In order to be a successful businesswomen in this male-dominated world, I believe confidence is key. Not only to success, but to happiness. I am much happier with myself today as I have confidence in what I do. Over my life, I have learned so much and I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mentor - my mother.
As I trawl through my Russian grammar books, revelling in the complexities of the perfective and imperfective case, deciphering letters that look more like variations of stick men and desperately try not to sound like a Welshman when speaking the language, I take a moment to remember "Dare 2 B Different" and consider its future successes.
Growing up, I was fascinated with computers and gaming, mostly due to encouragement from my parents who saw computing as being an increasingly relevant skill to learn. However, the only famous individuals in tech that I knew about were men like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. As a child I felt that it was strange that I was interested in computers, probably because I had no role models to look up to.
Without becoming too tangential to the centre of my discussion, I want to briefly identify that this is not a diatribe against Holly Willoughby, against somebody who is doing their job as a television personality, but rather she features since she is part of the show and thus, playing "the only game that exists."
I hope that scientific progress will soon have an even better grasp of what causes conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Just as the important Time to Change programme is saying, one way to help individuals already with these conditions quite directly, today, is not to stigmatise, isolate or bully them.
Throughout the early stages of my career, strong and ambitious women were my role models. If I could achieve half of what they had, then I'd be happy, so being placed in the same bracket as them, and being told that, as a Woman of the Future, I too am a role model for young women, was a real highlight in my career.
What is equally important to us as a business is the support of fellow females on a global scale. As last year's Entrepreneurial Women of the Future winner, I have ensured that one of our key roles at BEAR continues to be inspiring and supporting the employment of primarily single mothers in rural developing countries, where few opportunities exist.
Although this year marks a new high for female CEOs, women still run just 3.6 % of Fortune 500 companies. The global percentage of female executives has with much difficulty, ticked above 10% for the first time, this year. The survey of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that 73% of female respondents felt barriers still existed for women seeking senior management and board-level positions in the UK. So what helped me break through?
I always chuckle when I am referred to as the 'Chief Executive Officer' of CoppaFeel!. I suppose that title still conjures up old school images of a fat man, sitting behind his desk, smoking a cigar - certainly not a job title I thought I'd ever be crowned with when I skipped away from my higher national diploma in travel and tourism management and into the 'real world'.