#shehelped | Women For Women Eh?


Dear Michelle, we’d love you to be involved in our #shehelped campaign shouting about women helping other women…

Erm, hell yeah.

When Canesten asked me to share a time I was helped by another woman, I was a bit chuffed that I struggled to narrow it down to just one story.  I talk a lot about women not tearing each other down but don’t tend to big up the women who’ve helped me. We all could do with doing this more. So I’ll get us started shall I? The obvious choice for this would have been my mamma but those are some stories that are far too big for today.

So today lets chat about someone I work with who inspires me daily and without whom I would have failed this shiny new career quite spectacularly a hundred times over. Don’t tell her I said so though, it’ll only go to her head.


You know I switched to a hugely male dominated profession nearly two years ago (financial services by the way, the fairly uninteresting cat is out of the bag).   As it’s not something I trained in, the only real option to me was to go in right at the bottom and claw my way up kicking and screaming. It’s strange to be a trainee at thirty two. It’s even stranger to be the most junior person and a female in a business filled with men. I feel like a donkey in roller skates, scrabbling to keep myself upright and moving in the right direction without falling headfirst into a really awful stereotype. Sure, I’m making the tea but that’s because I’m a trainee, not a woman ‘k? It feels like a constant battle.

J also joined this industry after having a wonderfully successful creative business in a past life, she’s driven, committed and super smart. She holds her own and encourages me to do the same every single day. She has carved out an amazing niche for herself in this industry where women are unilaterally under-represented other than in admin: it’s ridiculously inspiring to watch. She is also unfailingly supportive of my own journey across this penis filled minefield.  Whenever there is an opportunity she will push me forward, sing about my successes and strive for more opportunities for women in our business.  She encourages me to stand up for myself, to reject the painful stereotypes and to own my career path. With a different mentor I would still be the trainee, the woman making the tea and typing the men’s emails and weeping. Often. With a different mentor I’d have hot footed it back to marketing and stayed there in the warm comfort blanket of a career with greater gender equality and that I could do with my eyes shut.

I confess in my sheltered little life to date, I’ve never really needed this kind of support, or at least never recognised that I needed it. But J has shown me the importance of pushing each other forward, of supporting each-others’ achievements, of being unapologetic and unashamedly female is the only way to continue moving towards gender equality in those areas we are yet to reach it. It has to start somewhere and I’m incredibly grateful to have her there day in, day out. I finally feel excited to move forward and to support the women coming into this career behind me and that’s all down to her.

OK, over to you. For a chance to win a John Lewis voucher, tell me below about the women that have inspired you at work, at home or at play. Let’s spread the love.

To enter, comment below and use the rafflecopter widget to register your entry. The competition will close on 24th March and a winner picked at random. UK only this time.

In between helping us all feel a bit more comfortable with our bodies and providing the best thrush treatment this side of M&S cotton knickers, Canesten sponsored this post however all gushing about my awesome mentor and excessive animal analogies are my own.

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Devon | Springy One Sunday
International Womens Day 2016 #pledgeforparity
  • I literally don’t know where to start. Now, I dont have many girl friends, but I do have lots of ladies-in-business contacts. Every single one, whether I talk to them via email, facebook or IRL, builds me up. I am selective in my acquaintances and friends, and actively seek positivity. No haters here thanks!

    Fitness trainers who make me want to be the best version of me, business coaches who tell me its okay to be afraid but do it anyway. Authors whose words fill my mind with positive mantras, and TED talks which empower and vociferously promote women in business. They are all inspiring me everyday.

    Oh and you, Michelle, for constantly reminding me to post that bloody blog post i’ve been putting off but posting such well written and enageging things!

  • reneejessome

    What a fantastic idea for a post! We should really focus more on women helping women!

    Renee | Lose The Road

  • Amen amen amen amen AMEN girl. I LOVE it when posts get a little deeper than what-shade-is-my-lipstick. I LOVE this post. #IndependentWomen.Secondly…TMI but Canesten has been like my BFF over the last few years so I’m all for that too. xx lacoconoire.com

  • Cat

    This is such a great post, Michelle. I completely understand what it’s like to be a slightly older trainee too – I decided to go into law towards the end of my 20s and was 30 by the time I started my training. It can be really tough! I’ve met some fantastic women in this profession – some very inspirational partners and senior lawyers, who really try to encourage those coming up behind them. I’m doing my best to do the same.

    Also you, for writing this post! (I completely empathised with your recent one on what stress looks like too – sob!)

    Cat x

  • Millie

    A woman who has helped me would be my former headmistress at secondary school. It was an all girls school, so she’d often make speeches to the entire school centred around being successful as women, and actively identifying with being a modern woman. When I was in the younger years it seemed she was almost militant about breaking her glass ceiling she often talked about, and as I progressed through the school and got older, I became increasingly aware of the problems women faced. I really looked up to her and took in everything she had to say. Among the women that have left that school is an undeniable unity regarding feminism, and I thank her for that. She helped me – and every other student – realise what it was to be a woman, what challenges we faced and what we’re capable of. Because of her I have ambition and drive, and a sense of courage and determination when it comes to facing anything male dominated. She personally encouraged and celebrated my art work; she would hang big prints of my photographs that I took of current and ex pupils to celebrate the women of that school. She had a very powerful message, and I hope she continues to pass it on.

    Xo Millie http://www.modishrambling.com

  • Kirsty Fox

    My mum, she has helped me through so many major times in my life but recently she helped me through a two year period of depression, she has been there every step of the way

  • Leanne Lunn

    My mum she is there to help me all the while, she is my rock. Mum’s are the best!!

  • My Mom! She gave up everything to raise her children and she may not be a high powered business woman or anything like that but every single day she worked so hard to look after us and love us and care for us.

  • Appreciate the Day

    Recently I have had the help of some fab ladies in preparation for my uni interviews. They allowed me observe their lessons and talked me through how they teach. They gave me resources to use and talked me through what it’s like to be a teacher. They calmed me and empowered me so when I walked through the door I truly believed I could do it. Going from having a real dip in confidence, their support meant the world. They believed in me and I’m truly grateful for that!
    p.s. They are pretty awesome teachers and great role models.
    Kate xx

  • My hero is Super Lucky Di, she’s inspired me to enter online competitions, prize draws and giveaways and to try and win great prizes like this one. http://onlinefreecompetitions.com/

  • Tracy K Nixon

    My college tutor inspired me to go on to University to train as a teacher and I did!

  • Amy Fidler

    My mum she’s always been there for me and supported me,even when i moved away for 2 years,for my careeer xx

  • Lana Race

    I have been supporting my grandmother through a very difficult time, as her daughter passed from a rare form of Cancer. This has been a hard matter to deal with myself, as we didn’t think it would of resulted in my Aunty passing away at such a young age. I have had to stay strong for my grandmother and be there for her more than ever. I make sure I help her and support her daily, weather that be a phone call in the evenings each day to catch up or taking her food shopping. I know that my aunty would be proud of me, knowing that I am supporting my grandmother.

  • Julie Howarth

    My lovely mum, she’s always been there for me, gave me a wonderful childhood, given me lots of hugs and cuddles when I’ve been down and offered advice when I needed it. She was a lovely, kind person who everyone adored….so proud and grateful she was my Mum <3

  • maci234

    MY WIFE she is amazing

  • jennhaden3

    One of my friends, who is older. I never had a positive female role model in my life, I come from a very abusive background. It’s nice to meet someone who is older and is gentle, kind and loving. She gives me alot of faith that there are good people still left in this world x 🙂

  • Sophie B

    I’m inspired by blog writers like yourself!! Keep flying the flag for all women & spread a little bit of love each & every day! x

  • Lindsey Stuart

    My granny she was an amazing lady! She was the most cheerful person I knew/know a wonderful cook and very caring! I have the most precious memories of her.

  • Beverley

    My Grandma…..she is an inspiration and always has been.

  • Sandra Lane

    My lovely aunt who sadly passed away a few years ago. When she was diagnosed with lung cancer she took the bad news in her stride and decided she would have as much fun as she could in the time she had left. She lost all her hair but refused to wear a hat or scarf and put us all to shame with her energy and vivacity. A very special lady who is sadly missed by her family.

  • Helen Hodgson

    My mam – she just seemed to effortlessly raise my brother & me , and work

  • Glyn Davies

    My Mum, Wife and Daughter

  • Tania Atfield

    My mum with good baby advice

  • Claire GriffithssoontobeAldrid

    my gran she has been the lady in my life that as always been there for me through good and bad times

  • Maria P

    My grandmother – she never gave up and walked away, was able to cook onederful things from nearly nothing, and she was always there for a chat. I loved her very-very much!

  • Harline

    A friend I met while walking our dogs she is an old retired head mistress and is full of knowledge but she taught me to love and respect the outdoors

  • Gwyn

    I’m proud to know my friend Saada, who has coped with numerous struggles and always kept her head above water.

  • leeanne

    My mum. She taught me that beauty is only skin deep and that scars are part of what makes us strong. Also my nan, we lost my dad 8 years ago and although it destroys her more every day, she is always there for me. She truly is my hero

  • Kelly Ann

    My best friend Rachael, is everything to me.
    She has supported me through many mentally challeneges and has shown me courage and patience.
    After eveything shes been through herself shes the first one to my rescue and I her <3

  • Lisa Rowsell

    One of my primary school teachers who I still get to chat to regularly. She has many health problems, but still manages to do a lot for the local community. I had very little confidence at school, and she helped me so much, and I’m proud to know her.

  • Ellen Arnold

    My friends who have helped get me get thru 4 years Post Natal Depression

  • laura banks

    my mum she was always an inspiration to me she was ill all my life but always made sure i has a great childhood and tried to do everything the other mums did

  • Justine Edwards

    My Great Aunt was there for me when i lost my Mother who passed away from the dreaded Big C, she was also there for me when i had to have an Emergency Hysterectomy with the Big C scare.
    She’s always on the phone to her old folk friends to make sure they are ok , she’s One caring lady

  • maria hackett

    my mum who was my birthing partner when I gave birth to my twin babies 3 months ago! she still here at my house helping me. so lucky to have her and don’t know what I would do without her

  • Natalie Crossan

    My mum for being so supportive with me when my daughter was born x

  • Darrell

    The women who have helped me, my daughter, my Mum, both my Nans, my Sister and my wife (my wife has just seen me type this and said “Can I just have a quick word about billling!” ha ha ha Women you can’t live without ’em

  • That’s amazing to have a coworker and mentor like that. I wish our women-only lab was filled with passionate women who wanted to go places in science. I wish our women-only lab had more men tbh, (minus just my boss), even if science is male-dominated, I think they would bring something new to our table.

  • Paige Goodfellow

    My mum is the most amazing person I know, she’s helped me becoming the person I am today

  • Vicky Cole

    My Nan was always there for me, she was a very practical person which always put things into perspective

  • Kelly law

    My nan is an amazing strong lady! she looks after everyone!

  • Kenneth Thomson

    Supports other womens periods? Ew…

  • Jules Smith Eley

    My Mum, and Nan’s were amazing woman and following my family tree it seems I come from a great line of strong woman! #inspired

  • Ruth Robinson

    women are stronger in lots of ways than men fact

  • Ruth Harwood

    the most amazing woman I ever knew was my grandmother, who passed over 10 years ago, but who taught me never to lose myself to anyone or anything xx

  • emilyomara

    my mum who supports me endlessly, so inspiring, love her so much <3

  • vicky

    My mam, she’s amazing and is always there for me and my son.

  • greig spencer

    my gran is the best, caring and loving and always there

  • Mary Chez

    My mum and my aunt.They have both always been supportive

  • GCforever

    My female best friend who is probably the only person in the world with whom I can be totally and comfortably myself.

  • Rosys123

    Someone at work who is so senior but somehow still makes time for you and manages to make you feel like what you are saying is so important and interesting. Unflinchingly supportive and remembers to recognise. And plus is just a generally nice person! How does she do it!

  • Laura

    My twin sister, she’s so supportive and I know she’s always there for me

  • Sarah S

    I have the greatest respect for a friend of mine who, on the surface, wouldn’t say boo to a goose but when subjected to bullying at work stood her ground and stood up to those bullies until they backed down. We both used to work for this toxic company but thankfully have moved on to (separate) more enlightened employers. I’m not sure I could have had the inner steel to do what she did and I completely admire her for it. She is an inspiration.

  • Layla

    My Mom and Grandmother are amazing. They’ve always been there for me but especially after I had children. I can call them anytime and they’re full of great suggestions and ideas I wouldn’t have thought of.

  • charlie pope

    my friend cath is an inspiration as she helps me out with loads of things

  • sunshine

    Mum and me went through a lot together last year, without her I wouldn’t have been able to cope

  • Kimberley Ryan

    My daughter Chloe, after the loss of my husband (her dad)…. even though she was grieving herself she was always there for me #shehelped

  • Jo Hutchinson

    An amazing and inspiring woman in my life was my Grandmother even when she became ill, she had a smile and a joke to tell.

  • Kimberley Hazelton

    My school maths teacher inspired me to take Further Maths at A-Level, which lead to me studying maths at university

  • Sherrill Plumridge

    English Teacher at college who was paralyzed from the neck down told me a story about a little bird. It has stayed with me and shown that the moral of the story is true for many situations.

  • Jenny Badger

    I love my mum- she taught me that I could do anything I wanted! I’d love to share this prize with her

  • drchris123

    My mum

  • firstly, apologies for lowering the tone, but the imagery of “penis filled minefield” was too good not to congratulate you on.

    Secondly, I’m quite lucky to work in a field where there are plenty of successful women to inspire, and being a “trainee” too that really helps. My mum feels too significant to describe here, so I will say my Gran who always encouraged me to be independent, to strive for anything I wanted irrespective of gender and gave me the support and confidence to believe I could achieve it, and who also, along with my Grandad showed me that doing all of that doesn’t exclude you from raising a family and being in a loving, respectful relationship that lasted a lifetime. xx

  • Sheri Darby

    My mum and my sister

  • haxell

    I had a teacher when I was doing a commercial course who made me realise what I could achieve. But for her I wouldn’t have gone on to do my degrees.

    Hazel Rea – @beachrambler

  • Katie

    A woman I used to work with who suffered from MS. In the three years I worked with her, her condition deteriorated from being able to walk unaided to having to use a specially motorised wheelchair. She was, and is, still the most optimistically cheerful person I’ve ever met and literally awesome xxx

  • Emily McCabe

    My mum. She has chronic pain and a very rare disease but she never let’s it stop her. No matter how mum pain she’s in she will always be there to help me and others and just never gives up, even when her body i’s trying to make her ☺

  • Lizzy Cooper

    My Mumma, she’s helped me through so much & she always put’s me & my sister first when she has so much to deal with herself. She’s awesome 🙂

  • Victoria Prince

    Got to be my mum 🙂 she has been a fantastic role model and such an inspiration to me, and when I turned out to be severely disabled and require a high level of care she has continued to do that uncomplainingly and so selflessly – she never puts herself first. Of course she isn’t perfect 🙂 but I couldn’t ask for a more inspirational mother

  • 23farls

    Everyone mum is great – but mine is AMAZING! We have just moved into our first home – she came round every day helping us knock down walls, strip wallpaper and shift bricks! She also cooked us a homecooked meal almost every night as we had no kitchen for 3 months! Very recently i got married and she insisted on making our wedding cake even though she had never done it before – she sepnt ages practicing and the end result was beautiful! It made me cry and was so special to be made by my mum! #shehelped

  • claire s

    My mum. She does so much for me and always makes me laugh. I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like but when we get together it’s like we’ve never been apart. She’s ace!

  • Collette Mackey

    My stepdaughter Jade for giving me all the joys and heartache of motherhood without ever having to go through childbirth!

  • Carys Thorp

    my mum, although she passed away over ten years ago now!

  • Helen A

    My mum, she’s always there whenever I need her

  • Jade Hewlett

    My mum is always helping me and there whenever I need her

  • Adrian Bold

    My Mums been through such a lot in these last few years. But even during some of her harder times, she’s always been there to support me through my own highs and lows.

  • Jim Mullen

    My friend Amanda, she’s always been there for me through thick and thin.

  • shirlz51

    My mum is who I always look up to.

  • Sarah Rowland

    i have a group of ladies that have help me over the last year, a few of them have become more like sisters. leanne, judy and debs id be lost with out you 3 xx

  • Emma

    My Mother was an amazingly strong woman. She raised me as a single parent for a long time and worked very hard to put food on the table and a roof over our heards. I also have a small but wonderful group of best friends. They inspire me everyday.

  • Nancy Bradford

    My teacher Mrs. Reynolds who talked me into staying in school and was a great inspiration to me.

  • Tasha Hamilton

    My gran is amazing and is always there if I need her

  • denise cross

    My mum for always being there

  • Samantha Atherton

    My 3 best friends are my rock & have helped me through so many dark times.

  • Maria P

    my grandmother – she always had time to listen and made me a great baker

  • Jayne K

    My daughter who has all the confidence I lacked.

  • Lorraine Mabbitt

    My nan always makes me smile and to not take things seriously and see the funny side xx

  • e4b4

    My sister in law makes me proud every day. I admire her so much as she has stayed strong through so much in the last 4 years. She is my hero!! If I could be half the woman she is then I would be very lucky indeed!

  • cjh123

    My daughter is a strong determined funny talented individual who I admire so much. She is a struggling actress but has the spirit to succeed one day and she has my full support and love x

  • Karen Foster

    Since I lost my husband last year, my four daughters have been the most incredible support to me. I don’t know how I could have got through the last few months without them.

  • Ohmite Hudson

    My friend Julie, a diamond

  • Margery Lumsdaine

    My dad’s second wife – Terry – sadly we have lost touch now, but she was so important to me in my teenaged years

  • Jayne Kelsall

    my mum, she made me everything I am today and gave me the confidence to face tommorrow :), I love and miss her very much xxx

  • Vic Ki

    My friend Sarah – an inspirational woman who manages to parent two traumatised children, runs yoga classes, runs a support website (with me), copes with depression and a husband who owns his own business and is often away.

  • Sara Goodman

    My sister is my absolute rock. She always gives good advice & makes me feel better 🙂
    Super giveaway, thank you xx

  • Angela Wassell

    My mum is an amazing woman and has taught me to be the kind and caring woman I am today x

  • MissjoR

    my best friend she is a super star

  • Sheila Howes

    My Mum always supports me

  • Stephen Smudger Smith

    our clic sergent social worker lucy hill our son aron is 19 months old and has an inoperable tumor lucy from day one has been our guardian angel helping with everything from sorting paperwork to visiting during treatment. without lucy we would have been lost

  • Elaine Livingstone

    My daughters are a great help when I need help

  • petruska81

    I have to say believe me or not it’s my mother in law for being a perfect mother in law.

  • Sim1983

    my mum

  • Dude, Canesten might be The One!
    M x

  • ✰★ღ Kayleigh ✰★ღ

    My mother inspired me – despite her having a severe illness, she got on with things and made sure we all laughed every day.

  • Bryanna M

    My mother. She is my rock – she bring humour to the horrible and shows me the way

  • Fred_Baron

    My Mum, Grandmother and teachers. All great people to whom I heartily dedicate this post <3

  • Claire Nelson

    My wonderful mother

  • JudeVFR400

    My Gran, she’s 100 now and still plays Scrabble with her friends though isn’t as physically active as she was. She’s still cheerful though, and I try for her attitude. She’s always worked, always helped her neighbours.

  • ruby spiteri

    My mum she’s my absolute rock.

  • Susie Mc

    my Mum & my Daughter

  • CrazyJoggingGymLady

    My friend Emma has supported me through my dad being terminally ill. She has had things of her own to deal with, but she is always there for me and I am proud that such a caring and loving person is my friend.

  • Katrina Downie

    I am all about showing some lady love to
    The inspirational women in the world! Obviously 99% of women’s inspo is there mum! A lady that guides and teaches yet is fun and playful! At 30 years old my mindset is still that your never to old to want your mum and I’m Pleased to say I see mine every single day as I’m
    Sorry to say you never know what tomorrow brings! Embrace them love them
    Appreciate them!
    One love X

  • Hayley West

    My mum helps me all the time no matter what 🙂

  • Susie Clayton

    Dr Amanda Tristram, consultant gynaecologist at UHW in Cardiff. An incredible lady. Clever, talented, humble, personable and she saved my mom’s life. Big shout of lady love for her xxxx

  • Jessica Steele

    I went back to work part-time when my eldest started school and youngest was just over a year old. My mum, mum in law and sister in law have all helped me so that I don’t have to pay childcare (which wouldnt make it viable to work). Going back to work was something I was dreading but with their help I have managed it and have actually enjoyed it. Well, sometimes!

  • Matthew Fuller

    mum ..thank you

  • Lisa Pond

    My mother is always so positive about everything, always in a sunny disposition so she’s a joy to be around and a terrific nanna 🙂

  • Rennene Hartland

    My best friends sarah and kerrie i suffer with BPD and sever depression and between them i wouldnt be here without them

  • supastar1501

    I have a lovely group of ladies who I found on a forum when I had a miscarriage 3 1/2 years ago. I still speak to most of them online every day x x

  • Lydia Lillyinthesun Houghton

    I’m so proud of my niece who has overcome a really difficult year and is embracing motherhood so well.

  • Claire Blaney

    My mother In Law she showed me just how strong women are meant to be & also showed what it like to love you family & be the mom that your children want you to be

  • Monika

    my mum, always there for me, helped me so much when i became first time mum

  • My daughters are a great help when I need help
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