Challenging the Norm International Women's Day event


‘Challenging the Norm’ was the title of our virtual breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 and challenge we did! On Friday 5 March, over 90 people joined us on Zoom to discuss how women in Kent can and are paving the way for change during these challenging times.

Caroline Cooper, Head of Commercial and Cultural Development at Canterbury City Council and Rachel Sanders, BoConcept Canterbury’s Franchisee and Director gave hugely inspiring, personal and professional accounts of how they’ve challenged the norm – enabling, disrupting, staying in their own lane, using heart and head to spearhead the way in their respective careers, and home lives. 

They shared their accumulated wisdom, wrapped in a tale of humanity, humour, poetry and visual power. From Caroline’s demystifying and humanising tale of effective community cooperation and innovation, through an insight into the value of the Council and the skills and personalities working for us as taxpayers, to Rachel’s mood board that took us all on a journey filled with love and resilience defying hurdles, never getting lost in the creative muddle of life.

They blended formative life experiences, with lessons learned, professional mantras and accounts of responsibility, problem-solving, action and resolution. Real stories of tenacity, heart and head captivated everyone – they shared something that we could all relate to. 

 You can watch the event on catch up here >

We then discussed the burning question… 

What have you/your business gained during the pandemic that you don’t want to lose sight of and how can you retain this going forwards into 2021?

We didn’t record this part, but we’ve captured the key points for you as a reminder / note to add to your office wall/phone:

  • Be accepting of change, not fearful
  • Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
  • Opportunities to scale back in order to grow my business
  • See things differently
  • Reinvigorating connections with friends and keeping that going 
  • Being self-reliant
  • Re-balancing the family dynamic and retaining that new and better balance, 
  • Keep doing those ‘little things that give you a lift
  • Exercise, walking, integrating daily/weekly wellbeing workouts
  • Improving self-esteem and not letting it slip
  • Being kind to ourselves, and not too hard/critical
  • Efficiency, productivity and time spent on health rather than commuting
  • Appreciating the home comforts even more
  • Gaining perspective and making this global 
  • Harnessing the barriers rather than letting them beat us

So, what next?

Let’s keep building and keep these fresh conversations alive. If you’re interested in a similar quarterly event, let Clare know at

Happy #IWD2021!