When a woman is empowered, women are empowered. Each new achievement reinforces us all.

Stephanie Leese

Without The Womens Organisation, The Pink Plasterer would still be a dream of mine and not have been fulfilled.

Stephanie Leese has taken on the male dominated world of plastering, and won. Afterjust three years in business she now has a team of eight and a growing reputation. She has worked on a Channel 4 television show and has been invited to take part in research by British Gypsum.

Stephanie learned plastering many years ago, as a part time job while at university, but thought no more of it as she followed a career in HR. Following redundancy in 2010, however, she refreshed her skills and took the plunge as a self-employed plasterer.

It was an incredibly brave move, especially since it meant leaving her part time job that helped with the family finances. But with encouragement from her family, including her husband and 3 year old daughter, she took the first steps towards starting her own business, as The Pink Plasterer, and The Women’s Organisation were delighted to help.

“Without The Women’s Organisation, The Pink Plasterer would still be a dream of mine and not have been fulfilled,” explains Stephanie. “I have received invaluable guidance, generous funding and most importantly ongoing support from all the team.”

From her first jobs, working from the back of her old Rover, to a team of six plasterers and two labourers, The Pink Plasterer has gone from strength to strength - no small achievement in such a traditionally male line of work. And Stephanie has big plans for the future, including apprenticeships, not-for-profit work and even plans to become a plastering trainer. Yet she still finds time to give back to the Women’s Association that helped her to get started.

“Being invited onto the Panel for an event at the Womens Organisation was such an honour,” says Stephanie. “I was delighted to be able to share my experiences and hopefully give others the courage to jump in and turn their dream into a reality!”

More than twice as many men than women are self employed: 14% of men, 6% of women.
source: Fawcett - The changing labour market
Women in full-time work currently earn an average of 15% less per hour than men
source: Fawcett - The changing labour market
"I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself, that is the best combination"
source: Dame Judi Dench
In 2010, 104 million women in 59 countries started and managed new business ventures
source: GEM 2010 - Women's Report
30,000 women every year lose their jobs as a result of becoming pregnant.
source: GEM 2010 - Women's Report
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any"
source: Alice Walker

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