Women Inspiring Women ~ Meet Kate Farrow

#IWD2021 - International Womens' Day March 8th 2021 - The campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge

For this years campaign I have chosen to support and champion fellow Business Women, and have dedicated the month of March to promote and share their journey and challenges in business.

From challenge comes change.

I am delighted to share with you my inspiring interview with Kate Farrow ~ Director of Learning at Everywoman Ltd.

Meet Kate!

Everywoman’s ambition is to become the world’s largest and most influential business network, inspiring generations of businesswomen to achieve their own ambitions and helping organisations realise the full potential of their entire talent pool. Having been at everywoman for 12 years, I have been absolutely honoured to develop programmes and strategies that achieve this. I am passionate about women believing in their abilities and contribution to the world of work.

1. What inspired you to start your own business or choose your career path?

I had been in the world of work for around 10 years when I entered the world of learning and development, prior to that I had been in retail and then financial services.  Once I became part of the professional development world, BOOM!  I found my mojo, I found what I thought was my one true passion in life.  Later, I was fortunate to find everywoman, and now my passion is supporting the professional development of women, helping them to reach for their ambitions.                                   

2. What have been the biggest challenges you have had to face as a Woman in Business and how have you overcome them?

Self-doubt has definitely plagued my career, and in my early career kept me playing small, not taking the risks that I could have done.  I’m not looking back and regretting that because maybe I wouldn’t have ended up in a role and in a company that I love.  Fortunately, I’ve learnt that the voice of doubt mostly speaks up ahead of the greatest opportunities for professional, personal and commercial growth and I’m less fearful of it now.

I also wish I’d not spent as much time thinking about, and striving for, the ‘things women should have’ partner, marriage, kids, house, etc.  These things come when they come and are better when they are not determined by society’s idea of what makes a woman’s life complete.

3. Many women are feeling overwhelmed at juggling their professional and personal life, do you have any tips to share to restore the balance?

Make sure you look after yourself, you can’t support anyone if you are running on empty.

Decide on your non-negotiables and stick to them both professionally and personally.  My non-negotiable is working late on a Friday, I’m happy to be totally flexible with clients, colleagues and work Monday to Thursday, but Friday night is mine.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by a huge task list be critical about the things that absolutely have to be done that day, can you fit a task into a later time in the week?  Can you negotiate a new deadline?  Does the washing really have to be done today?  Be really forensic about when things absolutely have to be done.  Once you’ve done that, chunk similar tasks together, write all of your proposals during one session, answer all your urgent emails together, once you get in the flow of a task, it becomes easier.

4. What has been your greatest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?

Not realising the value of a network, and not knowing how to nurture that network.  I am now lucky to have an amazing network of people who I can, (and do!) call on regularly to help me figure out business problems, or my client’s problems.  The other great thing about a network is the sharing of experience, you never know when the situation that someone may have shared with you 2 years ago, and how they handled it, will come in handy for you or someone in your world, other people’s experience, advice and guidance is priceless.

5. What is the most valuable piece of business advice anyone has given you?

Don’t let anyone be in charge of your personal brand.  You decide, and show up, as the person you want to be.