#100WomenExeter; One Year On
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
One week ago, we celebrated the one year anniversary of Exeter’s 100 Most Influential Women and relived the success of the event through social media. We also invited our #100WomenExeter to get in touch and tell us about what they have been up to in the past year.
We were overwhelmed with the positive responses we received and are extremely grateful to those who took the time to email, tweet and chat to us about their achievements in the year since the event.
Our 100 Women have proved, yet again, that their recognition was well-deserved as they have continued to strive to change their workplaces and the wider community for the better. So, without further ado, let’s see where our 100 Women are one year on…
At the time of the 100 Women Event, Alice was Regional Events Manager for Trinity Mirror. In April last year, Alice joined the Grow Team as Head of Business Development and Events and we ended up gaining two fantastic employees as Birdie the pug came too! Alice tweeted Grow, saying:
“The start of whole new exciting chapter in my life … and a reminder of all the wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years in Exeter”.
Angela is a businesswoman and social entrepreneur who runs a marketing consultancy business in Teignmouth. She explained that she was extremely proud of her award and has used it in some of her marketing.
“The Most Influential Women badge has helped me connect with like-minded women.”
Angela found it interesting to use the list as a network and was able to connect a client preparing to launch her e-book with a local charity through the list of winners. She continued:
“It has helped me connect in a more fluid way and has helped me do more for my clients.”
Emma is now the Housing Development Manager at Exeter City Council and spoke about Exeter’s journey to “climate resilience” at the Climate Summit which took place at Sandy Park at the end of last year. She spoke about Exeter’s ambitious vision to build the UK’s first Passivhaus Leisure Centre, St Sidwell’s Point, on the site of the former bus station.
Emma tweeted us to let us know what she is up to now:
“#100WomenExeter …. 1 year on and I’m in New Zealand sharing @ExeterCouncil track record 4 developing low-energy, climate resilient & healthy buildings. Showcasing Council’s new dev co to upscale sustainable development across the City”.
Emma is the founder and director of the multi-award winning Devon-based Glas-Denbury Music and Arts Festival, as well as a freelance event specialist and Director at Quiet Dream Productions. Emma got in touch through social media to say:
“What an honour it is to be one of these #100women, in amongst so many incredible people. Influencing and encouraging the next generation of young people is so very important. Working together, to build on business foundations or create new ones is vital and so a massive thank you must go to Grow Magazine and all those involved in this fantastic celebration of achievement and human beings!”
Gill is a speaker and writer in the field of mental health and suicide prevention. She tweeted us to tell us about her “busy year; speaking in the workplace “to everyone from construction workers to doctors on the importance of our mental health”. She has also undertaken fundraising work for Action to Prevent Suicide and has become a trained suicide first aider. In addition, Gill has spoken at events for Exeter Samaritans, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and St John’s Ambulance. As if that wasn’t enough to accomplish in a year, Gill also cycled from London to Paris.
Gina is the founder and lead of Exeter Dementia Action Alliance which was recently joined by Wellbeing Exeter. Gina expressed her thanks to Grow for being chosen as one of Exeter’s 100 Women and felt “truly humbled” by the experience. She continued:
“Despite my achievements there have been set backs over the past year but it has been character building, moving me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to step back and reflect with insight before moving forward.”
Gina has had a hugely busy year, finding out that she was listed as one of 70 inspiring women in Devon shortly after the 100 Women Event.
In June her achievements were recognised yet again:
“I was honoured to discover I was to be awarded in the Queen’s Birthday list with a British Empire medal. I was invested in October by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon.”
Gina has just been nominated in the Outstanding Devon & Cornwall Care awards in the category of Community Engagement. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Gina as the finalists will be announced at the end of March. Gina explains:
“I continue to drive Exeter Dementia Action Alliance as a trail-blazing social action movement in the city. For this, we are a charity finalist in the Exeter Living awards.
“Whilst receiving accolades is a bonus, it’s the difference we are making by ‘Shining a Light On dementia’ which gives us so much heartfelt joy as dementia is such a complex disease that can be widely feared.
“I live by Gandhi’s words ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ and will continue to do so.”
Glen is the founder and director of Glen King PR who have undergone a move this year from their city centre office to the converted top floor of Glen and her husband David’s house. This cost-effective move was also inspired by the need to “reduce our carbon footprint” as Glen joked that she and David now only need to climb the stairs to get to work rather than get in their cars. It also means that Shadow can retain his role as Head of Happiness with no detriment to his doggy routine.
In November, Glen King PR organised a Climate Summit at Sandy Park in partnership with Constructing Excellence South West, sponsored by NPS South West, Midas Construction Ltd and Exeter Science Park. Preparations are underway for their upcoming Leadership Symposium in March.
Glen felt it was important to inform us that on New Year’s day she became a ‘sextagenarian’ and laughingly told me:
“I’m not sixty, but sexty, and embracing it!”
Director of Go Wild Communications, Harry has taken on a completely new challenge in the year since the 100 Women event: becoming a mum. She spoke candidly about trying to find a balance between juggling motherhood and running a business, joking that she thought she would be back to work in two months after her son’s birth. Harry explained:
“I have a whole new appreciation for mums and dads who find that balance between work and parenting.”
Harry was honest about “the confidence hit” she took as a new mum and explained that it took time to “be myself again”. Despite the challenges she has faced, Harry has a positive outlook for the new year;
“New Year, fresh new feelings, new clients as well as fantastic existing ones.
“I feel stronger than ever before and more in-tune with both my work-self and my emotional-self.”
“Wow, 1 year already? Time flies when you’re having fun. So proud to have been selected.”
“To be among so many inspirational women and be recognised as one of Exeter’s 100 Most Influential Women was a real honour and wow, what a confidence booster!
“I am extremely proud to be part of the Wellbeing Committee at Magdalen Chambers who have worked extremely hard and have been awarded the Certificate of Recognition for Wellbeing by the Bar Council.
“My interpersonal skills and contacts with the business community play a vital role in the success of Chambers and its members, which in turn offers our clients and their clients legal excellence and service with a smile!”
“It doesn’t seem that long ago. It was an amazing event. I am so proud to have been part of it.”
“Thinking back to last year’s event feels like looking at someone else’s life! So much has changed. In April I became a trustee for the Devon Wildlife Trust, a charity I absolutely adore.
“I finally finished my part-time undergraduate degree in September 2018 and decided to dive straight in and try freelancing full-time, kicking off with a life-changing trip to Malawi with my client Orbis Expeditions.
“I moved into the centre of Exeter, which is perfect for both socialising and accessing coworking spaces.”
Rebecca finished by reflecting:
“I’ve grown and learned so much since the 100 Most Influential Women event, so I can’t wait to see where the next 12 months take me!”
Sarah is Chief Advisor for Government at the Met Office and tweeted Grow to say:
“Over the last year I’ve made a conscious decision to only work on projects that are making a difference in our community.”
Since the 100 Women Event, Stephanie has turned her focus to not for profits and arts organisations which has resulted in her working with The Southbank Centre on their WOW (Women of the World) Exeter Event as well as Age UK Exeter. Stephanie has also volunteered for Exeter Foodbank and Exeter Babybank and is currently embarking on a project with Balloons Charity.
This year, Stephanie has plenty of features lined up for Exeter Life which focus mostly on the arts and not for profit organisations, as well as food as “Devon is the best place to eat in the UK” in her humble opinion.
“My blog Exploring Exeter is growing, with more contributors and more stories, I’m excited to be working with some new, fabulous writers and photographers.
“It’s been a good year! Now I’m looking for my next cause to work with for 2019.”
Phillipa is a filmmaker and managing director of Wildhorse Films, an independent television and commercial production company. Phillipa tweeted us to tell us about her “busy year”; filming another episode of Equus World Wide USA for Horse and Country as well as a documentary about Exeter Chiefs academy. Phillipa is also working on two films for Channel 4 and is jetting off to Iceland this week.
What will the future hold?
It has been an honour to celebrate the achievements of our incredible 100 Women who are a true embodiment of the fantastic things that are coming out of Exeter and the South West.
One year on, these women continue to be influential and inspirational in both their personal and professional spheres and we at Grow have thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane and the opportunity it has afforded us to catch up with our #100WomenExeter.