It often feels like we only hear of the struggles with poaching and


a dwindling population of both the black and white rhino. The demand in the East for rhino horn in traditional medicine means that sadly there is still a huge market – with the price for this commodity at one point reaching double the price per kilo of gold.


Estimated figures show there are in the region of 5500 black rhinos remaining in the wild, so we love to get a rare glimpse of

these amazing creatures whilst on safari. Their numbers were decimated in the early 2000s after years of hunting and poaching and at one point in the mid 90s the population dipped to less than 2300 from their high in the 1970s of 65,000. Although things seem to have levelled out they are still very much at risk. Black rhino are smaller than their white counterparts although adults can still reach 1.5 metres in height and weigh in at 1.4 tonnes.

Estimated figures show there are in the region of 5500 black rhinos remaining in the wild




In Africa you can mainly find black rhino in four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. South Africa is home to 40% of the total black rhino population.


During October and November 2019 we had been following news of an ambitious project to relocate 17 Black Rhinos from Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa to Liwonde National Park in Malawi. Thanks to a custodianship agreement between the governments of Malawi and South Africa this translocation was an attempt to boost Malawi’s rhino population and in addition, spread the gene pool to lead to successful breeding of future generations. Any efforts to further aid the region’s attempts to conserve this

critically endangered species must be applauded. The rhino were captured in Kwa Zulu Natal and were placed in quarantine for six weeks. They were then flown from Durban to Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, where they were driven to Liwonde National Park which has become their new home. Imagining the effort and coordination that goes into moving such a huge animal and transporting them across borders is simply mind blowing.


Malawi has a fascinating history as a safari destination. I feel it offers a more simple and authentic safari experience. Although the country has suffered from huge poaching problems over the years, this has really turned a corner as

the national parks and Malawi government concentrate on increasing the wildlife population. Malawi now offers a big 5 safari. With the continued focus on both protecting existing wildlife and continuing to relocate endangered species to their National Parks, it is well worth considering for a safari holiday.

◗ Signature Safaris use their passion for Africa and its wildlife to design bespoke once in a lifetime holiday itineraries for their clients. They can be contacted at or 01342 811787




A highly prestigious national award recognises the work of Sussex PA Network founders Emily Darnell and Esther Dawson L-R: Gethin Jones – MC for the evening, Emily Darnell, awards judge Victoria Wratten, and Esther Dawson

A PERSONAL SERVICE Emily Darnell and Esther Dawson, both Executive Assistants to Chief Executives of two successful Sussex businesses, respectively PVL UK Ltd in Burgess Hill and Ridgeview Wine Estate on Ditchling Common, picked up a prestigious award at the Manchester PA Awards on November 6th 2019. They were recognised for their work in setting up and developing the Sussex PA Network by winning the Best External PA Network award which is a nationally contested award. The Sussex PA Network was founded in July 2015 and is a freeto-join professional networking and learning group for Personal & Executive Assistants, Office Managers, Admin Assistants and Virtual Assistants. Emily suggested to Esther that they establish the group when they were unable to find a network or support group in their area for EAs and PAs. They are both


passionate about their work and understand how dramatically these roles have changed over the last 10 to 15 years through developments in technology, work environments and working practices. On receiving the award Emily said: “We were thrilled to pick up the award. It was a complete shock as while we were delighted to have been shortlisted, we didn’t expect to win! It’s great recognition for the strength of the Sussex PA Network and we look forward to continuing its successful growth.” Emily Darnell is the Executive Assistant to Nick Broom, CEO of PVL UK Ltd, an awardwinning manufacturing company producing reflective livery for emergency services vehicles and corporate fleet branding. She has been Nick’s EA for over seven years. Esther Dawson is Executive Assistant to Tamara Roberts, CEO at Ridgeview Wine Estate, a family

owned Sussex vineyard, making internationally recognised awardwinning English sparkling wine. Esther has been Tamara’s assistant for five years and recently won the MDHub’s “PA of the Year Award.” The most recent Sussex PA Network event was held at Malmaison Brighton on October 15th 2019 where Maarten Hoffmann spoke about the launch of Dynamic.

◗ For more information and the planned events for 2020 visit or follow @SussexPANetwork on Twitter to get involved.

Head into the new season with a spring in your step BY KATE MORTON

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR E B O R D R WA Blazer £160.00 top £45.00 trousers £90.00 Betty & Co



Charleston midi dress £69.50


As we welcome a new year, we enter a new season of fashion. Whilst the sales are still on in the early part of the year and the temperatures descend to minus figures, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the spring/summer trends hit the high street from the moment the last verse of Auld Lang Syne has been sung. What we saw on last year’s SS20 runways predicted a touch of glamour to the new season. Designers suited and booted their models in 70s style suits with oversized collars, whilst the overall shape moved from boxy and boyish to long and lean. Wear this season’s musthave suit as a single-button blazer, with a flared leg or even, for the brave, a Bermuda short, a key piece seen on the catwalks at Tom Ford in New York and Givenchy in Paris. Neutrals play a key part this spring/ summer with floaty florals seen at Caroline Herrera and Miu Miu, whilst bold brights featured heavily in all manner of textures from leather and knits, to crochet and pleats. Here’s our pick of some classic outfit ideas that can carry you from the office to an evening dinner, and with new spring pieces arriving over the next few months, you can brighten up your wardrobe with some fashion-focused, staple, yet comfortable pieces. Magenta wide-legged trousers £69.99

Miriam blouse £99


Floral shirt dress £45

Pleated skirt £139

Cargo pants £35

Green suede heels £139



Lana Lama embroidered brooch £18 M&S Collection earrings £9.50 marksand

Blue silk scarf £55


SEASONAL ACCESSORIES Comfort is king when it comes to the colder months so stay snug and stylish with these must-have accessories

Autograph cashmere jumper £99

Ayda patchwork cross body bag £29 Accessorise: 0844 8110068

Tipped as the next Bank of England boss, City fund manager, campaigner, and mother-of-nine Dame Helena Morrissey recently made headlines for her smart style of dressing and innovative ways to deconstruct an outfit. And her standout piece… an accessory. Sharing her outfits on social media under the bio ‘The Soft Power Dresser’, Helena recently commented; “Today I wear a serious dress but navy needn’t be boring; striking brooches are a simple way to make a dress come to life…. look out for vintage costume pieces.” Here’s our edit of some of this season’s winter essentials, perfect to accessorise an outfit whilst keeping cosy and looking chic.

Pearl effect earrings £6

Red and white trainer £55.99


By Motoring Editor, Fiona Shafer, MD of MD HUB


FORD MONDEO VIGNALE I think many of us will remember the historic connotations that Ford’s hugely popular Mondeo brand name conveyed – Mondeo Man: typically cigarette smoking, gum chewing sales reps wearing shiny suits, hyper active estate agents and aspiring middle managers. The 1990’s saw company car parks full of large comfy, motorway driving Mondeo car fleets and the estate version loved by many a Mum and Dad for its capacity to reliably transport everything but the kitchen sink, pet ferrets and the kids on holiday adventures, home and away.


In the spirit of frankness, I had to admit my inner car snob (newly found I may add) raised an eyebrow ever so slightly when Maarten asked me to review the new Mondeo Vignale 2.0 EcoBlue 8 speed Auto. So, would I find vestiges of the Mondeo Man brand still alive or would Ford surprise me with the new Mondeo style that they confidently describe as being “the essence of elegantly assertive style”? Somewhat buoyed and encouraged by the reviews around the significant advances of the Mondeo (Hybrid Electric


Technology, range of Eco Blue Diesels and the potential for low running costs) and its positioning by Ford alongside its rivals in a tough, competitive class alongside the VW Passat and the Skoda Superb, I was tentatively looking forward to be proved wrong. Within an hour of driving the Vignale out of Hove and over to the less accommodating roads of the High Weald in weather that can only be described as absolutely awful, the ride felt comfortable and well insulated from badly maintained roads, wind and lashing rain - I actually wanted to just keep on driving to find out

more about it. The Vignale had got my full attention. Once home, I could not help but immediately text Maarten and say “well, this is a contradictory little number” to which he agreed. I quickly named it the Wash & Go car – as you can quite literally get in, work out the controls (it’s an automatic too) and drive away in under five minutes. Marvellous! What did I like? Rather a lot as it happens.

Tech stuff Model tested: Ford Mondeo Vignale Eco-blue Engine: 2.0-litre Power: 240bhp Speed: 0-62 7.9 seconds Top: 146mph Economy: 38.2mpg combined Price from: £31,810.00




◗ Easy to drive - highly intuitive controls and dashboard. ◗ Really sharp, responsive brakes on wet roads. ◗ Quick, clear heated front windscreen. ◗ Speed Recognition sign which flashes if you are over the speed limit. ◗ Ridiculously easy to pair your phone which you can manage by voice commands. ◗ It reads your text messages to you – so be careful who you have in the car with you! ◗ The boot is vast – great for flat packs from IKEA, buggies, shopping, work paraphernalia – potentially all at the same time. ◗ It has a hard copy Handbook and is not in The Cloud – hurrah! ◗ Sat Nav in several languages – should you need to hire one and become bilingual. ◗ Lots of great leg and head room. ◗ 0 – 62 in 7.9 seconds – so fairly nippy when needed. ◗ Low fuel consumption 38.2mpg. ◗ Combined CO2 Emissions g/km 131.


◗ Lovely leather seats in charcoal or cashmere. ◗ Leather wrapped heated steering wheel and heated front seats. ◗ Panoramic Roof. ◗ You can easily pronounce Vignale (as it reads) in a lovely Italian accent. ◗ Active Park Assist – locates suitable parking spaces and can automatically steer you in and get you out again – by following on screen instructions and audible signals. ◗ Blind spot information system. ◗ It even has its own app – Ford Pass App – helps you search for refuelling points and compare pricing, search for available parking spaces, check costs, opening hours and ratings. ◗ SONY DAB Audio system with a CD Player (maybe a slight throwback but I liked it!) ◗ Options to personalise for those of you interested in a Mondeo Estate inc: Thule roof attachments inc. roof boxes, bike carriers and roof ski/ snowboard carriers. ◗ Lots of safety kit which is good for lowering your insurance. ◗ A massage function for the driver and front seats (optional as part of Vignale Lux Pack only) – “to invigorate tired muscles“ at this rate I will be taking up residence in it! ◗ Excellent value for money.


◗ The large Vignale grill at the front. Apparently it is akin to a “Mustang grill” – is there a bull in the house? ◗ I think it strongly detracts from what has the potential to be a very smart and elegant car. ◗ It feels and looks a lot sleeker on the inside than out. ◗ The term Vignale denotes its roots as an Italian Coach company but also defines a powerful, slightly overbearing man (and I am putting this politely) – so still has a masculine undertone. ◗ Lots of irritating and tinny sounding bongs and bleeps.

8/10 IN A NUTSHELL A good company and family car that will be enjoyed at work and at home. Definitely a contradictory little number but one to be enjoyed. And I was happy to be proved wrong.


charges may be payable. 2. Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car. 3. Includes optional rchase payment, purchase activation fee and retailer deposit contribution (where applicable). *Orders/ dit approvals on selected E-Class Saloon models between 1 July and 30 September 2019, registered by December excluding Mercedes-AMG models. Guarantees may be required. Offer cannot be used in njunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may not be available. Subject to ailability. Over 18s only. Finance is subject to status and provided by Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 A. Sandown Group is a credit broker and not a lender. Sandown Group is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority in respect of regulated consumer credit activity. All New and Approved ed cars sold by any Sandown Mercedes-Benz Retailer is subject to a purchase fee of £129 inc VAT. Pric rect at time of going to press 07/19. Images for illustrative purposes.ww

The Sandown Group Here at Sandown, our customers are our main priority. We have over 35 years experience in the Mercedes-Benz brand, so we’re proud to call ourselves experts in the field. Our dedicated team are here to assist with your every need. Whether you’re looking for your next new model, or need a little help maintaining your current pride and joy, we are committed to providing you with the best service possible. We are just as passionate about your vehicle as you are, so when you choose to visit a Sandown retailer, you can rest assured that your experience will be nothing short of first-class. We have seven retailers throughout Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire located in Basingstoke, Dorchester, Farnborough, Guildford, Hindhead, Salisbury and Poole, each equipped with a friendly and knowledgeable team. So if you’re in need of a service, are searching for your latest vehicle upgrade, or are on the hunt for a fleet of business cars, we’re the people to visit. We look forward to welcoming you with a smile at your local Sandown Mercedes-Benz retailer soon!

0330 1780038 Mercedes-Benz of Basingstoke Mercedes-Benz of Dorchester Mercedes-Benz of Farnborough Mercedes-Benz of Guildford Mercedes-Benz of Hindhead Mercedes-Benz of Poole Mercedes-Benz of Salisbury



My Inspiration Inspiration is so important to me. When I find myself in a position of doubt, indecision or despair, I take a step back and think of what someone who inspires me would do or say. At heart, I am a rebel and my childhood inspirations were rebels too… Sportswomen: Jennifer Capriati and Picabo Street Poets: Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton Singer: Janis Joplin Designer: Vivienne Westwood.

Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director, Chichester/ Crawley College Group


On a daily basis, I draw my inspiration from a group of strong and challenging women who I have had the good fortune to work with. My first boss was the PR guru Jackie Cooper who inspired me with her extraordinary sense of creativity and ability to break boundaries and challenge convention. This was followed by working for Pam Alexander, former CEO at SEEDA. Pam is a motivating boss and now a good friend who taught me how to channel my ambition, build networks and set high standards to achieve results. Juliette Green, former CEO of Women’s Wisdom, also had a profound impact especially when I began the juggling act of starting a family and trying to maintain and grow my career. Juliette brought up a large family whilst running her own business and serving as a Board member at Coast to Capital LEP. Every time I feel that I can’t juggle anymore, I think of Juliette – who also supported me to join the Board of C2C – where I am now Vice Chair. Lastly, having just finished Michelle Obama’s awesome biography, this quote inspires me, almost on a daily basis: “When they go low, We go high.”

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