International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is coming up on this Sunday 8th March. While circumstances are different this year, it is still a day to celebrate women around the world, their achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, and more importantly to amplify womens voices. Introducing one of our favourite women in business Wendy Stunt.
What does IWD mean to you?
For me, International Women’s Day is a day about women celebrating diversity, sisterhood, and a camaraderie amongst each other, celebrating each other’s successes -big and small. Strong women are in all communities, some are visible, and some are not but we also celebrate the ones who have our backs, the ones who are the backbone to societies and revel watching the front runners become powerful, a voice worth listening to and celebrating.
What does your role entail?
I am a Visionary Consultant, I guide you or your business in the right direction, whether it is moving forward to grow internationally or increasing your presence online for example or a marketing plan to ensure you are reaching your ideal customers. I connect the vision of your company to where you should be expanding both professionally and, in a market, driven economy.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
One of my biggest Triumphs was winning ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2019’ with the Irish Women’s Awards. I was absolutely thrilled that all my hard work was acknowledged and to be in a category of such highly regarded women and come out on top! It was a real shock on the night, one I will never forget. A struggle would be being a witness to women not being recognised in the workplace as being eligible for senior roles, it is something I am trying to tackle on an ongoing basis to encourage women to put themselves forward and insist on an equal opportunity to apply and be considered for higher level roles.
What skills are important to have in your sector?
Networking! The power of networking should never be underestimated. I am an avid networker and attribute a lot of my successes to making a conscious effort to get out and meet people in my sector and to help as many others as I can.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
I love the quote “I want every girl who is told she is bossy to be told instead she has leadership skills” I think that women can come across as bossy, mean, or unlikeable if they challenge anything. This must change.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
Firstly, I listen attentively and then I offer my advice for my client or my friend. I can see, from being attentive what I can do to help people, it is an instinctive part of my personality. The people who have listened, have been successful or are on their way to being successful.
Secondly, I adore seeing someone’s success and knowing the journey they have been on. This is empowering and emotional to watch, we must remember to celebrate all successes, even the small ones. So, I believe I am good at encouraging people to believe in themselves, If I believe them, so will you.
Thirdly, my gift is knowing business, I have had many business ventures and I know where I failed and where I did well. It is learning from your mistakes that will help with your success, having a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
My mother has inspired me in my career, she is extremely hard working, always looking out for others and so truly kind. She has taught me to look after myself but always help others succeed, take responsibility for my own actions, and have a sense of gratitude.
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
I make sure I connect with someone new (online now), every week. It is extremely important during these times to continue to expand your network and meet as many people as possible to share knowledge, learn and support one another. This will stand to you when businesses start to reopen. You need to keep at the forefront of people’s minds as the expert in your field.
What is something interesting you are currently working on? Personal or professional
I am working on a collaboration with several other business owners where we are in a similar industry and can offer ‘A Business in a Box’ for clients. Watch this space!
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I think going back to what I mentioned earlier, the biggest obstacle is for women to step up to management. We need to have the confidence to know that we are just as eligible to be in senior roles as men. We must stop thinking men are better at making important decisions and women’s natural role is in the home minding children.
by Mary-Jane O’Regan