Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022
The annual celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) returns on Tuesday 8 March 2022. This important event aims to recognise the achievements of women worldwide, whilst raising awareness of women’s equality and rights.
International Women’s Day history dates back to 1909, and remains as topical to this day.
This year Munchy Play founder, Sophia, has been invited to speak on an esteemed panel hosted by The London Borough of Richmond. For IWD22, we took the opportunity to interview Sophia, about what it means to be a start-up and female founder in 2022.
Q: What inspired you to launch your own business?
I always had a very strong vision of what my career would be like, having held senior roles in PR – starting my own business was never on the agenda. Then, back in 2017, I stumbled across the idea for a kids’ plate with a built-in track for toy cars and trains, to help my fussy eater toddler. The more I researched the topic, the more it was apparent that I had to bring the product to life – it was like a calling almost! It led me to starting my own business.
Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you
IWD is such an important day to shine the spotlight on the many women who are doing outstanding work in the community, as well as supporting those on the way up, and those fighting for vital change.
Q: How can we encourage more women into manufacturing, design and STEM based businesses?
It starts from a young age. This is why it’s so important not to gender-stereotype children into specific jobs or roles, allowing them to be free to explore without limitations. It's something I’m very passionate about and always correct people if they ask if our kids’ plates are for ‘girls or boys’, telling them, ‘they are simply for children’.
We must also make the STEM industry more inclusive for the next generation, and celebrate the great female talent within it. Our kids’ plates are proof that mums are some of the most enterprising and creative talents we have.
Q: What female leaders do you look up to?
I’m in awe of all women that are strong, fierce, and not afraid to speak the truth. I also love women who champion others, for instance Holly Tucker and Emma Jones OBE at Enterprise Nation, has been a great cheerleader. I met her through the brilliant Amazon Accelerator Programme with Enterprise Nation. She constantly uses her platform to raise the profile of small businesses - she's the true definition of an ally. I also love to see other success stories of mums like Mrs Hinch.
Q: What qualities do you need to be a female founder?
You need resilience, determination, and an unquenchable passion for your idea. Nothing less, nothing more.
Q: What will you be doing to mark IWD 2022?
I’m delighted that the London Borough of Richmond has invited me to speak on their esteemed panel. This is a great opportunity to meet and learn from other successful women, whilst sharing my story and hopefully inspiring others. We were recently awarded ‘Innovation of the Year’ by Richmond Council’s Phoenix Programme, so they have been a great support.