Louise Stephenson is our newest Prevent Breast Cancer Corporate Ambassador.
A Director at Rowan, she recently set up The Empowering Women Network, which comprises of over 200 senior female leaders. The Network enables like-minded women to come together, sharing knowledge and experiences, and to collectively become better versions of themselves.
The Network will not only help support women in business through quarterly events but will support Prevent Breast Cancer and fundraise to prevent breast cancer for future generations.
We caught up with Louise to find out more about herself and why she supports Prevent Breast Cancer.
Can you tell us about your profession and your connection to Prevent Breast Cancer?
I am a Director for Rowan Executive Search. I specialise in leadership advisory and recruitment for C-Suite roles including Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Chief Commercial Officers and Chief Marketing Officers.
As part of my Empowering Women’s event, which I host on a quarterly basis, I asked the team for recommendations of charities as I wanted my events to have purpose. I was recommended to Prevent Breast Cancer by one of their trustees. It seemed perfect for a couple of reasons: My mum is a survivor of breast cancer and is now doing well! However, my dear friend, diagnosed at 24 years old, is sadly now at 28 making plans to try and pro long her life as much as she can, hoping to get to her 30th birthday. It also seemed like the perfect fit for my network as they are all senior females. Not only can they look after themselves, but they would be in positions as board directors and leaders to affect their own work environments and spread the word as far as we can.
All perfect reasons to say YES!
I then met with Nikki and grew to understand what it is that Prevent Breast Cancer actually do and what they are trying to achieve as a charity. I have to say I was blown away by the passion of Nikki as CEO and the collective energy of the wider team to do all they could to raise the funds they need. I fell for their passion, energy and commitment to an amazing cause!
Who can say no!? I wanted to do my bit to help in any way I can …
Only the other week a lady from the Empowering Network community thanked Nikki and I for raising awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer. At our previous December event this lady was suffering from a pain in her breast, and it was enough to make her go to the GP. That lady was diagnosed with breast cancer and is now having treatment. In a way our empowering women event is also now saving lives and for that I am immensely proud!
Why did you become an Ambassador?
At the start of this year, I set myself a challenge to personally raise £10,000. However, as the year has progressed, I saw more and more opportunities to help PBC. I asked my own HR Director how we as a business could help and questioned how our network could help even more. I also changed the format of my events, so we have more time to network in order to sell more prize draw tickets, from which the charity receives the proceeds. I also started using my social media to raise awareness and launched a podcast where I gave Nikki the opportunity to discuss PBC so we can collectively raise more funds and the awareness … the list goes on!
However, when I was first asked if I would like to be an Ambassador, my initial thoughts were I don’t want to let them down. However, and on reflection, these feelings told me that I must care about them to not want to let them down. I had already agreed to do all we can, and as Nikki told me previously, I was already being an Ambassador in my own way. The way I see this role is that every little bit helps. No matter how small and if we all did something small, we would raise the awareness, raise more money and help to save more lives!
What do you hope to achieve in the future as an Ambassador?
Nikki has a vision to double the size of the charity and I would like to do all I can to support this vision. The capital build is only one challenge that the charity has, there will be further research to fund, costs to keep the service running and education to deliver to the community. I will do all I can to champion them in everything I do!
What would you say to someone who was reading this and was thinking about becoming an Ambassador?
I would answer this in two ways:
1. Professionally as a director of Rowan it provides me with an opportunity to engage with an audience I wouldn’t normally and provides my position with depth of credibility. Doing something over and above my day to day gives me a purpose. I am also developing skills which I wouldn’t normally have access to, by pushing myself out of my comfort zone including discussing PBC with councillors, CEOs and health experts. I believe this makes me a much better leader and has developed my skills further.
2. Personally, as my skills have developed, so has my view on the world! By reminding me constantly that on a bad day, it really isn’t THAT bad!
Thanks to Louise for sharing her journey to becoming an Ambassador.
You can read more about Rowan in our previous blog.
Louise recently interviewed our Chief Executive, Nikki, for the first episode of her The ‘Empowering Women in Business’ podcast. You can listen to the episode on Spotify, Amazon Music and Buzzsprout.
If you too would like to become am Ambassador for Prevent Breast Cancer, we’d love to hear from you by emailing email@example.com.