Monthly Archives: February 2013

Once upon a time there was a calendar…..

If you were part of The BWN 18 or so months ago you will no doubt remember the calendar.
If not, pay attention!

Farleigh Hospice issued a £50 challenge, asking businesses take £50 from them and see how much money they could turn it into for the hospice.

So what did we do? We stripped and made the most amazing, beautiful and inspirational calendar (also very tasteful)
And how much did we raise? Close to £5000. Pretty impressive (Though not enough to fund Farleigh for one day. They need £7850 each day for all the great things they do

Now the smart ones of you out there know where this is going!

Yes, Farleigh is issuing the same challenge and we want to make Calendar II – The Sequel

So are you up for the challenge? Can you help in anyway?

We need

  1. Strippers! Goes without saying that if no-one in The BWN is willing to get their kit off then we need to go back to the drawing board. But if you speak to anyone who did it last time they will tell you want great fun it was.
  2. Hair and make-up – we need to look at our best in the buff
  3. Props.  Sally Parkinson, our superb photographer, has already got some ideas of a theme for the calendar and if we can have a props-mistress to co-ordinate that side of things that’s one less job I have to do
  4. Launch Party planner. I need someone super-organised to completely plan the party including finding a venue that will give us the space for free.
  5. Sponsors. When we produced the first calendar each month was sponsored by a business. Excellent publicity for them and helped off set the cost of the printing. We also need sponsors for the launch party. We need someone to persuade businessess to be sponsors
  6. A printer who will make the calendar at cost or less!
  7. A sales force to take the calender and sell it wherever they can!

Farleigh’s doesn’t get money from the government. It can only do the amazing things it does thanks to donations. So <<First Name>> whatever you can do to help will be so gratefully appreciated.

Let me know what you can do at

Take a look at some of the pictures from our first calendar. Do you want to be a part of the next one?


  • February 21, 2013

Feminism and The Business Woman

A former X-Factor contestant was prevented by her (male) PR adviser from answering the question “Are you a feminisist?”

So The Gazette newspaper ran a feature and asked me to write a piece answering the question “What does feminism mean to you and can women really “have it all” with a career and a family?”

As the printed version cut out some of what I wrote, I though I’d give you both versions!

What does feminism mean to you and can women really “have it all” with a career and a family?

Clare Lauwerys and The BWN in The Gazette

The article as it was printed in the paper (clicking on it will make it bigger)

Feminism – it’s a loaded word!  Somehow it’s gone from meaning an advocate of the rights and equality of women, to being short-hand for a stroppy woman moaning that life isn’t fair and that men are evil suppressors!

If you’d asked me when I was at university if I was a feminist, it would have been an unqualified yes. But now, it’s not so straightforward. I need to qualify my answer. I believe in egalitarianism

There are still so many inequalities – the glass ceiling is still there (we’re breaking through more often but it’s a tough slog), pay disparity has yet to be banished and women in the public eye are all too often reduced to the status of a “body.” I could go on…

But then men don’t have it all easy either. Stay at home dads are viewed with suspicion and body image issues are now more prevalent in men with a huge increase in the levels of male eating disorders.

The issue that women face is that we’ve been give the rights but not the full equality. Let’s face it, with the best will in world the responsibility of having a baby is a woman’s. Men just don’t have the correct tools for the job! And if we exclude those women who get back on their Blackberries before the placenta has been delivered, we do need to take some time off work. And that’s when we start to lose out. Out of sight and out of mind!

Having it all? No-one can. You might say men do, but do they really?  Look at the parents at sports day or afternoon nativity. It’s predominately mothers. If men were having it all, they’d be there too.

If you want to have it all, you have to choose when you have it. Many women in The Business Womans Network have chosen to be self-employed so they can have a job that fits around their families in a way that “conventional” jobs don’t. When they are working, they work hard and they achieve great things. And when they are doing the family side of things, well they are pretty great at that too.

Feminist, yummy mummy, mumtrepreneur (one of my pet hates, but there’s not enough space to go into that here) call me what you want. At the end of the day, the label isn’t important.

Women are just as great as men and men are just as great as women. It’s just that we all have different skills, different talents and different roles. And until we accept, celebrate and nurture these amazing differences then we all lose out.


  • February 19, 2013