The heroines who motivate our leaders

* 4 min read

Packaging technology director Gillian Garside-Wight

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.”

I love this quote from J K Rowling, and think it’s especially relevant to women, as we’re often told there are certain professions or activities we can’t excel in, and I think this fear of failure sometimes prevents women getting to the top. Sometimes you just have to push through failure and keep going, to find that one incredible idea.

It’s a philosophy another of my heroines - my Mum -  instilled in me too. She always encouraged me to go into a male dominated industry (industrial design), which evolved into the packaging industry, which is still predominantly male dominated. She didn’t have a professional career herself but she’s strong, supportive and determined, and always encouraged me to just go for it.

Creative account director Kate Fischer

My grandmother always inspired me because she was a woman ahead of her time. Due to the war, she started a family much later in life and had her fourth child in her 40s. And when most women were raising families and staying home, she was raising a family and working.

She originally trained as a nurse during the war and was first in her class but contracted tuberculosis during her final training course and had to give up a career she had aspired to.

She didn’t let that stop her though, she was determined to do something, and be productive. She and my grandfather loved photography as a hobby and she got herself a job as a photo-colourist at the local newspaper. 

She didn’t get to travel the world much but would have loved to. This picture is the one trip she and my grandpa made to Washington DC. It’s faded now, but she did colour this photo herself, and made sure her green dress was green. 

You could say she inspired me because, through the way she lived, she taught me that you can really do anything you want and not to let anything stop you. Life may throw you a curve-ball, but just say “that sucks” and get over it.

Financial controller Michelle Hellowell

My mum is my inspiration - a very strong individual in a 5ft 1in frame. She is very confident and assured and always perfectly groomed!

She was a director of the company she and my dad started, while raising three children. The business was very glamourous (packing and slicing bacon), so she constantly need to challenge the very male dominated personalities within the industry and business.

She taught us to never settle, to have faith in yourself and that we could be anything we wanted to be. Which in my case at 10 years old was the Prime Minister, as I felt the need to remove other road users from the roads in order that we might actually make it to school on time!

It seems odd now that we have to positively discriminate to get women into senior positions, when back then it never crossed my mind what an achievement it must have been to have a woman at Number 10.

Legal membership manager Rosemarie Bramble

One of the most inspirational women in my life is my 18 year old daughter.

Victoria was a fairly shy and introverted child but has worked to become the confident young woman she is now. Not only has she chosen an extremely tough degree but she has also managed to continue as an elite athlete, competing with the top gymnasts in the UK.

I’m continually inspired by her energy to juggle all these aspects of her life and her ability to overcome challenges whilst she still finds time to go out socialising at least once a week!!!

Feminism is great to see in this generation and Victoria is the epitome of equal rights for women. It’s not about men hating; it’s about making the best of yourself whatever your gender. It’s not the power struggle of proving yourself over men; it’s about proving yourself to yourself and taking on the challenges of life.

Here at Sun Branding Solutions, Gill lead the team to deliver 50% cost reduction for Unilever, Kate was behind the re-design for Pets at Home and Rosemarie helped The Chia Co. enter a new market. Want to know more? Give us a call on 01274 202382 or email info@sunbrandingsolutions.com.