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In Conversation With… Meet the people behind the brand

Sam Appleton, Trading Director at Jon Richard.

Sam lives in Wales with her husband and two children aged 5 & 7. She has 18 years’ experience working in retail and before joining Jon Richard she worked for Tesco and Arcadia.

Who inspires you and why?

I am constantly inspired by the working women that surround me. We work in a very inclusive and collaborative way at Jon Richard, which allows us to inspire and support each other on a daily basis. I love how each person has a unique approach to balancing home and work and their commitment to achieving their goals.

Who are your female icons?

There are many women I admire but ultimately it’s the women around me every day that inspire and motivate me.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me it’s a day to celebrate how far we’ve come and recognise how far we still have to go. It’s also a day to reflect on those living in societies with far less female rights than we have in the UK and consider what we can do to support their fight.

What are you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of showing my two young sons that there is no gender difference in workload in both the home and work environment. I aim to demonstrate to them that you can be a good parent while having a successful career.

Society continues to depict working mums as either great at their jobs, or great at raising their children, but very rarely are they depicted as both. I believe the truth is, watching a strong and successful person expertly multitask different aspects of life motivates children to follow suit.

What changes would you like to see to encourage women to pursue their dreams?

I believe we need more acceptance of women as the primary bread winners and men as primary care givers. The stigma that surrounds both of these deters people making choices that are right for them and their families and prevents women succeeding in business. We also need to bring everyone into the conversation if we really want to change the culture, we cannot exclude men from the conversation as their voices are equally valuable in creating change.