International Women’s Day

It is with great pride that on Wednesday, 6th March, I became only the second female Master of the Worshipful Company of Paviors in 748 years, and I am most grateful for this tremendous honour.
On International Women’s Day, I reflect not only on my successes but also muse that what shapes us and gives us the determination to succeed are those things that do not go according to plan.

I was in my 20s and newly married when ill health floored me. Spending three years in bed taught me humility and that every day must count. As a fast-track graduate in a national insurance broker, my career was put on hold, but once I recovered, I went on to establish my own business. Seizing control over my working life was liberating, even if it meant working crazy hours.
The next big challenge was overcoming a failed marriage and raising two young children as a single mother. The endless juggling of priorities and dropping ALL the balls on the odd occasion certainly toughened me up! As the business grew more profitable, I turned my attention to giving back for my good fortune. A long-term School Governor, Trustee of a Medical Responder Charity, Lead Governor of an Ambulance Service, Local Councillor in Wandsworth for eight years, rising to Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health and finally, the rewards of working with the London Construction Academy. Helping to change lives by providing real opportunities for those not in employment, education, or training has been an incredible experience.
Hardworking, staggeringly well-organised and bossy to a fault, I have survived the storms and thrived.

So, I raise a glass to all those women out there who have dared to succeed.