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In conversation with… meet the people behind the brand

Louise Roberts, Merchandising Manager at Jon Richard.

Louise Roberts, Merchandising Manager lives in Leeds with her husband and two children aged 4 & 6. She has worked as a merchandiser for over 10 years; her working history includes Kaleidoscope and Daniel Footwear Ltd.

Who inspires you and why?

There are many amazing women who have influenced my life, family members, friends and the women I work with.

Who are your female icons?

I think Mary Portas has done a lot for and continues to empower women in the work place. She has made a huge impact on British retail and helped to redefine female business leaders. She is un-apologetically herself embracing all of those wonderful things women bring – empathy, collaboration and flexibility.

What are you most proud of doing?

I am proud that I have built my career alongside having a young family. Balancing everything can be difficult and I think the more women we have in the work place after children will encourage and inspire even more to follow suit. Ultimately gender should have nothing to do with your career but we can’t ignore the stats. The transition from female employee to mother and then to working mother is a significant shift in a woman’s life. It’s vital we support each other to help bridge the gender gap in the work place. We need to celebrate the achievements of women and support each other.

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

Women are the ones having the babies; that isn’t going to change. We need to work with businesses so they support women and make it easier for them to come back into the workplace after having children. What is right for one person isn’t right for another, that’s what makes us who we are, but ultimately we are all empowered to follow our own dreams, whatever they may be.