Clara Toombs is a Marketing Consultant, helping small business owners to generate sales through email marketing and customer journey strategies. She is also an Executive Coach, helping executives to be visible for promotion.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I had a fairly ‘normal’ childhood however I was also ambitious. I remember selling hair accessories to other children as a child in the school playground. I then traveled the world, teaching English in Thailand, following this I moved back to London and built a career in marketing. With over a decade of experience of leading people I wanted to leverage my experience and so I trained as an Executive Coach, supporting women in leadership to stop being overlooked for promotion.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
Life circumstances forced me to question which path I was going to choose. I wanted to do something that helped others succeed, where I can help others with my experience including the reality of what it is like to be a female leader in a large organization or how I have helped well established brands increase their revenue to double digit growth!. I decided to choose a path that aligned to my vision, values and goals.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
I am creating a women in leadership programme that is designed to help women navigate their way through as a female leader. Having experienced this myself, my programme aims to help women feel empowered and confident, sharing tools that they can apply to their working day. To be launched in 2023!
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
Overcoming my fear of public speaking, I gave a talk to an audience of 3,000 on the subject of email marketing on a circular stage. I practiced my talk every day for a month, hired a movement coach and imagined myself on stage delivering my talk. I think you can overcome any fear if you realize what’s on the other side isn’t as bad as you think, you may even enjoy it!
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would like to see more funding and support for women entrepreneurs. It’s tough out there yet there is so much potential. I’d like to see more programmes geared to supporting women entrepreneurs specifically, not just with the practical side of things but also around mindset and how to move past self-limiting beliefs.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
I think there is a lot more that can be done to create diverse environments in the workplace. I am encouraged to see some positive strides forward. What I don’t agree with is a quota that some organizations have in place that a percentage of women should represent the board. I believe in a meritocracy and the right person being selected for the job. I understand that organizations have good intentions here but it’s not sending the right message out, women want equal opportunities, not to fill a quota because of our agenda but because we deserve to be there.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Don’t settle for 2nd best or the easier option, if you have a dream of setting something up or changing your career then take baby steps towards your goal. There’s no point living a life for someone else, live your life for yourself!