IWD: The Women We Work With

BrightWord is proud to work with many amazing female-led clients who inspire and challenge us every day to be the best we can.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to shine a spotlight on these incredible women and the work they do. From entrepreneurs and business leaders to creatives working in their field of passion, these women are making a difference in their industries and communities, and we feel privileged to have played a small part in their success.

Read on to meet some of the inspiring women we have the pleasure of working with. We hope that their stories will inspire and motivate others to pursue their passions and achieve their goals, regardless of gender or background.

Helen Marshall, CEO and Chair of Chichester BID

Reflecting on my second year as CEO of Chichester’s Business Improvement District and my recent appointment as Chair of the Board, I am filled with pride and gratitude for the opportunity to lead such an incredible organisation. Having had a successful career in retail, working with some of the leading contemporary women’s lifestyle brands, I can confidently say that heading up Chichester BID is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding roles I have ever held.

Together with my small, yet incredibly industrious and hardworking team, I am dedicated to being a staunch advocate for the 650 businesses within the city centre. Our priority is to promote our historic city as a thriving and safe commercial area, and to drive incremental business opportunities for all the businesses that operate in our area.

While our businesses face significant economic challenges, and high streets around the world are undergoing transformational change, I remain inspired and driven to find different ways to make our high streets work for us. I am passionate about creating a city where the incredible innovation and entrepreneurialism, particularly of our independent businesses, can be supported as they create beautiful shopping environments and experiences for people to enjoy.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I am proud to be a female leader in business, striving to blaze a trail for other women to follow. I hope to inspire and encourage the next generation of female leaders to pursue their dreams and to never give up in the face of adversity. Together, we can create a world where women have an equal seat at the table, and where their voices are heard and valued in every aspect of business and beyond.

Heather Martin, Operations Director, Southern Fire Alarms Ltd (SFA)

As a woman in business, I am passionate about overcoming the challenges that come my way. One of the biggest obstacles I face is recruiting skilled labour, as there is a significant skills gap in the market. However, I refuse to let this hold me or SFA back. Instead, I am constantly searching for new ways to attract and retain top talent, knowing that this is crucial to the success of our business. I am proud to be part of the team of Directors successfully spearheading a 4-day working week trial here at SFA. We are just over halfway through the trial and feedback from staff is overwhelmingly positive.

What inspires me to keep pushing forward is the satisfaction of delivering a high level of service to our customers. Knowing that we are making a difference is incredibly rewarding, and it motivates me to work harder every day. Additionally, as a mother of twin boys, I am driven to be a role model for them – to show them the importance of working hard and playing hard, and to teach them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

But I know that I cannot do this alone. Empowering my staff is key to our success. By creating a positive and supportive work environment, where everyone feels valued and heard, we can achieve amazing things together. Whether it’s through training opportunities, recognition programmes, or simply fostering an open and collaborative culture, I believe that investing in our team is the key to unlocking their full potential.

On this International Women’s Day, I am proud to be part of a community of women who are breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings. By sharing our stories and supporting one another, we can continue to empower women everywhere to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams.

Morag Hill, Co-Founder, The Little Botanical (TLB)

As a co-founder of The Little Botanical alongside my husband Greg, I take immense pride in my role managing team TLB and developing the brand. It can be intense, but the excitement, variety, and rewards make it all worthwhile.

One of the things that I love most about my job is that no two days are ever the same. Whether I’m collaborating closely with our suppliers to design new products, wandering through the packing hall to see what our plant-loving customers are ordering, or providing expert advice on plant care, I am constantly engaged and motivated. Devising marketing strategies, planning product launches, analysing sales data, attending trade shows, and managing our recruitment efforts are also all part of the day job.  But even with so much on my plate, I always find time to take a walk around the nursery and enjoy the lush greenery that surrounds me.

Outside of work, I juggle the responsibilities of being a mother to three children, managing their schedules and fitting in exercise to keep myself healthy and energised. I love what I do and am very proud of what team TLB has created. None of it would be possible without the great team I have around me, including my husband, Greg. Personally, I find the biggest challenge is switching off; but seeing friends, exercising and walking near the sea keeps my cup full.

On International Women’s Day, my hope is to inspire other women to pursue their passions, take charge of their own lives, and overcome any barriers they may face. Starting your own business is just one example of the many ways in which women can assert their independence and achieve their dreams, and I want to encourage all women to embrace their own unique talents and skills, and to never be afraid to take risks and follow their hearts.

Debbie Ford, Chair of the Board, Chichester Cinema at New Park

As I reflect on my journey as a director and now Chair of Chichester Cinema at New Park, I am filled with a sense of pride and fulfilment. It has been several years since I took on this role and it has been just as challenging as it has been rewarding.

As the Chair, my primary responsibility is to lead the board in delivering successful outcomes for our community, donors, and everyone who supports us. It’s a big responsibility, but one that I approach with dedication and commitment. What makes this voluntary role so enjoyable is the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals who share my vision and values, and who possess the essential characteristics of energy and integrity. Through this role, I’ve grown both personally and professionally. I have been able to develop my leadership skills and make a meaningful difference in my community. 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m proud to be a woman breaking through the barriers and making a difference.

Rebecca Main, Marketing and Membership Manager, Weald & Downland Living Museum

The history of the Museum and its beautiful scenery makes my job hugely enjoyable despite the responsibility of keeping this important charitable trust going and relevant to the next generation of visitors.

We are lucky to have a fantastic team here, many of which are very driven and inspiring women. We all support one another, helping each other to grow in our roles. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my own wonderful manager, a strong female leader who supported me to develop at the Museum.

My job is very varied, working on everything from marketing strategy, advertising campaigns and data analysis to supporting other areas of the Museum, from events and weddings to the interpretation and learning teams. There is always so much to do as there is a huge amount going on. This is one of my biggest challenges and its hard to switch off, especially as I feel so enthusiastic and passionate about what I do. However, the Museum offers lots of support and flexibility, which is ideal for me as a working mum.

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the progress that has been made towards gender equality and recognise the ongoing work that still needs to be done. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in our workplace and celebrating the achievements of all women both past and present.

Andy Sheppard, Head of Marketing, New Theatre Royal Portsmouth

I started my life in theatre as a Theatre Technician in the late 70s but trained for a career as a Graphic Designer. At that period of time, women working back stage was very rare, unlike today where the opportunities are excellent for a career in ‘blacks’!  I sometimes wondered where life would have taken me, should I have pursued a career behind the curtains, however I feel very proud to be making a difference to help keep such a beautiful historic theatre open and welcoming visitors to Portsmouth.

My passion is to provide cultural opportunities and experiences for everyone. From engaging with sensory shows for babies, to giving experiences for youngsters learning to express themselves through dance and movement right though to high class opera, drama and the best in comedy. I just love watching peoples’ faces as they are leaving the theatre. I love trying to overhear them chatting as they go about how the evening has made them feel.

It has been hard working though the challenges of keeping a historic theatre in business following Covid and rebuilding the confidence of audiences and welcoming them back to the theatre. But I just love being able to see people back laughing and enjoying themselves, as I too love to spend time visiting other venues.

When I’m not working, I love to ride roller coasters and play the piano (though not at the same time!). My husband, two large dogs, and two wonderful grandchildren keep me busy, but I still find time to visit other venues and enjoy the cultural experiences that I’m so passionate about.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m proud to be a woman who has pursued her dreams of working in the world of theatre. I hope that my story can inspire other women to follow their passions and make a difference in their communities. Together, we can achieve great things.


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