Denise Matthews, 45
Founder of One Media & Events
“Without a doubt. There have been plenty of situations throughout my career where running a business single handedly has not played to any advantage, but in Gibraltar there is a positive resolve to address this. The main reason I decided to start a business was that I needed the flexibility to be able to work and look after my young son so that has given me the determination to never back down. Women need to play a part in raising awareness and providing opportunities for other women.”
Emma Lejeune, 38
Barrister at Law at ISOLAS LLP
“In my view, a glass ceiling is only as high as you set it, and that is if you decide to set a glass ceiling at all. Hard work, determination and a clear vision are all the tools you need in order to establish and achieve your goals. If you believe you can realise your dreams and know that only you have the power to make them a reality, then by having faith in your ability and in the greater good you can apply your full energy to make them happen. This goes for everyone, not just women.”
Managing Director at SRGEurope
“It is fair to say that recruitment used to be a male-dominated industry and had a stereotype of male domination with what was deemed acceptable ‘office banter’. However, now you see many successful women who are recruitment business owners/Directors dominating the sector.
It’s a cliché but I believe it to be true, women have the advantage of being able to multi-task, emotions are generally highly tuned and therefore seem to be able to build good rapport with clients/candidates. If you are strong minded, ambitious and appreciate that nothing is personal you bounce back quickly in this industry. I think recruitment is changing, more companies are now focusing on work-life balance and wanting to create a healthy mind-set and environment, SRG has worked on the premise of flexible working for more than 6 years.
I believe no matter what gender you are, if you have the hunger and determination to run through a solid brick wall at full speed, success will be yours. The trouble is, people think being successful happens overnight, but in fact, you need to be a little obsessive, go above and beyond the normal working day to be the best in anything. Everything in life needs to be earned, starting out in recruitment is the hardest, but then with practice and commitment 2 years later, you will be flying and I assure you the rewards are there and it will be worth it.”
Lorraine van Kleef
Founder and Head Coach at LVK Personal Training
“The short answer to this question is – “it did!”
I have been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and a Personal Trainer for over 11 years and I remember things were very different back then. Gyms were seen as masculine institutions, decorated with photos of men with big muscles and heavy weights. Although female coaches have been around for years, it is true that senior management positions in the sports and fitness sector have been dominated by men for many years. Having said this, I do believe this has been an issue of work hours, commitments and not enough support for mothers as opposed to an issue specific to the fitness world; a case of having to choose between family life, or a career.
Today tells a different story though. Attitudes to fitness have shifted from wanting to be slim and look good to wanting to feel great and be strong. Women lifting weights is a common scene at most gyms and social media is flooded with female influencers promoting this. The latter, paired with the recent boom in online platforms being used for training, has meant that women can be more in control of their work/life balance.
I expect we will be seeing a lot more of women in this line of work during the near future: the glass ceiling has shown its cracks and I have no doubt it shall be smashed before we know it!”
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