Vanessa Brady, an award winning interior designer, has achieved great success during the course of her creative and inspirational life. Having worked on projects from luxury hotels to Grosvenor Estates Vanessa brings something fresh to design, while also addressing issues of sustainability and longevity.
In 2009 Vanessa became founding President of the Society of British Interior Design (SIBD) which has, through Vanessa’s head steering, become the first national representative organisation in Britain to meet the existing standards of the European Council of Interior Architects (ECIA) by setting, for the first time, a minimum standard of education to practice as a professional British Interior Designer. Passionate about interior design, Vanessa has also been invited to speak at leading universities, banks and trade shows in Britain, Europe, USA and the Middle East.
Vanessa chats with the ACN about how business is different between men and women. Read her interview below.
1. Why is it important that woman succeed in business?
Because to live in an inclusive society we must provide equal opportunity as an option, it’s not for everyone, but for those that want to pursue or forge a different path to convention, the option should not be prevented or made unnecessarily difficult.
2. Do women bring to business something men don’t?
They regularly bring drama; women must learn to support each other more in business. Collectively you rarely see men block their peers from success, women must leave the internal competitiveness outside boardrooms.
3. What motivates you to succeed?
A yearning for excellence.
4. What advice do you have for women hesitant about their own abilities?
Try and set mini goals, achieve them, and congratulate yourself. Do not forget to celebrate success. Men look in the mirror and see a gorgeous slim perfect man looking back at them, the reality is that they maybe none of those things, but it’s a trait a women would never possess. Women will pull themselves apart!
5. Do women do enough to help other women in business?
Nowhere near enough.
6. What top tip would you give to a woman trying to get ahead?
Do not try to be a man, men never try to reverse their gender to fit in. Be a success because your idea/delivery/service is superior to the competitor.
7. In your field do you see a culture-change taking place?
Yes, I see a change in willingness to include women, but…I see that change based upon a respect for the achievements not because I’m a woman. I find being a woman an asset.
8. Who inspires you and why?
In a man it would be Bill Clinton, his father was killed by a drunk driver when his mother was pregnant and he struggled to get an education etc. he made it by hard work, smart ideas, fun, engaging with people and his charisma.
9. Can you celebrate your own success?
Yes, I used to be so hard on myself, then one day I thought, if I didn’t try and did nothing at all in fear of failure I would surely have failed in every aspect, therefore I simply carry out my ideas and some will work while others won’t, but I will have been my own personal success and nobody can take that away from me.
10. Is the question “Can women have it all?” an excellent question, an offensive question or just old hat?
Women have to have it all because men cannot have babies, they were the gatherers. We now share that space. We often think more strategically than men, they fail to see multi layers where women are spot it. However, women are far too emotional and think business is friendship – it is not. Keep business in business and family as family not clouding the boundaries and then women can have it all.
11. What do you feel the role of the Government is in supporting women who want to succeed in business?
The same as government’s role is in every other aspect, to legislate and measure change for the benefit of society as a whole. Therefore if we collectively believe we are in need of change, we must lobby for that change and demonstrate exactly why our challenge should be heard.
The government have legislated against bullying, to protect prejudice against ageism and disability and for gay rights. Women need to define what they want that they don’t currently have and then set about how to create change to achieve it.
12. What do you feel the role of Government is in supporting corporates who want to attract more women into their business?
I think we should have child care services alongside legislation for women in the workplace as this is the responsibility of both patents but the majority of relationships remain with child care being a female role, therefore businesses must address this core barrier to entry for women in the workplace.
13. Quote that inspires you?
The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.