At Florence, our mission is to give everyone the care and dignity they deserve, and one way we’re doing this is by creating a truly inclusive place to work where anyone can thrive and grow. We also believe the best innovations come from teams with unique skills and abilities who represent the communities we work with.
With this in mind, today we’re highlighting four remarkable women in our office-based teams and our health and social care workforce to learn more about their career journeys…
Tamana is our head of B2B in the marketing team, and her job is to make sure that care homes know how we can solve their problems. She loves making a positive impact on people’s lives – and she’s a passionate advocate for women’s rights.
Name one woman you really admire
My first-ever manager, Katie. She was a force to be reckoned with and taught me a lot about navigating difficult conversations in an assertive way. Her guidance gave me the confidence to pursue leadership roles I wouldn’t otherwise have gone for.
Have you encountered challenges at work as a woman?
In some places I’ve worked, women’s boundaries have been pushed harder than men’s. When people couldn’t attend late-night meetings or Sunday afternoon calls, for instance, the professional consequences were much more serious for women than men.
It can also be harder to create change if you’re a woman – especially if you’re a young contractor, as I once was. If things have “always been done X or Y way” there can be a lot of resistance to new processes, which can feel incredibly frustrating.
What kind of support do you think women benefit from most?
Women have a right to speak up and use their voices. Self-development courses and public speaking workshops can be great if you need help finding your unique voice at work.
I remember one of my managers in my second-ever job encouraging me to speak at a work event. At the time, it felt scary, but I gave the talk anyway. Nowadays, I moderate panels at in-person events with clients and feel confident talking with anyone.
Do you have any advice for young women just starting their careers?
Don’t be afraid of asking questions and speaking up. Get involved in meetings; ask for that pay rise; go for that promotion. You have the right to a seat at the table.
It’s easy to drift into autopilot mode and accept the “we’ve always done it this way” line – but if you have a great idea, voice it. If you think of a better process, tell people about it.
Lastly – and this is something I still have trouble with – tell people about the great things you’re doing. Celebrate your wins.
Tavi Hirst develops product strategy to make Florence Academy e-learning more accessible. She enjoys how varied and creative her job is and likes working in an industry with so much room for experimentation and growth.
Can you name a woman you look up to?
My former boss, Laura. She gave me the blueprint for what it means to be a successful working mum and product professional. I loved working with her and found her advice really inspirational.
Do you think women are treated fairly in the workplace?
That’s a good question. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to do.
When working in tech – especially purposeful tech – I’ve always been surrounded by a lot of women. So, my experience of inclusivity has been good, particularly at Florence, where I’ve felt really supported.
I know it’s not like that for everyone, though, and in most places I’ve worked, there have still been too few women in senior leadership positions. It would be nice to see more representation at the top.
How would you help women if you had the power to do so?
I’d make flexible work more accessible for women. As a new mum, I know the challenges of juggling work, childcare and unexpected emergencies firsthand.
At Florence, I get assessed on the results of my work rather than where I work, which has been great. Florence’s flexible working policy has given me the freedom to manage other commitments, so I’ve felt less stressed and better able to concentrate on projects.
How can women support each other better?
I’m not sure we share our stories enough, which is a pity because that could bring us all closer. If we normalise sharing, we can find common ground and work together to improve things for women.
Megan Lupton originally joined Florence in 2021 and now works with the international team in Canada. She finds the shared mindset, enthusiasm and energy at Florence inspiring and always tries to put herself in other people’s shoes.
Tell us about women you’re inspired by, and why
I admire women who do what they want and abandon convention.
My friend Annie is a surfing, van life-ing, snowboarding postwoman for Royal Mail. She uses the mantra “jokes of the journey” when times get comically bleak (as they sometimes do) to keep pushing forward, and she’s wise beyond her years.
Florence has an abundance of admirable women who are passionate and powerful, and they’re wonderful to work with.
What kinds of things might help level the playing field for women at work?
I think it’s important for companies to challenge inequality in the workplace – not just for women, but for all marginalised groups of people.
Organisations can begin by talking about how many men and women make up the leadership team or what women are usually paid in comparison to men in similar roles. Florence produced a diversity and equality report for the first time in 2022, and we intend to do so yearly, which I think is brilliant.
If you could go back, what advice would you give a younger you?
This might sound abstract, but one thing often leads to another, and you can work out exactly what you want as you go along. Make it known what you’re about – and what you enjoy.
What do you think the future holds for women?
I hope it’ll be easier for women to harness their edge – what they’re good at naturally in the workplace. This could be anything, but research has indicated those socialised as women are inclined to be particularly good at taking the initiative, motivating others, building networks, collaborating, communicating and thinking strategically.
Nomazulu Ndlovu-Dombo has more than 25 years of nursing experience in three different countries. Known for her team player spirit, she’s cared for children with learning and physical disabilities in private hospitals and general wards.
Can you tell us about a woman you find inspirational?
As a nurse, I really enjoy connecting with people because that helps me support them better when they’re feeling ill and vulnerable. So I’m really inspired by women who go the extra mile to make change – women like Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah goes out of her way to create opportunities for young women. When she founded Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007, it opened the door to education for many girls in the area, and I think that’s wonderful.
Do you think women have the same opportunities as men?
Women are not treated fairly in the workplace yet, mainly because a lot of companies don’t have flexible work policies. Onsite childcare facilities would help, too, because many women are the primary caregivers in their families.
If you had a magic wand, how would you help women?
First, I’d make it so all women could work flexible hours – like they can at Florence. Women have so much to offer the world of work, and flexible work policies make it easier for them to juggle all their other responsibilities.
I’d also make childcare more affordable. At the moment, it's very expensive, which can put women off seeking employment.
How can women best support each other?
Women can lift each other up by celebrating each other’s successes. It’s great when women succeed, and we should tell each other how proud we are more often.
Creating a diverse team
We’re so proud of the women in our teams, and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about them.
Here at Florence, we’re committed to celebrating diversity and uplifting women so that we can drive innovation in health and social care. Why not join us?
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