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Q&A with The Bardou Foundation, Wellbeing of Women, and BizWorld: Supporters of International Day of the Girl Child event at the legendary Annabel’

October 25, 2018

The iconic original Annabel’s members club in Mayfair London has welcomed glittering guests such as Princess Dianna, HRH the Queen, Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Aristotle Onassis to name a few. With the new regeneration of Annabel’s by Richard Caring to the tune of £90 million; the original site has been left exclusively for members’ private events.

The last ticketed event was International Day of the Girl Child on the 11th October 2018 hosted by female entrepreneur Charrlotte De’Davis of The Bardou Foundation with support of these incredible charities BizWorld, Wellbeing of Women, The Prince’s Trust, UN Women, The Children’s Charity, Variety, Luminary Bakery and Sneha Sagar Orphanage.

I sat down with Lorena Szerman, Founder of BizWorld UK, Alice Pakenham, Head of Philanthropy at Wellbeing of Woman and Charrlotte De’Davis, Founder of The Bardou Foundation and Bardou Beauty to hear their thoughts and find out what inspires them in their support for women.

What inspires you to give back to women?

CD: I understand that barriers and glass ceilings have been broken by women in business and I aim to do the same within my own capacity. I also believe that business should not only benefit the bottom line, but give back to society, especially to those who would otherwise never have the opportunity to break those barriers themselves.

AP: I came from a really privileged background. My great grandfathers founded and built Unilever, so I have always been really passionate about giving back. I suffer from endometriosis (which is a condition Wellbeing are very active in trying to find a cure for) which reminds me constantly how crippling women’s health can be and how difficult it is for people to understand what you are going through, unless they have had first first-hand experience – just like mental health. I want us to break these barriers and feel more open about talking about embarrassing problems, so individuals don’t become embarrassed anymore. The reason ovarian cancer is a silent killer is because symptoms are so general that most women don’t want to go and make a fuss; leading it to be too late when diagnosed.

LS: Society still does not fully support women today at the level it needs to. There are a lot of women that don’t have the financial resources and opportunities that men have, and many are dependent on men that may mistreat them as well in relationships or marriages that are not well functioning. In addition to the gender pay gap, because women have to manage raising children with having a job or career, they have fewer opportunities for career development and financial growth than men do.

What’s your advice to other female entrepreneurs?

CD: Being an entrepreneur is about thinking new ideas, dreaming new dreams, meeting new people to absorb new customs and cultures. Entrepreneurship is learning new skills that bring your company to a new level for the success of the business to better serve your customers. As a female entrepreneur, it is important we empower and inspire each other, encourage each other’s success and magnify our existence by helping other females reach their full potential. I am often inspired by the female entrepreneurial mindsets around me, that really go out of their way to support other girls and women such as the team at BizWorld, the all-female team at JPR Media Group and the power women within our own BARDOU BEAUTY team.

Who is the most inspirational woman in your life?

CD: There are many, including my mother and some of the powerful women in life and my family. In particular my grandmother (who I was named after), undoubtedly, instilled in me a strong work ethic that I am grateful for until today. She always used to say, “Charlotte, [only one ‘r’ back then!] opportunities don’t just land on your lap…you need to go out and create them yourself, and that takes hard work! She gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my goals and objectives. I owe my successes to her, and I wanted to celebrate this strong, trail-blazing, extraordinary woman in as a unique way as possible. After much thought, I decided that my first name should serve as a reminder of her and her strong values. So, I decided to do what some said was a little unusual, but for me served as a perfect tribute to my grandmother… I added an extra ‘r’ to my first name in remembrance of her- My mentor, Grandma Charlotte.

AP: My sister Anna Pakenham, she has cerebral palsy. Not only does she have to face her crippling condition every day and not be able to do the things most people take for granted, but she has to experience her friends passing away, as people with this illness have a lower life expectancy. Each day she is always so happy and so excited for what life has to bring, which really makes you remember to make the most of what you have.

LS: I have a number of very close friends who are also amazing mentors and sometimes coach me. I value their support immensely, and I believe that it is fundamental for me to have that support in my life. My sister has also been an incredible source of strength for me.
What women do you admire and why?

AP: It think it’s every woman. Every day women are constantly fighting all sorts of battles and each has so many hurdles that they need to get through and they do it so remarkably well. I am empowered by them and all of the amazing journeys they travel.

LS: I admire many women for their incredible accomplishments and for furthering the impact of women in the world: Oprah Winfrey, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, J.K. Rowling, Serena Williams, Sheryl Sandberg, Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand – for bringing her baby to the UN)

What are your thoughts on the #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport movement?

CD: 2018 has been turning point for women’s rights with movements such as #MeToo, #TimesUp and #WhyIDidntReport gaining international momentum and pervading the highest echelons of society, show business and politics. But beyond the stories that fill our media on a daily basis, and the increased awareness of sexual abuse that women have dealt with throughout history, are the day-to-day challenges that women and girls still face on a global scale. A light has certainly been shined on inequality, but we must now take the torch and shine that light further, bringing to light the lesser known challenges that the female gender battles on a daily basis, particularly those from social or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, whose voices might never be loud enough to land across the front pages.

Tell me more about International Day of the Girl Child and why you have chosen to support it and host this special event?

CD: For me the International Day of The Girl Child is a torch that we can use to contribute to a great cause lighting the way for girls to shine brighter. It is an opportunity to celebrate girls and young women from a tender age, so that their future can be shaped, and they can be given the opportunities to become the women they aspire to be.

For more information how to support all the charities involved, please donate here

Written by Jessica Patterson for Luxuria Lifestyle International

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