In anticipation of International Women’s Day 2019, I (Rebecca Hopwood) wanted to sit down with the SoProChief – Janet Bebb!
Janet enjoyed a life growing up as part of a big family, got married and had kids, built a house and built a career. From banking, to training (lots in between) and now business owner to a Social Media agency, Janet has some great stories to tell, and if you’re lucky enough – you may even get her to share some with you. I asked Janet a few questions about her influences, adventures and journey to where she is today, and this is what she had to say…
Morning Janet, thank you for taking the time to chat with me this morning.
Can you pinpoint 1, or 2 strong female role models in your life?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one to start with. I’ve never really thought of this to be honest.
I guess my biggest role model will be my dear old Mum. She was a strong character but also a very caring person. She always put others before herself and would get Dad doing lots of jobs for others too. When we were little, although we had a big family of five (three brothers and a sister), there was always room for another around the dinner table. Mum would just make more veg and we’d split the food between however many there were of us.
In terms of other role models I can’t really think of any specifically. I always admire female singers who have managed to crack what must be a hard market to get into. So people like Adele, Blondie, Madonna, Barbara Streisand to name a few. And actresses that have achieved too – although I’m not a massive TV or film fan.
I’m also in awe of female entrepreneurs, politicians & presenters. Some more well-known than others, such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sophi Tranchell – CEO of Divine Chocolate (the only chocolate company in the world which is 100% Fairtrade and owned by cocoa farmers), Emma Jones – Founder of Enterprise Nation & Linda Cheung, Intrapreneur Nation.
Infact, that reminds me of a series of blogs that I was involved in some years ago about Inspirational Women in Yorkshire. There are some great stories here with lots of familar faces. Take a look!
You’re also a mum to a strong, female entrepreneur – how do you think you influenced her outlook on what she was able to achieve?
I’m a big believer in what a child’s home environment is like growing up has a massive significance on them as adults. I’ve always tried to lead by example in the hope that both Sophie & Alex would grow up to respect others, be kind and helpful.
What I see in Sophie is a kind, thoughtful young woman who is forging her own path in the world, making a positive difference, leading by example and encouraging others to do the same.
Do you think that women still have an issue being heard or succeeding in business, or do you think things have changed?
I do think that things have changed. I was down at Facebook in London last week for the latest updates for the Facebook #SheMeansBusiness campaign of which I’m a trainer.
They had been celebrating International Women’s Day that morning and there were stickers on the floor.
There was one which read “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” By Sheryl Sandberg. I personally feel this time is already here.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to a younger you about the path you’ve taken – what would it be?
Have an open mind, read more, have a genuine interest in others.
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” By Sheryl Sandberg.