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TGt Meets...Liz Hutchings, Founder & Managing Director of Total Guide to - IWD

March 8th is International Women’s Day – and the theme this year is #BreakTheBias. Liz Hutchings breaks the bias and answers some interesting IWD questions...

Who are you and what do you do? 

Liz Hutchings, Founder and Managing Director of Total Guide to Ltd. The local online information hubs in towns and cities across the UK are aimed at bringing communities together and “helping businesses to succeed, people thrive and places to come alive”.

We’ve evolved in-to a full digital marketing service supporting businesses with graphic design, video, email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing.

If you are a woman in business – has your gender worked positively or negatively for you? 

I have never felt my gender has had a negative impact for myself or the business. I can pinpoint one time I felt awkward being a female. I was asked to co-host a wine tasting business networking event for a local professional services company. It was very much a ‘men in suits’ club and I felt somewhat patronised and almost belittled by some of the behaviours but that could have just been how I felt and an insecurity – I can’t pinpoint why I felt that way but there was definitely a strange ‘vibe’.

I would say that being a female has helped me run my business as you’re only as good and as happy as your team members and on the whole, women are more empathetic and understanding and I like to think I have a good radar for how the TGt family are doing and support them if needed.

Can you share details of three women – famous, alive or not – who inspire you?

Margaret Thatcher – I believe she did everything she did for the greater good and was selfless. She had guts and determination and wasn’t afraid to make unpopular decisions if she felt it was the right thing to do.

Bethany Hamilton – American Surfer who survived a shark attack at the age of 13, she lost one arm but returned to surfing just one month after the attack and has gone on to come 1st in many worldwide surfing championships and is a Mother of 3.

Rose Ayling-Ennis – new to my list. I cried so much watching her on Strictly and she is probably the first female that’s really inspired my 4 year old so for that alone she makes it to my list. She’s working so hard to inspire others while making a difference but not afraid to show her joy and happiness.

Can you share details of three women in business in your circles who inspire you?

Karen Davison-Renouf – my first real friend in business who I have always admired, and I will never forget her encouraging me and supporting me to set up my own business.

Rachael Booth – For her relentless energy and optimism. Rach is a huge support to all of us in the team and as well as working so hard for herself, us and our clients she is such an incredible team player. All the while makes being a working Mum look effortless.

All the women involved in TGt – Phoebe, Bethany, Annie, Fiona – I am so lucky to work with such ambitious and talented women who are kind and genuine all at the same time.

Can you share details of three women close to you who inspire you?

Phoebe and Florence – my daughters who have boundless energy, spirit and love and have shown me joy in my life I never knew existed.

Patricia Hutchings (Paddy) – my Grandmother in-law. What a Woman! She’s almost 90 and plays a round of golf regularly, socialises, walks, travels, sews, crafts and lives life to the max. She lost her husband on military service and never married again. Paddy raised her two sons on her own while working. She now has many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren and we all have so much love and admiration for her. I hope I’m like her when I’m older.

What do you think can be done to really #breakthebias?

By females believing in themselves, by people of any gender generally being more open and accepting and for us all willing and supporting each-other to be all we can be.

Are you doing anything at all to mark IWD 2022? 

We’re hosting an International Women’s Day Afternoon Tea at the Wyvern Theatre and we’re donating 20% of ticket sales to UNICEF.

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