Today, March 8, is International Women's Day (IWD) celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Below, I've detailed three inspirational women who helped me when I was starting off in the world of public relations.
London based fashion designer Amanda Wakeley took me on when I was starting in the fast paced and cut-throat world of fashion. Amanda set up her company in 1990 and was, for years, the only person I knew who brought her dog to work every day. Since 1996, Amanda has co-chaired the committee for ‘Fashion Targets Breast Cancer’ raising substantial sums, which fund vital breast cancer research and was awarded an OBE for her services to the fashion industry.
Aurelia Cecil, founded Aurelia Public Relations in London in 1990. Apart from Aurelia in the movie Love Actually, the love interest of Jamie played by Colin Firth, she is the only person I know with this unusual name! Aurelia Public Relations was the first foray into the world of a public relations agency. The company handled PR for some of the world's most luxury brands including Versace (which I worked on), Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Mont Blanc, Krug Champagne and many, many more. Aurelia started her business aged 23 from her home with a small business loan, saying 'I sat at the desk and I hit the telephones'. She sold the business for £4.25m in 1997 staying on as MD for a number of years.
I first watched Jeanne Rankin presenting on TV shows such as Gourmet Ireland and Ready Steady Cook. She was arguably one, if not, the best pastry chefs of her time and together with her former husband Paul, they went on to be awarded Northern Ireland's first Michelin star at their restaurant Roscoff. Jeanne trained at La Gavroche, the Roux Brothers' restaurant before settling in Northern Ireland. I worked with the Rankin's for ten years off and on ending up handling their PR and marketing. Jeanne quit kitchen life after breaking her back in a horse riding accident going on to re-train as a yoga teacher where she now practices in her native Canada. Not one but two very successful careers.
For more information on IWD click here!