Wednesday 8 March 2023 is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is #EmbraceEquity so we chatted with some of our female members to find out what that means to them and how they’re celebrating IWD2023.
Sara Phillips – Altruis Living
I’m Sara and my business is Altruis Living. I provide natural, ethical well-being products with personalised, prescriptive advice. I use my holistic therapy background to help my clients avoid the guesswork and overwhelm of choice in this area and love providing natural, enjoyable solutions for body, skin, soul and mind.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? I was brought up by strong, independent women and by men who didn’t only understand and respect that but took it as the norm too. That enabled me to believe anything is possible for me. We must keep talking about equity and celebrating it because everyone is equal.
What is your experience of being a woman in business? Just like every woman I have ever spoken to, I have come across sexism and lack of respect in the workplace, but on the flip side, I have also worked with some incredibly respectful men.
Which female(s) inspires you? Eve Taylor OBE is the founder of the Institute of Clinical Aromatherapy and the pioneer of aromatherapy. She is nearly 90 now and still involved in running her company with her five sons! I am a trained therapist with her products and have had the pleasure of meeting her so she is definitely an inspiration to me.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given? Self-care doesn’t only benefit you – it indirectly benefits your family and friends too. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
What is your view on gender equity? As a mother, I am very conscious that raising a stable, centred, balanced, kind, compassionate, strong and capable child, male or female, is crucial to the future of our society.
Find out more about Altruis Living.
Sandra Thompson – SCT Therapy
I’m Sandra and I run SCT Therapy which offers integrative therapy to our clients throughout the North East.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? IWD is so important to raise the awareness needed to bring us closer to gender equity, particularly for the good of our mental health. This is a subject close to my heart, based on my own experience as a woman in business. I find myself often striving to achieve a safe and healthy work/life balance, not only for me, but for all the women I work with.
What is your experience of being a woman in business? As a clinical hypnotherapist and EMDR practitioner, my view is that women remain at a disadvantage because of their sex. I work with a lot of women who have experienced exposure to violence, abuse, discrimination and objectification. Not only can this impact their ability to reach their potential but can also have an adverse effect on their mental health. This can have serious consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. With the right support, these difficulties can be overcome but greater systemic support and change is needed for women in business.
Which female(s) inspires you? I’m inspired by all women because I feel we have more obstacles to overcome to achieve our goals in life, due to gender bias. One of my favourite sayings is by Virginia Satir: “The world isn’t the way it’s meant to be, it is the way it is and it’s the way we cope with it that makes the difference.”
For more information about SCT Therapy, click here.
Claire Darling-Cooper – KORK Wine and Deli
My name is Claire and I am the director and owner of KORK Wine and Deli on Whitley Road in Whitley Bay. We are an independent wine shop and delicatessen welling natural wine, craft beers, award-winning cheese and artisan charcuterie. We have wine-tasting nights at the shop on Friday nights and host guest chefs and pop-up events throughout the year.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? I think it’s really important to remember the fights women have fought in the past to get to where we are today and to highlight the inequality that women still face within society, the world over.
What is your experience of being a woman in business? Truthfully, I have not had a bad experience being a woman in business. I feel lucky to be in this position and accepted in my field.
Which female(s) inspires you? I am inspired by women who are tackling the day-to-day struggles we all face and making it through. I am inspired by women who fight for what they believe in and stand by their convictions; those women who protest and demonstrate for what they truly believe in, making a difference.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given? In the workplace, it was how to learn to say ‘no’. I am no longer trying to impress people with the amount of extra work I take on and end up burning myself out. The other advice I’ve been given is to pick your battles and live your own life for yourself, not the life others want or expect from you.
What is your view on gender equity? Gender equity leads to equality. Equity means everyone should be given equal treatment, benefits, opportunities, rights etc. Everyone should be given what they need to be successful.
Visit KORK’s website, here.
Silvia Anghel – Vision Accountants
I’m Silvia and I established my business, Vision Accountants, during the pandemic. I offer cloud accountancy and specialise in proactive, tailored and human-centred support to other business owners.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? I am a great supporter of IWD because, as a woman myself, I’m always looking for ways to support other women, especially in their businesses. I love celebrating the ways women change other people’s lives every single day. As a woman in business, I set up on my own because as much as large organisations claim to provide flexibility, it doesn’t actually happen in reality. Spending time with my family is more important to me than anything else and no employment would give me the flexibility to do that. Running my own business is like a rollercoaster ride. Thankfully I have the support of my husband and family, which makes the ride easier.
Which female(s) inspires you? My Mom is my inspiration. She raised three kids while working and was always there for us with support and love.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given? When you don’t know what to do, do the right thing. Find what works for you and what’s right for you, and then do that.
What is your view on gender equity? Women and men have different needs and power, but every human being is unique. In general, we should not think that women can do certain things and not others – the same applies to men.
Find out more about Vision Accountants.