You may or may not know that Whyfield is a workplace full of women, and just women – we’re an all-female company!
We are constantly inspired by each other and by other women, both personally and professionally in one way or another, and so, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we wanted to ask the question to our team…
Not surprisingly, so many of the ladies here have mentioned Laura, our very own Managing Director!
“She’s an inspiration to so many people not just myself. The way Laura has gone from strength to strength in building her own business whilst raising the most amazing bright little lady. Laura is the first person to help a friend in need, always there to build and bring you back up when needed. The most loyal friend, sometimes too honest, I have come across – thank you for being you!”
– Hollie Keat
“I believe you are a great role model as you are amazing at running a business whilst treating both staff and clients in a way that makes them feel important and appreciated, which should be a big inspiration to other businesses. I also don’t know how you manage to do everything with Whyfield, then make cakes for people and everything else you do!
– Tabitha Lawer
“We’ve all said it in the office, but Laura! Powerful, smart and a kind woman. All round inspiration.”
– Emma Humphries
Another in-house mention was for Jess, our Practice Manager and one of our amazing accountants, described as an “inspiration in and outside of Whyfield.”
“I think it’s really inspiring how Jess has successfully managed the practice from the age of 25, and has been one of the ’30 under 30’ winners for 2 years. Whilst juggling all of this, she’s successfully completing her CTA exams. Jess always made time to help me with my exams if I had any questions, even if this was out of work time. I definitely wouldn’t be completing work at the level I do now without Jess’ support throughout the years. She’s always made time to help and push me to grow within the practice. Still whilst managing to make me cry with laughter way to often.”
– Harriet Powell
“Jess is brilliant and has been the most amazing help since she began my management. I cannot express how much I have learnt and improved on since then! She is great and very patient with explaining anything I am unsure of and is always happy to help.”
– Tabitha Lawer
Harriet, a brilliant Accounts Assistant, is also an inspiration to our team.
“Harriet has also been a huge part of my training, particularly over the last year, and as with Jess, has been a massive help in my training. She too is great at explaining anything I am stuck with and is always happy to help too.”
– Tabitha Lawer
Moving on to our heroines outside of the walls of Whyfield, we have a real mix of women from our personal lives and those we look up to in the public eye.
Kerry spoke about Marilyn Monroe, explaining that she empowered other women, fought for equality, and was unafraid to face confrontation in a male dominant industry, calling out discrimination on pay opportunities and working conditions.
“She’s most remembered as a sex symbol of the 50’s, but she was so much more than that. Marilyn went against every expectation of her as just the ‘pretty face of Hollywood’ and pushed against the ‘system’ at the time. She is even said to have launched the career of Ella Fitzgerald, convincing owners of Mocambo, one of the most popular venues in the 50’s, to allow Ella to perform, as they were hesitant about having a ‘true jazz’ singer on the bill, worrying she wasn’t glamourous enough. Marilyn promised to sit in the front row every night and to take famous friends with her – she knew the press would go wild. Ella never had to play a small jazz club again and described Marilyn as ‘an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it’.”
“Marylin represents confidence, freedom, and is a fine example that you can be whichever way you want to be, regardless of how society precedes it.”
– Kerry Eastmond
Another hugely iconic figure to grace this list, is Aretha Franklin.
“She’s my ultimate idol – an incredibly kind, strong, grounded, talented, giving, powerhouse with a voice that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. As well as her many, many musical accolades (including becoming the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, cementing her legacy as the Queen of Soul), she was the voice for black women fighting for equality and liberation, working behind the scenes and using her money to support the Civil Rights Movement. In 2005, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her civil rights work, and in April 2019 became the first woman to ever be awarded a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize. She believed in equal pay for men and women, she offered to bail activist Angela Davis out of prison, and throughout her life she made contributions to her father’s church, providing $10,000 checks to the church several times a year, she gave money to struggling families at Christmas time, sponsored Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and arranged an annual concert at the church. NASA even named an asteroid after her!”
– Megan Searle
From the Queen of Soul, to the actual Queen. An inspiration to many, it’s not surprising that her majesty, The Queen, has found her way onto this list.
“I love her (and I don’t want her to die). She has experienced so much, and been faced with so many political and world issues in her reign as Queen, but shows no weakness. She has ruled the country for 70 years and has been forced to work with political leaders that might not have been her personal choice but works together with them to find the best outcome she can for the country regardless.”
“She became most powerful woman in the world at 18 years old, and remained dignified and didn’t lose her mind.”
– Rachael Eames
As well as Laura, mentioned above, Emma spoke about the inspirational Betty White – a queen in her own right.
“I’ve seen lots about her standing up for women and standing against racism for decades. She was asked to remove a black dancer, Arthur Duncan, from ‘The Betty White Show’ that aired in the 50’s, otherwise some of the stations would not carry her show. She refused and kept Arthur in the show until it was cancelled in 1954. Although it’s unclear whether her decision to keep Arthur affected the show’s fate, it’s admirable that she still stood up for what she believed in, despite the potential consequences.”
– Emma Humphries
Closer to home that the bright lights of Los Angeles, is Beverley’s amazing role model – a vet she used to work with – Emily Bisset (Dr Emily Bissett BVM&S MRCVS).
“She is an amazing, motivating individual. Great at her job but also great with the clients who, let’s be honest, are the difficult part of animal medicine. She’s full of energy, she’s insane in the gym (she can squat my entire body weight), but most of all she is makes time for you. She can spot when you’re not feeling quite right, but approaches it at the right time. Career driven, having just taken a job in Devon to enhance her equine skills and progress personally with her career.”
– Bev Lockwood
Emilie spoke about a few of her heroines, including Ada Lovelace, the World War II symbol, Rosie the Riveter, and her mum.
“She’s been called the world’s first computer programmer (first PERSON, not just first woman). Charles Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer, but Ada wrote the algorithm for the engine to carry out. In fact, one of the early programming languages is named after Ada. She also proposed that computers could one day do more than number crunch, which from our perspective, would make her a visionary in the early 1800’s – what a woman!”
She was more of a symbol than an actual woman – she symbolized women’s contributions to the World War II effort. Women filled a huge quantity of factory positions during World War II, proving that we could excel at a ‘man’s job’.”
Emilie also nominated her mother. “She is the bravest, strongest woman I know. I look up at her and hope one day my son feels the same way about me. She doesn’t require much of an explanation than that.”
– Emilie Liddicoat
Another incredible personal heroine, comes from Liz – her sister, Cat.
“She might be my younger sister, but she is absolutely my rock and someone I aspire to be like, every day.” “Cat is strong, driven, and fearless. Her approach to life’s challenges whilst living with a learning difficulty and chronic illness is nothing short of inspirational. To live life by her side is pretty damn fabulous!”
– Liz Rumble
We couldn’t finish this list without mentioning an accountant! This historic role model comes from Dorota, who picked Mary Harris Smith, an accountant and entrepreneur.
“She became the first woman to complete the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales qualification but was denied membership because she was a woman. When the Sex Disqualification Act was passed in 1919, Harris Smith became the world’s first female Chartered Accountant. Go Mary!”
– Dorota O’Meally
If there’s someone in your life that you look up to, tell them this International Women’s Day! Let’s lift each other up.