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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Celebrating the trailblazing women of business on International Women's Day

Shining the spotlight on business's brightest female leaders - celebrating tenacity and triumph

On International Women's Day, we honour the incredible achievements of women who have made significant strides in the business world. This month I've had the distinct pleasure of interviewing and meetings a selection of such inspiring figures; women who haven’t only excelled in their respective arenas but also manifest the true spirit of resilience and dedication that this special day commemorates overcoming adversity.

Through heartfelt discussions, they've generously shared their journeys, revealing a wealth of insight into the passion and perseverance at the heart of their success. These stories are a testament to what women can accomplish with determination, hard work, and an unwavering drive to succeed. Read their inspiring stories that highlight remarkable dedication and resilience, and discover how they champion change within media, advertising, and beyond.

Steph Harrison – Heartbeat of the Community

Steph Harrison's story is one of profound evolution — from her roots as a semi-professional sportsperson to triumphing over cancer and becoming an emblem of community spirit. Her efforts have accumulated over £250,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

The founder of My Sevenoaks Community, a flourishing digital hub, she has become an indispensable member of her local landscape. With grace and the energy of a true visionary, Steph has mastered the art of creating authentic connections, uniting people behind valued causes, and drawing attention from personalities such as Martina Cole.

Listen to Steph's influential story, a story certain to inspire you.

Che Wheatley – Marketing Virtuoso

Che Wheatley's career mosaic is one that spans prestigious brands and vital roles, from her beginning at Disney to making a tangible difference at Tottenham Hotspur and now reshaping the future of marketing at FT Live.

Twenty years back, as an intern at Disney, Che demonstrated an unquenchable thirst for growth and learning. Her unwavering commitment and forward-thinking approach helped propel the Tottenham Hotspur women's team to new heights, strengthening community relations in the process.

Presently a mother and a guiding force at FT Live, Che's contribution extends beyond professional achievements. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, she's an integral part of initiatives aiming to bring about meaningful change.

In our insightful interview, Che discusses her inspirations, the drive behind her aspirations, and how she maintains the delicate but rewarding balance between her career and personal life. Listen here.

Vicky Hope – Creative Dynamo

Introducing Vicky Hope, a respected figure in the marketing realm, whose career is studded with highlights that include not only professional success but also her role as a nurturing parent and advocate for the creative sector.

Vicky, a seasoned marketer and LOOP Agencies Co-Founder, has been a guiding force in her field, displaying imaginative leadership at every turn. Being mentored by her has provided me with firsthand exposure to her resilience, creativity, and the unique ability to bring visionary concepts to fruition.

Vicky's unwavering commitment to her principles and to championing female talent in business remains a beacon for all. Her career, blossoming from an early dream to organise shelves at WH Smith, has grown into a notable presence in the advertising world where she blends strategic order with boundless creativity.

Our interview touches Vicky's role as an empowering influence on women in the business sphere. Watch it now.

A Special Event in London

This International Women's Day was further marked by an event hosted by The Financial Times in London, led by Rukasana Bhaijee, the Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. A panel of diverse women, honest in their delivery, provided us with insights into their lived experiences—navigating the intersections between gender, colour, and disability in the professional domain. Their stories were more than narrations; they were affirmations of the enduring tenacity that defines the female experience.

The event served as a poignant reminder of the additional obstacles faced by women in the workplace and the strength required to transcend them. It was an eye-opening experience that urged us to reconsider and appreciate the often unseen challenges confronting many of our peers.

In closing, I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to Vicky, Che, and Steph for their invaluable time and for being so open. Together, we continue to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of women everywhere, advocating for recognition and equality, today and every day.

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