All the ways we invest in women… and not just for IWD

We’re not ones for performative content around here at The Agile Communications Agency, especially when it comes to equity and inclusivity. 

The 2024 theme for IWD (International Women’s Day) is “Invest in women, accelerate progress”. It feels like this theme has been some time coming! 

We’ve recently been struck by the phrase “carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” But I’m also doubling down on learnings from the likes of Mary Portas and her Work Like a Woman manifesto, plus Grace Beverley’s Working Hard, Hardly Working 

Thanks to their campaigning work, there’s been good news this week following the budget announcement – previous legislation that raised the threshold for angel investors to qualify has been u-turned. In January, the income threshold for qualifying angel investors went from £100,000 to £170,000, and net assets from £250,000 to £430,000.  

This backtrack is welcome for both female angel investors and female businesses owners by continuing to level out the playing field when it comes to accessing finance. 

How we support the female economy 

So here’s some of the ways we support the female economy – investing in women should be for life, not just for IWD. 

Competitive compensation 

We reward our team, female or otherwise, with competitive salaries across a “full time” structure of a 4 day working week. We’ve also structured our core hours around 10am to 3pm. Team chat tends to dip off around 3pm when we factor in a school run or other commitments (fur babies also catered for) but I know and trust that my team are delivering their expected hours, and more importantly, impact, around their commitments without denting their earning potential.  

B Corp brilliance 

As part of our B Corp journey, we are starting to measure our local supplier network and how many of those are from underrepresented groups. I’ve always prided myself with working with excellent self employed or SME creatives, and supporting them to command the fee the deserve. Women-owned businesses are a crucial support of our supplier network – from digital and web work, social media and content creation, to our HR and finance support.  

Money mindsets 

We’re talking about money openly. We’re sharing our successes and targets, but more importantly I will talk about money mindset openly within my business. My own journey with money and especially finance in business has been an interesting one. About 12 years ago, it was my area of weakness (I had entered the agency business world via journalism, after all). But I made it my business to get better, and sought training and coaching. It’s now the area of running a business I enjoy most and I am most proud of.  

Friendly accountants 

I make firm friends with my accountants. My previous accountant has had a career change and has ditched her desk job set up a business in tourism and the outdoors. We went to Glastonbury together last year and she is absolutely one of my ride-or-dies. My current accountant and finance coach is the incredible Deborah Edwards – partner at Harland and founder of Raised Up, and she has enabled me to vision out the potential and high growth trajectory of The Agile Communications Agency. I invest as much, if not more, in the financial support for my business as I do PR and marketing. 

 

Rachel Foster and Becky infront of the Glastonbury sign.

Abundent mindsets 

I share my abundant mindset. As for many women in their 40s with family, it’s not been a walk in the park. I’ve experienced heartbreak, divorce, a business exit, single parenthood, mental ill-health. I absolutely avoid comparison culture, because show me one woman who is “lucky”, and I will highlight their resilience, focus and behind-the-scenes graft. We have to raise each other up.  

Fierce feminity 

I embrace feminine ways of doing business. We attended the Big Tech Showcase, the flagship event of Software Cornwall’s Festival of Tech in February. And I came armed with a special gift for some of the female business owners exhibiting, presenting and attending. The citrine crystal is tiny but mighty stone that brings joy, abundance, success and can heal low self-esteem. I bought them specifically for a colleague who has been working through a tough time, but shared them liberally. They were met with surprise, then delight and appreciation – another example of how women business owners should support the sisterhood and raise each other up.

Lyssa, Kathryn, and Rachel holding a citrine crystal.

Take action

This International Women’s Day, think clearly about how you are investing in women. It could be as simple as sharing content from a female-owned business with your network. Can you be clear on how your business supports women and under-represented groups – not just as cash in their hands, but inclusive structures that makes it more accessible for you to work together.

If you’re a fierce female, or anyone who would like to do things differently so we can better invest in women, let’s connect. Collaboration is at the core of everything we do at Agile, I’d love to hear from you.