International Women's Day 2022

I am a woman and I used to feel international, then Brexit happened – but I’m still trying my hardest! Above is a photo of me and Phoebe, my newest employee as we embark on a working trip to France. Eating our sandwiches way too soon!

Excuse the badly-drawn me below, I was asked by Kate to do a self-portrait for today, to reflect the 'real' woman that I am, no filters except my eye and pencil! I haven't done one for a long time, and struggled a bit, but here it is!!

This year we are reflecting on #breakthebias

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

As a business owner, I do feel like I have a part to play in promoting equality in the workplace. We try not to have pre-conceived ideas about male vs female roles and as a small team we all naturally just get on with what needs doing, regardless of gender.

At home we keep the housework fairly equal, I can work the ride-on-mower (lots of grass to mow - see below!) just as well as the washing machine. Though I might be guilty of thinking some jobs are more manly – I haven’t mastered the chainsaw…. yet!

Our Hannah Turner Ltd business world is full of female contacts, collaborators and colleagues, but I would love to see more women taking up business coaching roles. I’ve only ever had male coaches and sometimes a softer, more nurturing female approach has a lot to offer.

My own approach to managing the business has gone through a lot of changes. I was coached to focus heavily on growth and exporting, to the cost of almost everything else and to be honest, it didn’t ever sit quite right with us. Then Brexit caused the tender shoots of our European growth to wither on the vine, the climate and ecological crisis steadily made us think more and more about our sustainability and Net Zero goals and then the pandemic came and made us re-think almost everything!

I’m tending to think smaller and more local now, the opposite of where the government were encouraging me a few years ago. I do wonder if that’s my female side kicking in, pulling back from aggressive growth and thinking smaller? Whatever it is, it feels more honest and much better for both us and the planet.

I’m also giving myself more time to feel the pull of the great outdoors. As I write this I’m sitting in my conservatory, looking at the wooded landscape beyond and keeping an eye out for deer and squirrels and birds on my feeders. I would like to leave a legacy of a land that is well nourished, teeming with life and fruitful for our bellies.

Growing our own and buying locally seems to be the best thing we can do with a fuel and food crisis looming. So I’m going back to my old-fashioned values, working on my veg plot, looking after my fruit trees and finding balance between work and outdoor play. One feeds the other more and more these days, so I’m feeling the sunny outside beckoning and definitely feel that I’ve written enough for today. The benefit of being the boss is being able to gift myself some time away from my desk! Hooray!

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