TGt Meets... Toni Ryder - IWD Special
As part of our series of interviews with local inspirational women to celebrate International Women's Day, we spoke to Management Consultant and Business Owner Toni Ryder about life as a woman in business!
Name: Toni Ryder
Occupation: Management Consultant and Business Owner
Which woman would you compare yourself to?
I don’t compare myself to anyone as I believe it is important to be your own person!
What would you say is your most valuable skill and why?
This is a difficult one as you need so many different skills to run a business, but I think if I needed to pick just one, it would be tenacity. Included in the definition of tenacity are skills such as persistence, determination, perseverance, strength of purpose, tirelessness, patience, and many more. I think all of these are valuable and relevant.
Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?
It is important to continue to recognise the amazing contribution that women make in our society and to continue to work on equality in the work place between men and woman. I believe, however, that this recognition should happen regularly, but having a recognised Day is a good start!
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is something that anyone who owns/runs their own company will struggle with and it is probably the most talked about topic at any networking meeting. For me, it can sometimes be very difficult, especially when the demands of work are so high, but I try to leave the office by 6:00pm each day and I also try to not start work before 8:00 am in the morning. My weekends are often spent working (the nature of the industry) so I do try to take time off during the week to compensate.
Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?
In the early days of my career, I missed out on quite a bit as my job as an IT Project Manager took me away from home Monday – Friday to different locations across Europe. Whilst it gave me amazing experience, it was hard to be away from my family.
Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?
Thankfully, no! However, I have worked in a male dominated industry and in some cases, I was the only woman amongst a group of 50+ men – this wasn’t always easy but thankfully there was no blatant discrimination.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
My advice to fellow females looking to start their own business is to make sure that you realise that the journey won’t always be easy but the only thing that will hold them back is themselves – you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it! They will need to have a great support network around them that they can turn to and they need to not be afraid to make mistakes.
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
The Queen, Dame Judy Dench, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Amelia Earhart
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I see myself retired spending time with my family, travelling the world and enjoying life to the full.