Celebrating International Womens Day 2023
On and around International Women’s Day, our attention turns to the issues women face in business today. In light of this, we have been speaking to female leaders in their fields, who also happen to be our amazing clients!
For this blog, Represent’s Associate Director, Grainne Byrne, chatted with Sarah Fraser, Marketing Manager at the renowned Chippendale School in East Lothian to garner her thoughts on how we can embrace gender equity today and in the future.
Read on for insight into the challenges for women in business today, thoughts on how to bring about more gender equity and tips for future female leaders…
What challenges do women running businesses experience today?
Sarah: I think one of the biggest challenges we females face is that we’re not only running a business, but we also have children and families to look after. The balancing of responsibilities can be extremely difficult. On one hand, the family expects us to be ‘Mummy’ and wife, whilst the business needs us to show commitment and be the leader. This can be overwhelming at times and can ultimately mean that one must give in to the other, this can lead to us feeling inadequate.
Grainne: I couldn’t agree more – as a working mother there is a constant inner battle between the dualities of ‘mum’ and ‘boss’!
What in your view can be done to bring about more equity for aspiring female business leaders?
Sarah: I think encouraging aspiring leaders, irrespective of gender, to immerse themselves amongst a network of champions is really important. It is especially the case for females. Whether it be a mentor, sponsor, or life/work coach, women need someone to bounce ideas off and to help guide them in the right direction where necessary.
Grainne: 100%! Having access to a career coach after having a (second!) baby has been instrumental in getting back on track and has massively helped me focus on where I want to take my career.
What advice would you give to other women aspiring to succeed in a leadership role?
Sarah: Sit at the table – as women, we hold plethora of abilities required for any leadership role – empathy, passion, discipline, amongst many others. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to speak up and share your opinions.
Grainne: You can say that again! All too often young women, especially, feel they need to shrink themselves or quieten their voices – but should be encouraged to be confident.
Thank you, Sarah, for speaking to Represent today as we mark International Women’s Day through a series of interviews with inspiring female leaders throughout March.
See our social channels for more on #EmbracEquity and #IWD2023 and join the conversation around female equity!