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#ChoosetoChallenge – International Women’s Day Event 2021


International Women’s Day celebrates the cultural, economic, political and social achievements of women around the world, and the theme this year is #ChoosetoChallenge. Through our work supporting entrepreneurs from the military community, we are fortunate to meet and engage with so many inspiring women, and this year we are celebrating International Women’s Day in partnership with the Military Coworking Network.

We have brought together a panel of truly inspirational women from our networks, discussing what International Women’s Day means to them, what their motivations have been through their careers, and how we can empower more women to take action and #ChooseToChallenge to make a difference in their community.




Meet the Panel


SARAH STONE (Chair)

Sarah Stone is the Founder and Director of Samtaler, a social value creation agency which specialises in helping large, complex multinational corporations identify, design and deliver social value projects which will create real, measurable benefits for communities. Much of her work focuses around delivery of legal obligations brought about by implementation of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) and Social Value Acts. Her clients include Oracle, Vattenfall and KBR as well as public sector procurers and Local Authorities.


She has over 20 years’ experience in marketing, politics, communications and stakeholder engagement. She worked for David Cameron from 2006 – 2012 and in her final role, served as his Downing Street External Relations Adviser. She left No10 and moved to Scotland because of her husband’s military service.

In 2015 Sarah co-founded (with Pauline McNeill MSP) the world's first public affairs social enterprise, spending two years advising communities all over Scotland before moving on to found Samtaler in 2017.



LYNN RODDY

Following a 17 year career as an officer in the Royal Signals, Lynn “retired” to Devon with the aim of giving back to her two small children. After throwing herself into all the usual Parents’ Association and running the kid’s sports clubs, Lynn became part of the sandwich generation.


Following her mum’s diagnosis for dementia, Lynn helped care for her in Devon. Providing good care to people is harder than it sounds and it is Lynn’s experience of struggling to find good quality care for her mum that prompted her to start Home Instead.


In less than 3 years, Home Instead Tavistock and Tamar Valley has grown quickly, achieved an Outstanding rating from the CQC (only 4% of providers achieve this), ranked as one of the Top 20 Home Care Providers in the South West, and now employing over 70 people. We have continued to support both our CAREGivers and of course our clients through the pandemic – a very busy and intense period.


LINDSAY COMPTON

Lindsay Compton is the founder of Canny Comms. From AI and cyber security to aviation and maritime, Lindsay's built her technical knowledge by working with leading brands such as BAE Systems, AirTanker (a joint-venture made up of Airbus, Rolls Royce, Babcock, Thales and Cobham) and Chemring owned technology innovator, Roke. This experience is backed up by a Crisis Communications Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a BSc in Business Statistics.


With a deep understanding of the military environment and talent for working with introverts, Lindsay is a rarity in the world of communications and PR.


Lindsay set up Canny Comms with the aim of making it easier for technical and complex businesses to successfully engage with their audience by using a communications consultancy that really understands the detail.


Lindsay was the 2020 winner of the Heropreneurs Warwick Business School MBA Award, standing out against an exceptionally high calibre of entries.


BECCI PARRISS


Becci recently joined Heropreneurs as CEO. she spent four years with RMA – The Royal Marines Charity as their Employment and Education Manager, where she was responsible for the design and delivery of their strategy to support vulnerable leavers and veterans into sustainable and rewarding employment. Prior to this, she honed her ex-military employment skills with the social enterprise SaluteMyJob.


A Registered Career Development Professional, Becci is a qualified Careers Advisor, combining her ongoing professional development with practical and commercial experience and applying them to the unique circumstances of the UK’s diverse military community.

Becci currently lives in Devon with her Royal Marine husband, young daughter and dog (a Leonberger cross called Duke) and previously spent several years in Arbroath, Scotland.


BERRY JORDAN


Berry Jordan started out working in Radio selling airtime after a university course specialising in Radio Production.


Fast forward 20 or so years and Berry now works for Swedish energy company Vattenfall, as a Business and Community Investment Advisor. Her role being to oversee the portfolio of Community Benefit funds in onshore wind in the UK.


Berry plans and manages dialogue with communities on various aspects of renewable projects - most commonly on how communities can maximise benefits from windfarms. Berry assists communities to engage in the projects Vattenfall are developing, informing them about the project and the benefits associated with renewable energy -including supply chain, employment, financial benefits, and ownership.


Previously Berry worked in the environmental and farming sector in Wales for 20 years.

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