International Women’s Day Summit Showcases Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs

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During the summit, which took place on Thursday 4th March 2021, almost 30 female speakers took to the stage to share their own experiences and tips for navigating predominantly male-occupied businesses.

The speakers at the event ranged from Lauryn Bradley, who spoke about the ‘Feast and Famine Cycle’ – the rollercoaster of income boosts and drops that businesses often get stuck in – and how to take care of yourself during the ups and downs, to ‘Empress of Networking’ Ungenita Prevost, a former Hollywood body double who spoke about her experiences of racism and sexism on her way to become a feminine leadership expert, international sales trainer and the founder of SellingINStilettos.

Gina Lazenby, author of Healthy Home, founder & Wisdom Council member of the Association of Transformational Leaders in Europe and an International Board Member of Leading Women of Africa, explained how to use space differently and the importance of the correct work environment. She gave tips about different changes that could help you feel more comfortable and focused in your workspace, such as organisation, decor, colour, nature and space.

“If you don’t nourish your environment, it’s not going to nourish you.”

Violet Lange described the “3 keys to a fabulous relationship” (which are to love yourself, love another and love together) as well as why relationships matter, what self-love is, and how to change your mindset into a more positive one.

The ‘special surprise speaker’ for the event was Emma Hawkins, who founded Fortuna FX, a women-led FX company started during lockdown which is expecting a £750,000 turnover at the end of the year.

“We ask questions that men don’t ask.”

Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma explored the topic of mental health during the pandemic, and explained what mental health is, what contributes to it – both positively and negatively, how it can be affected by the pandemic, why self-care matters and how we can improve our mental health to improve our physical health. She specifically touched on the fact that most people are struggling with their mental health due to being cut off from friends and family, which is causing a lot of stress, and offered some tips for catching early warning signs, which include having low or no energy, experiencing severe mood swings, and struggling to perform daily tasks such as getting to work or taking care of your kids.

Jackie Chappell told the inspirational story of how she started with a part-time job as the first female ticket collector on a British Rail train, and suffered through sexism to become the first woman CEO of the company.

“You have to know your worth.”

Some of the other amazing speakers included Lynne Franks OBE – a communications strategist, writer, and spokeswoman on women’s rights, Simone Gilbert,  who hosted ‘Mind full or Mindful?’ – a seminar about how to be more positive and self-caring, and Daphne Wells, who spoke about self-love and self-awareness in order to be a better version of yourself.

“The better we know ourselves, the better equipped we are to live our lives.”

Camilita Nutall and Sharon Lechter also both spoke about their experiences, enterprises and the essential components of a successful business: mission, team and leadership. “Why not seek to solve a problem or serve a need?”

International Women’s Day 2021 is Monday 8th March and the hashtag for the campaign is #choosetochallenge because “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.” For more information about how you can get involved, visit internationalwomensday.com

[by Abigail King]

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