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International Women’s Day 2024 Q & A with BabyDam’s CEO, Deb Piner

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International Women's Day Deb Piner

Join us for an insightful Q&A session with Deb Piner, CEO of BabyDam, as she shares her experiences on International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating achievements. What accomplishment in your career are you most proud of?

Creating a business that is now 20 years old. I don’t know how it has happened and if I had set out to ensure it lasted this long, it would probably not have!

Navigating the business world often involves facing challenges. Can you share a particular challenge you’ve faced?

The challenge of trying to turn an idea into an actual product with absolutely no experience of manufacturing or product design. It is very difficult finding people to understand your idea and then finding a manufacturer to take it on. We were very fortunate to meet some marvellous people along the way, many of whom we are still working with. Our manufacturing colleagues in India have been with us from the start and have shared our entire journey.

What advice do you have for other women in balancing professional and personal life? 

It is too easy to work 24 / 7 when you are running a business. Emails come through all day and night and if you are not careful you find you are not having any thinking time. Take time away from work. Consciously turn off the phone. You will carry on thinking about work but in a more productive and imaginative way. Ensure that you take some time for yourself each week and don’t forget what makes you really happy.

How do you think the business landscape has changed for women over the years, and what opportunities do you see for further progress?

I don’t think we should continue to talk about women’s opportunities or women’s equality. It surely diminishes the sense of achievement if you achieve something because someone somewhere needs to tick a box that says they need a woman in the role. Equality is about standing tall and believing that the choice should be the “right” person for the job. If someone doesn’t want to give you an opportunity because you are a woman then why would you want it anyway? 

Have you had mentors or role models who have influenced your career?

I think my greatest mentor was my Dad who always made me believe I could achieve whatever I wanted. I was brought up in an environment where learning was part of everyday life. And long as you realise that you always have to continue to learn you will always be ok.

What message would you like to share with young women on International Women’s Day?

You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back. Always be able to support yourself and never rely on anyone else to keep you. You have to get out there and earn your own living. As long as you do that you will never go wrong.

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