Here in Leeds we are blessed with an extraordinary number of female owned businesses. Don't get me wrong, it is still an economic market hugely dominated by men with little support for women, but in a world where women have to f*cking hustle and grind twice as hard as your average bloke to get a few mm ahead - Leeds is doing pretty well. If you disagree come have a word with me directly because I write this on the first day of my bleed, having wrestled a 2 year old to bed in tears that I wouldn't read her a bedtime story because she bit me. Apparently she's angry that I worked today.
As a woman in business you have to earn your respect, it isn't a given. You have to prove your intellect and your abilities to the men who hold the influence. I will always remember a certain indie publication telling me their readers were only interested in hot news when I invited them to our launch. The next day they posted some "hot news" - about a new bagel filling on the menu at some blokes cafe. The fact that a mediocre bagel is bigger news than the first female empowerment shop in the country opening sums up exactly why we need to exist.
I write this after reading that Porthouse Cake Co are closing their doors, one of the few big female owned businesses in hospitality in Leeds and it is a travesty. In her announcement Liz wrote "Unfortunately, the truth about running a small independent in a creative industry is that you really have to love what you do, be willing to live it every moment of the day, and sacrifice every ounce of energy for it no matter what else is going on in your life, and I have reached a point where I need to step back and have a break, because I have lost that spark...". I think all business owners can relate to this after the last few years and it feels more important than ever for us women to stick together, to support each other and remind ourselves that there is enough success out there for all of us.
So here I am at ten past 9 on a Saturday evening starting a The Pink Room blog to support other women in business, and hopefully support my own too somehow because LORD KNOWS its hard out there atm.
To all you gals out there - I wish you the confidence and success of a mediocre white man. lol!