Management Today’s ’35 women under 35′ 2009
A while back I got an email from Management Today about their upcoming nominations for ’35 women under 35′ list. I must admit I wasn’t overly familiar with Management Today publication, or their tribute list of women high achievers under 35. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was yet another blog list. Boy was I wrong, I entered the nomination and a a few weeks later I got an email confirming I was on the final list. I was flattered and very pleased I made the list, after all I am in the first year of my own business and this kind of PR is priceless. But it wasn’t before I got another email asking whether I would be available for interviews and giving comments to the press that I thought, oh this might be slightly bigger than I thought. A week later the list was published in The Sunday Times, on the front page of the business section. I was impressed, then I started reading the achievments of all the other women on the list, and wow were there some achievments, I was honorued to be on the list with so many truly talented business women.
Finally, it came to the official launch party of the list, organised by the team at Management Today. I was quite nervous in fact, to meet these women. After all I do SEO, to me it’s not really a big deal, some of these women were entrepenuers at the age of 19, inventors, big time lawyers in the city, engineers, you name it. And most of them in traditional male dominated industries. As I arrived I felt a bit awkward, what shall I talk about? There were no need to worry, not only were these women really talented but probably the loveliest bunch of women I’ve met in a long time. No sign of snooty hard nosed business women, they were all really lovely, interesting and more importantly interested.
I chatted to Ruth Amos for a bit, the youngest on the list. At only 19 she has started her own business whilst she was still studying. I also spent some time talking to the co-founder of Notonthehighstreet, Holly Tucker , I really enjoyed listening to her story of how she set up the company and how it developed. It also turned out we both have children the same age, so we also talked about working and motherhood and the random things kids say and do. Turns out my daughter aren’t the only one that enjoys dressing up in random outfits (once she insisted going out wearing a tutu and swimming goggles, ha!)
Then, right at the end I got chatting to Bee Thakore, an aerospace engineer with her own consultancy. Bee worked as a test pilot for Rolls Royce and Airbus at the age of 21, I mean seriously, wow! She started her own consultancy a few years back, Big on Good, an engineering and design solutions consultancy. We started talking and literally could not stop talking! We were the last people left at the party and literally had to be kicked out of the venue, we just continued our talk outside and ended up standing outside Charing Cross station for over an hour chatting away. It’s been a long time since I’ve met someone as interesting and mind boggling intelligent as Bee, our conversation went from her projects with the UN (tracking the spread of Malaria), engineering machines that can create oxygen on the moon, the psychology of the human brain (is there a thin line between crazy and genius). We pretty much discussed anything under the sun (and space lol). I and Bee have arranged to meet up again, and possibly even work together on some projects. Ok so maybe aerospace engineering and SEO is not closely related, but sometimes two minds meet and you feel you can do whatever you set your mind to.
At the event one of the speakers mentioned the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, it’s a recently published book about “success”, what makes people successful? What made people like Bill Gates? I bought the book (and read it within days) and found it extremely interesting and facinating, it goes into detail about how much of our success is to do with people around us, the situations and circumstances we are in, our upbringing and our culture heritage. I still think talent, determination and a certain level of intelligence is necessary but it has really opened my eyes to realise how much of my own success if due to all these factors. I’m lucky to be included in a list like this, I got the opportunity to mingle and network with people like Ruth, Holly and Bee. But opportunity favours the open minded, all these women were willing to work hard and most of all cease the opportunities and take those risks. That’s why they are so successful. And I’m honoured to be one of them, and as one of the speakers at the launch party said; it’s time to pay it forward. Inspire, motivate or help if I can someone that just need that little push to be successful, to believe that they can be successful too.
Since the event I have been in contact with a university to be a guest speaker and tutor for their marketing and technology degrees, as well as enrolled in the work placement scheme with the same university. I’ve also been in contact with a womens networking site to help develop their platform further, in fact I’m on the train right now to meet with the owner of the website. I’m also meeting Bee for lunch next week, as we will work together, I just know it. So when you get an email asking if you want to enter nominations for a list of ’35 women under 35’ high achievers, jump at the chance. It meant alot to me.