#EqualforEqual this International Women’s Day

03 March 2020
3 minute read

Emma McCarthy

Now one of the biggest global campaigns in the calendar, International Women’s Day occurs every year on 8th March to celebrate female empowerment and support gender equality. This year the global campaign focuses on #EqualforEqual – ‘an equal world is an enabled world’.

In the UK alone the gender pay gap among full-time employees stood at 8.9% as of October 2019 and only ~6% of women are running their own businesses. Rather than considering this as a negative, it’s time to look at this as an opportunity for further growth and to motivate women across the globe to continue in pursuing their goals and aspirations. In 2019, it was estimated that in the UK alone, female-led SMEs contributed around £85 billion to economic output.

So, this year we are focusing on five successful women in different industries around the UK.

Sue Tingle, Isobel May Gift Shop

Sue dreamed of opening her own shop where she could make good use of her creative flair and interior design skills and in 2009 the opportunity arose and Sue opened her picturesque home and interiors shop, Isobel May, in Whitby’s historic Flowergate.

She says business is ‘absolutely crazy’ and still can’t believe how well it has taken off. Sue enjoys excellent year-round trade from locals and tourists visiting the town and devotes a lot of time and love to the business.

Michelle Mason, Gymboree Play & Music

Michelle had always wanted to run her own childcare business and did just that in London’s Docklands over a decade ago and then expanding the franchise to another location in 2016. Running play and music classes for 0-5 year olds involving movement, props, imaginary play and gym equipment.

It’s more than just fun for children as Michelle’s business also provides a valuable social outlet for mums and dads, who take part in the classes and get to meet other parents, “it’s a special thing to be able to make happen.”

Lynette MacArthur, Petals of Oban Florist

Lynette’s mother, Agnes, first opened the doors of Petals of Oban over 20 years ago and the award-winning florist continues to thrive today. It’s a real family affair, with both women working in the business, which secured the business title of Florist of the Year 2015 at the Scottish Independent Retail Awards.

Lynette’s business prides itself on aiming to service every request, even the unusual ones! This is what has made Petals of Oban stand out from the crowd and thrive within the industry.

Georgina Slack, JCT600 Ltd Car Dealers

The recent recipient of the ‘Inspiring Automotive Women Trailblazer Award’ from the UK Automotive Club in 2019, Georgina has had an impressive career to date. Currently taking on the role of a Ferrari Service Technician at JCT600, she has been described as an inspiration to the entire Ferrari dealer network.

“Georgina is the only fully qualified female technician for Ferrari UK, and she encourages other women to join the automotive sector and specifically become apprentice technicians through her outreach work with JCT600.”

Claire Novorol, Ada Health

Dr Claire Novorol is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ada, an AI powered health guide that helps people to understand their health and the following steps in their care. She is a member of the UK Digital Health Council and is an entrepreneurship expert at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Claire was also listed on the Forbes list of Europe’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018.

“I think we need to have more role models for women to give them the ambition to be a leader. I think the role of women in the health technology sector will change over time.”

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