International Women's Day: Women in Business
Innovation Connect provides office space and business services for a range of local businesses, from start-ups to more established companies. For International Women’s Day, some of our female members have kindly shared with us their stories and advice – from being successful in male dominated industries to being sure not to sell yourself short.
Sheila Burnett – Photographer based in our Cell Block Studios
Sheila has been a professional headshot photographer for 25 years, after a ten year career as a performer touring with the Pip Simmons Theatre Group and then working as a theatre photographer. Sheila has worked with the likes of Damian Lewis, Simon Pegg, Caroline Quentin, Helen Lederer, Imelda Staunton, Nick Frost, Jim Carter, Dr Michael Moseley and so many more, and is currently working on a book.
Sheila said: “Photography has always been a male domain, it certainly was back in the 80’s when I started out as a theatre photographer.
I got lucky, the 80’s turned out to be a fertile time for a new kind of alternative theatre with a mission to educate and entertain. Women's theatre and LGBT companies were seizing the moment, they needed publicity shots and they were not looking for a male photographer.
I ticked the box, it was my good fortune to work with these companies for over a decade, with their gutsy names in a much needed counter culture.
Monstrous Regiment, Cunning Stunts, Beryl and the Perils, Spare Tyre, Gay Sweatshop, Split Britches, Hairy Marys, Clean Break, Sensible Footwear & Scarlet Harlots to name just a few.”
Find out more about Sheila on her website.
Sara Lambourne-Jones – Office Manager for Match Accounting based in our Technopole Centre
Sara has been a member of Match Accounting for a year and a half and is the first point of contact at the Match office. An Office Manager needs to be able to deal with a great variety of different things on a daily basis, which allows Sara to put her problem solving skills to the test. Sara has been referred to as "the oil to the machine" since she makes sure everything is functioning and collaborating, with regards to systems, logistics and people.
Sara said, “I like to get stuck in and figure things out which lets me be the person my colleagues can come to for help. I have a good level of freedom to take my own initiative and set the majority of my own tasks based on business needs.
Setting and completing my own projects, making things easier for my colleagues and seeing the business grow is really rewarding.
My advice? Take pride in whatever you do. Always apply for roles a little out of your comfort zone and of a higher salary than you think you might be worth – it's for the employer to decide if you're suitable so never sell yourself short and aim high.
Even if you don't have any experience in an office setting you'll likely have a bunch of transferrable skills that apply, such as being organised, having attention to detail, being creative, good common sense and logic, being friendly and chatty.”
You can find out more about Sara on the Match Accounting website.
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