Women In Business Feature
West Midlands House, based in the heart of the West Midlands is home to many successful women founded businesses so I decided to chat with a few of our female entrepeneurs to find out about their challenges and successes in our current business climate.” – Jeni Sellick, Business Centre Manager at West Midlands House.
An Interview with Maggie Reardon of MAG Solicitors.
8 years in business this month, how does it feel? “Exhausting but very rewarding!”
When you started this business what goals did you set for yourself? “I wanted better work-life balance, and more flexibility. I was also managing caring duties for my mum so being able to still work and manage her needs was something that I struggled with previously with work pressures.
Did you have a strong female role model? “I have always relied heavily on the ladies in my Soroptomist group, those women are all strong, successful and passionate women working towards a cause.
You won an award last year, tell us about that. “It was a complete surprise, we were nominated by another law firm and so it was completely unexpected but we’re very proud to be recognised as the best Wills & Probate Law Firm in the West Midlands.”
How did the pandemic affect you and your business, what changes did you make and how are you working now? What helped you through it. “Obviously it was a difficult time and we did struggle but I feel like we came back stronger. Thanks to the government support we rode the storm and being able to help vulnerable clients during that time was important to us. Everything took more time and being patient and flexible with our clients helped us to provide a vital service to them when they were most in need.”
Being a woman in business, what challenges have you faced and do you think things are changing for female business owners? “Challenges besides hormones, menopause and traditional expectations put on women to still manage a family and household whilst running a business? The industry still has an element of stereotypical bias but things are starting to change, it doesn’t mean more work isn’t required for us to get the recognition we deserve from our piers. Opportunities to talk with other like-minded business ownders in confidence about you challenges is something I didn’t have access to when I started out, it’s great to see that changing and groups forming that offer that support, it really is invaluable and offers such encouragement when times are tough or decisions need to be made.”
What feminine advantages do you think women bring to the business world? “Probably the things that have challenged us. Our capability for multi-tasking, transferrable skills like managing budgets, organising people and that ‘get on with it’ attitude. Of course, there’s also our great empathy, as women we seem to have more of this and our clients trust us because of it.”
What advice would you give other owmen and what would like to see change for women in general? “Have confidence to go for it! An old boss of mine once said that managin a business, there are the up and the downs but difficult times always pass. That’s good to remember!”