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On International Women’s Day, Circus Street hosted a panel with the female leaders within our business. We’re proud to say that 50% of our leadership team are made up of women at Circus Street, just one more way that we outperform many companies, in this respect.

Our panel was made up of Sarah Gilchriest, Global Chief Operating Officer, Julia Dear, Head of Product, Jo Roberts, Head of Education with Lauren Heaton, Head of Marketing. They were interviewed by Jill Herb, Strategic Account Director, Becky Dean, Editor and Leah Hendre, Producer. Each person delivering in high performing roles everyday, they shared what it feels like to #breakthebias and share the challenges they’ve come up against in their career, and why the working environment, empathy, being challenged, supporting each other and communication are so important to the success of working in a leadership role at Circus Street.

When asked ‘who inspired you’? We learned that actually, inspiration comes from our own people, challenging each other to keep perspective on work/life balance is key to remaining focussed and is pivotal to being successful. Outside of Circus Street, ‘it takes a village’ and we gave a huge shout out to the Stay at Home Dads helping to support families in the 21st Century, allowing all things to be possible and championing the Dad’s that raise their daughters to believe they can do anything.

What also shone through was how closely connected the Circus Street leadership team are as a unit of men and women, who are able to challenge each other in ways they never dreamed possible and can have brutally honest conversations that allow everyone to gain different perspectives and push one another forward. Thank you to the heroes that are Rich & Jonny Townsend, and Barry Peak for everything they do.

When asked what it feels like to work in ‘male-dominated’ environments, we heard that sometimes you will thrive, sometimes you need to remove yourself from a situation that does not support growth - and create environments that do support this. Rather than viewing oneself as ‘female’, actually we are all just people with a set of skills and if we all play to our strengths, we all thrive.

We talked a whole lot about the world of work changing for the better, we’re now able to have honest conversations about periods, menopause and bring our whole authetic selves to work, homeschooling - absolute nightmare! Encouraging these conversations creates empathy, one of the Circus Street values.

Finally, what advice has our panel received that they would like to pass on to other people? We loved hearing how to make yourself invaluable, your career will always go further. We were encouraged to call things out when we see them and do the things that people tell you you cannot. Ultimately, it is about never missing an opportunity to raise one another regardless of gender, up and always remain true to yourself.

Finally, we were told to always, always ‘take yourself off mute’.

Thank you to our panellists for sharing so honestly and to the D&I Committee and People team for organising the event for us.

Here’s to raising each other up and Happy #InternationalWomensDay #breakthebias #genderequality 

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