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TGt Meets...Hayley - IWD Special

As part of our series of interviews with inspirational women for International Women's Day, we caught up with Hayley, owner of Soul Shack and an incredible author!

Name: Hayley

Location: Swindon

Occupation: Owner of Soul Shack & Author

Which woman would you compare yourself to? 

I would compare myself to Rochelle Humes from the Saturdays. She works hard whilst juggling family and staying humble and true to her roots.

What would you say is your most valuable skill and why? 

My most valuable skill is keeping calm under pressure. It can be very busy and stressful and you can at times have challenging customers, so it is important to hold it together and remain professional and continue to deliver good customer service.

Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?

It is important to have an International Women's day as there are alot of inspirational woman who are underated and slip under the radar.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

It can be challenging to juggling a work/ life balance. It helps to prioritise and know that if things get on top of you - (because at times they will), it's ok to take a step back and regroup.

Sometimes, you can't just drop what you are doing at a moment's notice but the reward in the long run can be so much better and satisfying.

Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?

I have not experienced discrimination from colleagues but I have had a couple of incidents with customers that I believe would not of happened had I been a male.

Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?

Speaking from the perspective of a Author, I would say never give up. I had always written poetry as an emotional outlet as I bottle up my struggles of my childhood, until I shared my work I didn't know how impactful words could be. I never realised that others could be experiencing the same troubles as me. Readers that read my work may not want to become writers themselves but they may connect with the words that I have written and it may give them comfort to know that they are not alone in their experiences. That for me is enough to continue writing.

If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be and why?

The 5 inspirational women that I would like to have dinner with are: Maya Angelou - poet, writer and civil rights activist. Mary Seacole- business woman and nurse. Floella Benjamin OBE- actress, author, businesswoman and politician. Mel B- Spice girl, author and entertainer. Rochelle Humes- member of The Saturdays, presenter and model.

As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

In 10 years time I would like to have a best selling book and be a role model for anyone who has had to deal with the struggles of an alcoholic parent and with a parent with early onset dementia. I would also like to be a mentor for the younger generation looking to start out in catering industry.

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