International Women’s Day is a United Nations–sanctioned global holiday that aims to celebrate women’s contributions to society and raise awareness to the areas of society that need to improve to reach gender equality. At No.1 Media we use it as way to amplify women’s voices and however you choose to celebrate it, we are here to listen and learn. This week we are spotlighting some of Irelands most beloved businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Each year has an official theme, but unofficially, many people use it as a day to remember all the women that have made an impact in their lives through sharing International Women’s Day quotes, thoughtful messages,flowers, gifts and more. It can just be a way to celebrate with your girlfriends and embrace those relationships too. We spoke with Jennifer Rock the founder of the much-loved brand Skingredients and Irelands best known “Skintellectual “
What does IWD mean to you?
It’s a day to stop and celebrate the incredible women in our lives that are constant sources of inspiration. I’m a firm believer in constant action towards forging platforms for women in business, like what Going for Growth have done. And in focusing attention on the female-dominated industries that bring millions in revenue to our country and billions globally, such as the beauty industry. Days like International Women’s Day give us a celebration to be in reverence of the women who innovate and educate year-round and reflect on how we can all help globally to improve conditions for every human
What does your role entail?
In a nutshell, my role is to educate people on their skin and how to care for it. I truly believe that with skin education comes confidence and empowerment! So, making sure that our Skin Nerd Networkers and those investing in our active skincare range, Skingredients, know how to treat, nourish and protect their skin is a real cornerstone to the business. It’s also my job to engage and listen to our clients to create a sense of community and provide a service and products that meet their demands. Naturally, this is a rewarding and particularly intriguing part of my job.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
Probably having the confidence and self-belief to create, innovate and build a concept that had not been done before. I think that self-doubt is an internal struggle that many women can identify with. Although, I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a support network, of all genders, that have triumphed the brands from the start.
My biggest success is securing the trust of thousands of clients across the world, mostly based in Ireland and the UK, to use our online skin consultation service, become a member of the Skin Nerd Network, and use our active skincare brand Skingredients. We’re making people feel more confident in their own skin – if that’s not a form of success worth celebrating, I don’t know what is!
What skills are important to have in your sector?
First up, a passion for skincare and an empathy toward the emotional side of a person’s skin story is vital. The skin conditions that we often face – that could be acne, psoriasis, rosacea – truly affect our confidence and mental health, so it’s important to treat people with care and compassion. Equally, a strong understanding of science and how our skin works is crucial. I’d also say that maintaining your integrity and having the willingness to learn and grow are important.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
The speed at which the skincare industry grows warrants constant learning to remain innovative and a leader in an incredibly ever-evolving field. I’ve been fascinated with skin since my first facial when I was thirteen and that same curiosity to learn remains even now. I believe that challenging yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone gives us the opportunity to grow.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I think they will have a vastly different experience, and I would hope that people of all genders feel that they can achieve their goals… If not right now, in coming decades. I believe that what we need to do to assist in this is ensure representation, externally and internally, and to work to allow opportunities for all innovators, not just some.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
Sheer determination, belief in my idea of creating an online skincare membership when digital was not the norm and understanding skincare as an industry to the point that I pinpointed a niche for education, proven results, and fun to be mocktailed into one capsule skincare collection.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
I am inspired by so many; from afar Sar Blakely as an inventor and a woman who saw a need and fulfilled it to the point that she is now a role model to all genders in business. Janna Ronert from Image Skincare as she too had a vision to create a brand from a skin goal and concern that she felt was not being met by the industry at the time. Finally, and currently, Dr Vanessa Creaven and her co-founder sister for the oral education they give to their sector and Aimee Connolly for keeping to her ethics and including an educational element to her makeup which benefits the skin.
What do you do on a regular basis to celebrate your woman self?
I am a big believer in having a hooman side in business. I try to celebrate the wins and pass the DNA of my ways of working to my entire team to foster a company culture that’s curious, fast-paced, and trusting. I always try to encourage the team to have a laugh in meetings, while working hard of course!
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
Structure is especially important to me which means my agenda feels like an extended limb. I’m organised to the point where everything – and I mean everything – is colour-coded and neatly filed away. I’m a bit of a document hoarder, too, because you never know if you’re going to need it! I also top and tail-end my day with beach walks for much-needed time away from my desk and outside my four familiar walls. It really helps me to unwind from the digital frenzy and madness of deadlines.
What is something interesting you are currently working on?
Personally, I practice reiki, I read and I’m beginning to meddle in meditation as it gives my brain the opportunity to quieten and truly switch off. I’m sure many of us can relate that adjusting to the reality of office-home life was tough and this year I’ve had to find new ways to ensure that the boundaries are tighter than what I had allowed 2020 to be.
by Mary-Jane O’Regan