Championing Successful Mums in Bromley

This International Women’s Day we are celebrating a Bromley businesswoman who is empowering mums across the borough who want to get back into work.

Jane Knight set up her business, Successful Mums in 2014 after finding it hard to find part-time work following the birth of her first child.

Fast forward to today and the specialist training and confidence courses she runs have helped thousands of mothers revive their careers, embark on completely new paths and really get their mojo back, so they can achieve anything they put their minds to.

Inspiring stuff indeed. We had a good old chinwag with the teacher-coach-career advisor, who will be running her Back to Work programme at The Glades completely free of charge in April and May.

What can people expect from your course at The Glades?

It’s a friendly and professional course to help women returning back to work. We help with that gap on the CV, career advice, where to find the part-time and flexible jobs, confidence building techniques, personal styling plus links to local employers that support women returners.

The course also includes one-to-one, bespoke career coaching including advice on taking a new path, arranging work experience and looking at your field and job options.

What’s one of the biggest issues you feel women face today about getting back into work?

I think it’s not knowing where to start. It can be quite isolating, especially if you don’t want to go back to the same type of role and want to do something different that fits in around your family.

That’s where we can step in and offer a starting point and career advice, so women have clarity about their options.

Have you noticed any surprising common denominators between the women who attend the courses?

 The majority of the women we help haven’t recognised the parenting skills they have that can be taken into the work place. Since becoming a parent my negotiation, time management, conflict management, organisational and creative skills have all improved!

What’s your top tip you’d give to women wanting to set up their own businesses?

Choose something you are passionate about then it’s easier to sell your product or service and this will get you through the more challenging times too.

What’s the key to getting the work-life balance right?

I don’t think there is a magic formula, the closest I can get is knowing what a work-life balance means to you then looking at the small steps to make this happen.

Where possible delegate, ask for help, dinner plan, buy online to save time, buy birthday cards in bulk, keep a diary, learn how to switch off so you are supercharged when you are switched on again!

Can you tell us about a really proud moment you’ve had as the founder of Successful Mums?

My top three are:

  • Women telling me the course has changed their lives and had an impact on them and their children’s confidence
  • Supporting 4,500 women on their journey back to work or starting a business
  • Influencing employers to see the benefits of flexible working and employing women returners.

You’re hosting an International Women’s Day dinner. Which women from history or the present would you invite?

Recently, my daughter and I have been reading a book called Women in Science and we have discovered Elizabeth Blackwell the first female doctor in America was a pioneering woman, defying expectations by becoming a doctor in 1857 and went on to found a School of Medicine for Women. So inspirational.

From the present day, there are many but top of my list would be Melinda Gates, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams along with people I know including author and speaker, Penny Power, entrepreneur Angela Middleton and a lady called Penny Ferguson who inspired me to start my own business. Of course, my own mum who has always been there to help me.

What message do you want to send out to mums who are thinking about starting a new career?

Find someone who can help you on your journey, connect with people that do what you want to do. Get career advice and a coach that can make the right connections for you and arrange work experience.

Jane Knight from Successful Mums will be running her Back to Work course at The Glades on Wednesday 24 April and Wednesday 1 May from 10am to 2pm. Book your free place today.

Versatile style from a new ECCO office hybrid
ECCO ST.1 HYBRID

Elegantly blurring the line between formal and casual, or between a traditional aesthetic and a modern, more relaxed style, is a new office hybrid from ECCO that fuses a classic dress shoe upper with an athleisure sole.
Such a fresh, bold combination puts the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID at the forefront of a trend for formal uppers with sneaker platforms that offer contemporary, fashion-forward men a wide range of looks and wearing moments.
In the Danish brand’s first office hybrid, which brings a completely new silhouette to the Formal Men’s collection, you can step confidently in either a casual or formal direction. Mix the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID with a sleek suit and you will make your office look more relaxed, or combine the shoe with a pair of skinny dark jeans and a T-shirt, or with chinos or even shorts, and you will give your casual meeting outfit a formal twist.
With its blend of rich ECCO leathers and iconic detailing, this hybrid will appeal to stylish, contemporary men who appreciate how it offers multiple wearing moments. From a coffee date to a summer wedding, from the office to a restaurant, and from the weekday commute to a BBQ on the weekend, the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID can be worn almost anywhere.
And however formal or casual you care to be in your ECCO ST.1 HYBRID, you are assured of innovative lightweight comfort. Wearing the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID, you will experience a level of ease that is unprecedented in a shoe with a formal leather upper, with the three-component P.U platform featuring a number of the company’s innovations.
The SHOCKTHRU SD.PU cushion core insert in the sole provides significant shock absorption and the technology, which also offers rebound, has been combined with the anatomical VITRUS™ last, which creates a soft, cupped heel while enhancing both the stability and fit.
Another of the innovations is inside the midsole, with the revolutionary PHORENE™ the softest and most shock absorbent P.U ECCO has used yet – a breakthrough for ECCO FLUIDFORM™ Direct Comfort Technology.
Developed over three decades, FLUIDFORM™ is the brand’s proprietary technology that allows the midsole and outsole to form around the shape of its anatomical lasts. This delivers the signature ECCO comfort that balances cushioning and rebound, while creating an integral, durable bond between the sole and the upper without the compromises associated with stitching and gluing. For durability and comfort, the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID has a T.PU outsole, while the platform is brought together with a stylish formal leather welt.
For a strong, masculine and hand-finished aesthetic, the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID is crafted from a range of rich ECCO leathers and premium suedes.

This season, Superdry’s Sport range celebrates what it takes to achieve your best. From the initial motivation, through the blood, sweat and tears, to the sense of achievement felt for pushing your personal best boundaries and smashing your goals. Whether your aim is to work out the mind or body, the SS19 Sport collection has you covered. Training never looked so good with Superdry’s technical performance wear featuring bold colour blocking and fluro features, while the Studio range sees muted pastels across the softest fabrics, perfect for yoga and stretching.

This range, for both men and women, is functional yet sleek incorporating lightweight, seamless compression fabrics detailed with subtle reflective panels. Waterproof and wind resistant components mean whatever the weather conditions, this collection will help conquer fitness goals. The Sport range is an amalgamation of both indoor and outdoor training product, giving medium-impact support using lightweight and stretch materials to keep wearers comfortable and cool.

Feeling inspired? Watch the video…

Did you know that participation in Veganuary grew by 180% in January 2018? This year is set to be even bigger so whether you’re looking to challenge yourself for the month or you just want to try something new, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best places to experience some delicious vegan food at The Glades.

If you’re giving vegan a go this Veganuary, wagamama has you covered. Their vegan menu is meat free and taste full, to keep you nourished from bowl to soul. Celebrate Veganuary with their iconic vegatsu. Seitan coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs covered in their famous aromatic curry sauce on a bed of sticky white rice.

Think sushi is just raw fish? Think again. At YO! Sushi, their new menu has something for everyone. If you have a 2019 New Year’s resolution, Make it or Break it at YO! with 40 dishes available for only £3 this January, including 16 which are vegetarian or vegan.  To celebrate Veganuary, YO! has extended its plant-based menu and launched new vegan dishes. A third of the menu is now vegetarian or vegan! This is great news for vegan eaters and those wanting to discover how tasty it is to go vegan! Why not try Tofu Katsu Curry, voted ‘Best Vegan Curry’ by PETA. Crispy tofu with mild curry sauce, spring onions and steamed rice. Mmmmm….

The range at Carluccio’s has expanded and if you haven’t been for a while, you’ll be in for a treat. Snack on focaccia and olives, or order bruschetta with plum tomatoes and basil. New pasta dishes include Cauliflower Orecchiette, cauliflower, baby spinach, chilli, caper, turmeric, garlic & herb breadcrumbs with orecchiette pasta.

If you’d rather steer away from pasta, try the new Zucchine Ripiene, including stuffed courgettes with olives, breadcrumbs, capers, tomato, spring onion and basil. You could also opt for a lighter option with Riso Nero salad, black rice, tenderstem broccoli, golden beetroot, pickled carrot, yellow courgette, mixed leaves, soya beans, peas, chick peas, basil & chilli vegan mayonnaise – delicious!

Happy eating!