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Self Reflection is Key: the Message from Female Entrepreneurs around Breaking the Bias

Jo Swann, Founder of ChocolatePR

This week, as part of International Women’s Day, six online female entrepreneurs from varying backgrounds across the UK are uniting to start conversations they feel are important to bring to the table, as part of their efforts to #breakthebias on diverse subject areas which affect the quality of women’s lives and female empowerment.

The business owners, who met through their work to spread their mission messages, brought together by Yorkshire-based PR agency Chocolate PR, are all hugely passionate about knowledge sharing for the greater good and have come together to contribute to the campaign on Tuesday 8th March.

They will be taking over the social media pages of Chocolate PR to share conversations that will span from breaking the bias on women in property, to breaking the bias around parenting fussy eaters, to breaking the bias around how we loose weight, to breaking the bias around mental health preconceptions …all conversations that come back to women needing to make a change in how they see THEMSELVES first before trying to change the behaviours of wider society.

Jo Swann, award-winning Founder of Chocolate PR, a female entrepreneur focused PR Agency and Yorkshire Businesswoman member is passionate about using PR to empower and she believes that in showcasing these areas of life where women themselves need to #breakthebias, she can initiate some difficult conversations, to help make some shifts.

Jo and her colleague Jo Maloney will lead conversations on how we all need to face our own inner voices to find the confidence to spread our message, then they will open up their platforms to:

  • Rachael Troughton, The Property Solopreneur who will be asking us to #breakthebias around property development being for men, and discussing how we can make this more appealing to women
  • Clair MacKenzie, The Weight Loss Whisperer is looking to #breakthebias around how women speak to themselves around their weight loss as she challenges our approach to diet culture
  • Lisa Arterton, The Self Esteem Queen, will be asking us to #breathebias around our mental health preconceptions which keep many women suffering daily
  • Sarah Almond-Bushell, The Children’s Nutritionalist, will be challenging why it’s seen as mum’s sole responsibility to provide healthy food for the kids as she looks to #breakthebias around gender inequality in the family unit

Jo Swann said: “I’m excited by the variety of these conversations and hope that in sharing them we will get people thinking – thinking about the realities that exist where inequality is still rife, and also about how we, as women potentially feed that in equality”.

“It’s a pleasure to showcase these women, who have been through their own life changing experiences, and they’ve come to us ready to make these experiences count in a way that supports and guides others. They have been on personal development journeys and have come out the other side of their adversity and emerged much stronger, now able to see themselves in a totally different light to when they were stuck, however often they still need championing and guiding to help them find the confidence to powerfully spread their message, and I love being a part of that.”

“It’s important to me that we work together to build up women’s confidence so we can continue to build the ripple effect that comes when we all stand up for what we believe in, and we can share our messages and experience with confidence, to help others who are still stuck.”

She added: “We’re HUGE advocates of storytelling as a route to making a difference and really believe that sharing is caring. We help our clients speak out on a daily basis about their struggles and challenges, and help them knowledge share, so that they can inspire and motivate others.”

With a 15-year corporate background in leadership development, Women’s Assertiveness Coach, best-selling author and mum of three teenage daughters, Jodie Salt, supports the message that gender bias must start with ourselves first. She said: “Often women are their own worst enemy when it comes to gender bias “and so she has created an app called ‘woman up’ that she is launching on International Women’s Day, “this has been created in a bid to tackle this too, to ensure women are not further fueling gender stereotypes due to their own lack of self-worth.”

According to Mary Ann Sieghart, from the BBC Radio 4 programme, Analysis, research from Harvard through their Implicit Association Test shows that 80% of women and 75% of men show some bias and Jodie herself, even as an active feminist, banging the drum daily about equality for women showed up plenty of gender bias towards women in this test. Jodie said of these findings: “Showing that I have gender bias doesn’t make me a bad person, but it does raise my self-awareness of some of the beliefs that have been imprinted in my brain – now I’m aware of these I can act, and that can only be a good thing”

***You will be able to watch and interact with each conversation via ChocolatePR’s public Facebook page.

Jo launched Chocolate PR over 15 years ago, after working in media, marketing and PR agencies. She has worked with companies of all sizes including the likes of Whistles, NSPCC, learndirect, Marriot Hotels, Yo! Sushi, Dale Carnegie, Skipton Building Society to name just a few and won many awards along the way but her mission now is to help small businesses, and particularly female entrepreneurs harness the power of PR, so that owners of passion and purpose fuelled business being run online, around kids, are also being given a voice alongside the more traditional famous names in business. Having carved a niche in helping female entrepreneurs tell their story and harness the power of PR she’s on a mission this year to create an even bigger ripple effect with her work, as women empower women, and in turn, change lives.