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TGtB Meets... Emma Sparks - International Women's Day Special
In celebration of International Women's Day 2015 we've been chatting to Geometry PR's Emma Sparks.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
A trained but now retired primary school teacher, I moved between jobs on temporary contracts searching for a work place that would keep me busy and challenged on a daily basis. I was offered a position at Geometry PR four years ago this April where I started from the bottom. I came to the business with very little understanding of what exactly PR was and have learnt everything on the job since then. Outside of work I am a very passionate Bath Rugby Supporter and, as well as being a Season Ticket Holder, I try to travel to as many of the away games as possible. I love to travel and explore new places but also to visit friends who live overseas. I am a cat lover with three of my own and a devoted godmother to Emily and Charlie who are 6.
Which women inspire you and why?
Apart from members of my own family, Mother Teresa as a woman who gave her life to helping the poor, sick and disadvantaged who wanted to make a home for them all by setting up hospices. The way in which she wanted to help people no matter who they are or where they come from.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing women today?
An effective work life balance for those with families and the increasing cost of Child Care
What was the best piece of advice you received?
Believe in Karma – it works & ‘Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.’
What significance do you think International Women’s Day holds?
International Women’s Day is important to recognise those females that have inspired so many through their dedication to their cause - be it political, religious or otherwise. For the Western World it is an important date to be reminded of the privileges that we as women now have; the right to vote, education and employment, while there are still countries in the world where these right are still being fought for.
Do you have family (and/or children)? How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I am single with no children but maintaining a work life balance is of paramount importance to me. It’s one of the many reasons that I retired from teaching 10 years ago now. Understanding when I need to take a step back and reflect and do things for myself before continuing helps. Learning to listen to the body and mind and to act accordingly.
Do you think there's equality between men and women in the workplace?
No. I feel that the stigma of women being the inferior sex within the workplace is still in existence in today’s society. This comes before we even put the idea of having a family in to the pot - which can so often hinder a women's progression on their chosen career path. Clearly, this is not evident however in all work places and here at Geometry PR I do not feel that there is any issue with gender equality within the workplace.
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I’d like to see myself still within the business that I currently am, happily managing a busy family and working life to my full potential.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
Be a sponge, soak up as much information as possible from everyone you meet. Get out there and network. You don’t have to talk business as such, it all about creating a positive impression
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
My Mother, Granny & Little Granny, Mother Teresa & Sally Brampton