Hands up if you’ve spent the last six weeks Googling ‘best cities 2019′? January is over (finally), but that doesn’t stop us from planning a quick getaway here and there to make the working week go that little bit quicker. We’ve worked out how to double holiday allowance this year (it’s actually really easy), and we’ve bookmarked the most Instagrammable Airbnbs for some travel inspo.
Whatever you’re juggling, if you’re in full-time employment it’s hard to strike that work life balance. But what if we weren’t working forty hour weeks and could spend way more time globetrotting? Sounds too good to be true, right?
One expert claims that we shouldn’t start working full-time until we’re in our 40s. Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen told Quartz: ‘You never get a break. You never get to step out. You never get to refresh. We go at this unsustainable pace, and then pull the plug.’
Essentially, waiting until you’re middle-aged to start full-time employment would be beneficial because ‘careers would be longer, with a gradual transition to part-time work in the later years.’ Her opinion is that instead of trying to pack everything into a couple of decades early on, you spread it all out.
Sounds great! Right?
However, that does mean that retirement wouldn’t be until you’re in your 80s. And sadly, there’s also no suggestion about how you’re going to pay the bills if you suddenly decide to ditch the 9 to 5.
Sometimes the road to career success isn’t always a smooth one. But, as these three trailblazers prove, you can still achieve your dreams
These three female pioneers of unconvention prove that the road to success isn’t always a smooth one…
Ava DuVernay, 46, film director
‘If you’re on a path that’s not the one that you want to be on, you can pivot, and you can also move, and age doesn’t make a difference, [nor does] race, gender.’
The Oscar-nominated director of Selma and A Wrinkle In Time – for which she was the first African-American woman to direct a film with a budget over $100 million – Ava Duvernay started out interning as a news journalist. She moved into PR, founding her own agency in 1999. It was at the age of 32 that she picked up a camera and started taking directing classes.
Angela Ahrendts, 58, senior VP of retail at Apple
‘At some point in your career, maybe you too have made the life-altering decision to start anew. If so, you know first-hand how exciting, challenging, and sometimes disorienting the first 30, 60, 90 days can be.’
Apple’s senior vice president of retail (and the brand’s highest paid executive), Angela Ahrendts started her career in fashion. From a merchandising role at a lingerie company, she moved to Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne and, most famously, was CEO of Burberry from 2006-2014, where her leadership escalated the firm’s value from £2 billion to over £7 billion.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, 29, founder of Bumble
‘Often, the best jobs come out of just meeting people and letting one thing lead to another.’
After a degree in international studies, Wolfe Herd turned down ‘safe’ corporate job offers for a role at a tech incubator funded to make apps. There, she co-founded Tinder, but left in 2014 following sexual-harassment claims. Despite vowing never to go back into online dating, she came up with the idea for female-focused dating app Bumble, which Forbes values at over $1 billion.
Forget climbing the career ladder, today work success is more likely to be about the ‘swerve’ – zigzagging between different jobs and industries
Patricia Bright explains how an unconventional route can be the key to achieving your goals
In 2016, LinkedIn research found that making four job changes by the time you were 32 was ‘normal’. In May 2018, an updated LinkedIn study found that for Generation Z – today’s under 24s – those four jobs had already happened. So, how do you turn an unconventional start into stable success? Here, 31-year-old fashion and beauty vlogger Patricia Bright, who has a following of 2.6 million, reveals the best career tips she’s learned on the path from banker to influencer, and how starting out with nothing fuelled her drive for success.
1. Things can be taken away in an instant. Be prepared
‘I grew up in Battersea, south London, to Nigerian parents. When I was six, my dad was deported. One night, policemen came into the house and took him away while my mum pleaded and my sister and I sobbed. My dad had outstayed his student visa, but hadn’t applied for residency. It took six years to get him back. Alone, Mum could have been broken, but instead she grafted. She cleaned offices at 6am and trained as a nurse, so that she could join the NHS Staff Bank – a talent pool for temporary and part-time work. She opted for the ungodly 2am-6am shifts that pay time-and-a-half. Thanks to that, Mum invested in her first house. She proved that your past doesn’t define your future. But that showed me nothing was guaranteed, and now I don’t just have a professional Plan B – I have Plan C, D and E too. Ask yourself: if everything crumbles, what would I do? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; consider ways to expand your earnings based on what you know. One friend makes wigs and, rather than just sell them, she set up a class where people pay hundreds of pounds to learn how to make them. I also know a graphic designer who has branched out beyond web design – she now scouts customers via social platforms and offers to curate their Instagram feeds, with font and colour styling. Even if you work nine to five, you could get a bar job on a Saturday night.’
2. If you’re going to fail, fail fast
‘My family wanted me to become a lawyer. In African immigrant families, you’re either a doctor or a lawyer because those professions give your children more academic opportunities. I’d studied A-level biology, chemistry, psychology and business studies – hardcore academia – so I went to the University of Manchester to do a fashion marketing degree as an opportunity to explore my creative dreams. I expected it to be cool to work in fashion, but I hated it. I didn’t enjoy making clothes; the only module I liked was accounting. After a year, I dropped out and switched to an accounting degree. I always say you should try something and see how it goes. If it fails, fine, but move on quickly. Don’t be afraid to fail, just be a fast failure.’
3. Challenge your self-perception
‘After my degree, a friend secured a job at investment bank Merrill Lynch. I thought that sounded great and discovered there was an internship available, but I needed 360 UCAS points to apply. Because I’d previously dropped an AS level and changed degrees, I had 280 – not even close – but my male friend said I should apply anyway. Research shows that men are more likely to apply for a role whether they’re qualified or not. Women, however, wait until they’re qualified or even overqualified. I felt I could do it, so I networked. I went to a Women in Technology event to connect with senior management and recruiters from Merrill Lynch, so they’d remember me. It worked. My application was accepted, but I failed part of the entrance exam. Somehow, they let me resit it and I got the internship. The version of me on paper wasn’t supposed to be there, but I hustled and made them notice me.’
‘When your side hustle is held back by your main job, that’s the time to leap’
4. It’s OK to feel like an imposter
‘In 2009, I started working at Merril Lynch as a business analyst, but I never felt confident. It took seven months for the stiff corporate culture to warm up. Then, two years in, I was made redundant. I felt dread. For one, I had pride in working at Merrill Lynch, but I’d also come from a graduate programme where I was almost babied through it. With that ripped away, I applied for jobs – still feeling underqualified – and moved to Deloitte, consulting for investment banks. Here, your job is to pretend you’re the expert. I remember meeting the head of Camden Council, a 50-year-old Caucasian male. There’s me, this 23-year-old, telling him that his business model is wrong and he should implement my strategy. I had no choice but to forget about my self-consciousness.’
5 .You can survive humiliation
‘I began vlogging in secret at university. I was always into beauty, and there were forums, such as Fotki [similar to Reddit], where women would share their hair journeys or make-up collections. I started doing YouTube tutorials, recording videos in the bathroom, whispering as I didn’t want my housemate to hear because I thought it would be embarrassing. It was my private hobby until an intern at Merrill Lynch picked up my camera and saw a video of me talking and said, “Look at Patricia. Why would anyone do that?” This was around 2011 or 2012, and I felt like a joke. Work colleagues warned me that it didn’t look good for the bank. I shut my YouTube page down for months because I was so ashamed. Even after I started vlogging full-time, I hid it from my family. When I eventually told them, my parents put it so well, saying, “You have to do what career is right for you.”
6. False starts make you stronger
‘By the time I started at Deloitte, I’d been YouTubing undercover for three years, my following was approaching 100k and I was getting vlogging work requests. But the Internet thing still felt random and it wasn’t enough to quit a solid career for. Instead, I was headhunted by MUFG, Japan’s largest bank, as a senior business analyst. While back in banking, I could see that YouTube was moving forwards quickly and I gained more confidence to see where it could take me. When I resigned, citing “personal reasons” because there was no way I could tell them the truth, YouTube became my full-time profession. Well, for three weeks – until I panicked, got cold feet and joined a digital company called Base79 for three months, consulting for brands on how to use YouTube. In a weird way, I needed this false start at an online media company to see the real potential of my channel. I said to myself, you need to go full throttle, put your foot down and do this. Mike Lewis, who wrote When To Jump, about people switching careers, calls it ‘the 10,000 unsexy steps’ you’ll make while chasing your dream job. It’s easy to get so caught up with planning a leap that you never actually do it – it’s called analysis paralysis. But when your side hustle is held back by your main job, that’s the time to leap. To help: invest in your decision. Even putting £10 towards something vital flicks a switch in your brain that says, “If you don’t follow through, the person it will burn is you.”’
7. Confidence comes and grows with putting in the hours
‘Lack of confidence affects everyone. But the number of hours you put into something makes a big difference. If you want to become more confident, you have to apply yourself. I’ve got over 1,700 videos and, taking into account the ones I’ve deleted, I’ve probably filmed 3,000. So, why am I confident on camera? Practice. In my first job, I wasn’t confident. My second job forced me to become confident. Third job, I knew what I was doing because I’d put in the hours. Today, I feel fully in control. Trust yourself. And, more than that, trust your trajectory – whatever it might look like.’
Heart & Hustle by Patricia Bright (£18.99, HQ) is out now
If ever there’s a good time to tighten our belts, it’s January. Even the most financially-savvy of us can get a little carried away with our spending during the festive season, whether that’s by being more generous than planned with Christmas presents or going out on a couple more nights out than were originally in the diary.
As ever, the start of a new year sees many of us trying to save a few pennies, so as part of Planuary we’re pledging to change one thing in order to take control of our finances this year by planning ahead – and you can too.
From frugal finance planners to novice savers, below we’ve shared what a few money hacks MC staffers are using to take control of their finances in 2019 that you can try too.
Kick a habit (and stash the money you would have spent)
Booze, cigarettes, coffee shop flat whites; if there’s something you’re giving up for January – or even the whole year – put the money you would have spent into a jar or savings account. For one of our colleagues it’s the coffees, and swapping that daily £2.50 coffee for a brought-in flask means she’ll save a minimum of £50 a month.
With this method you’ll be paying out the same amount of money you would have, so won’t feel more of a pinch, but at the end of the savings period you’ll have a nice nest egg to transfer to your savings account.
Prep your meals
When you’re busy it’s easy to fall into the pattern of popping out to buy a sandwich or salad every day. At about £3 a day a ‘cheap’ meal deal doesn’t sound like much, but that’s £15 a week and more than £700 a year you could save yourself.
You may be in awe of the girl who wouldn’t dream of popping to Pret and brings her lunch in every day without fail, but in reality it’s not that difficult. Set aside an hour or so at the weekend to batch cook a load of freezer meals that you can take to work and avoid buying lunch on the daily; Pinterest is your friend if you need recipes. Combine your lunch prep with the above step and your savings will be twofold. Win-win.
Plan, plan and plan again
The clue is in the name ‘Planuary’ – the key to being in control of your finances is largely down to having a good plan in place, and we’re not just talking about having a monthly budget here. Did you know that on average women miss out on £106,000* worth of pensions?
Pledge to change one thing in 2019, whether that’s reinstating your pension contributions, increasing the amount you pay in each month, or tracking down older workplace pensions, learn more about Aviva’s Planuary content.
Try a savings challenge
Savings challenges are great for two reasons; firstly, it’s fun to set yourself a challenge and two, you can set your sights on a pricey treat you wouldn’t usually be able to afford. One of our editors is trying the ‘one penny challenge’, which works by saving a small amount daily that increases by a penny each day. For example, on the 1st January you would pay in 1p, 2p on the 2nd January, and so on for the rest of the year, until 31st of December when you would pay in £3.65.
By the end of the year you’ll have a cool £667.95 saved (for our team member it’ll go on the Gucci Soho Disco bag she’s always wanted). Alternatively, if you have a bigger goal in mind, this really easy money challenge could save you just shy of £1,500 in 2019.
Ready to get smart with your savings?
*Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Women’s Risks in Life report
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As we wave goodbye to 2018 with endless festive fun, drunken work parties and too many Christmas sandwiches, we’re already planning a relaxing retreat in January to beat the new year blues and detox after an indulgent month (ahem, we’ve stocked up on Ferrero Rocher).
But how can you make the most of your work holiday allowance in 2019?
Most people are entitled to around 28 days holiday a year – but if that’s not enough time for those who love to jet off on lengthy holidays to far-flung destinations, we’ve got some pretty wonderful news. You can actually double your work holiday allowance with a few carefully placed leave dates.
That’s right. It’s easy to turn your 28 days into 59 days. Instant Offices have created a strategic calendar to show how workers can maximise their holidays in the new year and help boost their work-life balance.
How to double your work holiday allowance in 2019
Take a 6-day holiday by booking 3 days off
(1 Jan – 6 Jan)
Take a 10-day holiday by booking 4 days off
(13 Apr – 22 Apr)
Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off
(4 May – 12 May)
Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off
(25May – 2 June)
Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off
(24 Aug – 1 Sept)
December 2019 – January 2020
Take a 16-day holiday by booking 7 days off
(21 Dec – 5 Jan)
So what are you waiting for? Start booking those lovely lengthy holidays now before the rest of your team does…
CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how to turn a devastating diagnosis into a global movement…
We’ve all heard of CoppaFeel! – with the London-based breast cancer awareness charity credited with saving lives through promoting early detection of breast cancer, and forming a sisterhood in the process.
But someone who doesn’t get enough credit is the inspirational woman behind the movement – Kris Hallenga, who turned an incurable cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help other people by raising breast cancer awareness.
‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me,’ Kris told Marie Claire Junior News Editor Jenny Proudfoot. ‘So instead I channeled them into something good, something I knew could help others so that no one else would be in the same position as me,’ with Kris’ cancer being diagnosed too late.
‘I was 22 when I came across a lump in my boob, which I had ignored for a while and never thought twice about,’ Kris recalled, going on to explain how it was ‘a pushy Mum and some persistence’ that led her to a breast cancer diagnosis, after several GPs had dismissed the lump as ‘nothing’.
‘I also found out it was late stage, the worst kind, as it had already spread beyond my boob and into my spine,’ Kris continued, explaining how her initial reaction was shock. ‘I couldn’t understand how it had gone from “nothing” to cancer and I had NO idea it could happen. It was awful, there were tears, I was frightened, I was confused, I was baffled but above all I was ready to do whatever I needed to survive.’
But the mission was even bigger for Kris, who instead of seeing her diagnosis as a problem for her, turned it into an opportunity to help others.
‘No one was educating young people, so I decided I had to, with the help of my twin sister and some very epic mates.’
The result? CoppaFeel! – the movement we all know and love, started by Kris and Maren, aiming to educate young women about breast cancer and informing them how to check their breasts for themselves.
As part of Swarovski‘s Stories of Yes campaign, celebrating women embracing change, Kris is one of many high profile women to come forward this year with her story of adapting to change – and to say that it’s inspiring would be a massive understatement.
Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Kris Hallenga and her refusal to let a diagnosis hold her back is that in a nutshell.
Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Kris to find out how CoppaFeel! got started, and what we should all be taking away from it…
What message do you most want to spread?
First and foremost – CHECK YOUR BOOBS. But beyond that it’s a message of overall body awareness, knowing yourself and trusting YOUR touch and your intuition over anyone. You are your best health advocate and if you notice anything that isn’t right, you have to get it checked out.
How did you create CoppaFeel?
I did a lot of research! I wanted to find out what the state of ‘breast awareness’ in the UK was and how we could ensure it reached young people. The first thing we did was go to a festival because we saw that as a great challenge – if we could get through to young people in a field, where they are on a mission to have FUN, and we can speak to them, educate them and empower them, we would be onto a winner. We learnt on the job, adapted our methods as we went along and suddenly we were having so many healthy conversations about boobs. By the end of our summer of festivals we had applied to be a charity, I won a Pride of Britain Award and a month later we got charity status and that’s when the hard work really began. I have blinked and somehow 9 years have flown by! It would be over a year until I was officially ’employed’ by the charity and could afford to move away from my Mum’s house in Northamptonshire and take the charity to London, the only place I could see a future for the charity. People believed in me, and our mission so nothing could hold us back.
In the spirit of Stories of Yes, tell me about facing challenges head on…
In the face of something so terrifying, something we all fear, I learnt how to really live. I learnt to LIVE with cancer, how to be my own boss, the boss of a charity and a change maker. Cancer is the toughest challenge you could face – although, there are many MANY more equally if not worse things going on for people, and knowing that keeps me pretty humble and filled with gratitude. Of course I have bad days, I have had to dig SO deep at times to get my head above water again, but every time I do I have a renewed respect for my mind and my body and for life in general. I have been forced to confront my mortality but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I see life for what it is – fleeting! None of us are getting out of here alive, so really who is the winner here? I am.
What drew you to a campaign with Swarovski?
Working with Swarovski is a lot of fun. If you’d have said the day I was diagnosed I’d be working with them, with Swarovski rings on my fingers as I type away on my laptop answering these questions I’d have likely laughed. The CoppaFeel! message is for everyone, so we need to reach EVERYONE on as many platforms as possible. To be given a platform like this is wonderful and I am grateful that to this day people want to hear what I have to say. It’s a dream to work alongside mega babes Nadiya Hussain and Katie Piper, we all have such unique stories that people can learn from. They are tales of courage, resilience, and determination, all good stuff that needs to be shared with the world. In other words, we are all pretty badass and everyone should know that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Go to the GP’ – my Mum, in 2008.
What should all women be aware of?
All women AND men should know that checking their boobs could be one of the best things they could do, it could save their life and bonus factor: it could even be fun! Most breast cancers are detected by the person noticing a symptom – that could be a lump but isn’t always. There are different types of breast cancer so don’t assume no lump = no cancer. Equally, if you do find a lump, the chances of it being cancer is actually very slim. The important thing is that you know what is normal FOR YOU. If you notice a rash, some dimpling, persistent pain, discharge in your breast tissue (which reaches right in to your armpit and your collarbone by the way!) and you know it’s not normal, it’s always worth having a chat to your GP about it. He or she is there to listen to you and take what you say seriously.
When were you proudest?
When we realised that what we did ACTUALLY made a difference was a pretty momentous occasion. Not long after we became a charity, a young woman had heard about my story and re-visited her GP about her breast lump, and lo and behold she was diagnosed with breast cancer within a week. She was so thankful for us empowering her, making her feel like she wasn’t going mad and giving her confidence to stand up for her body and her health. She credits still being alive to CoppaFeel! which no one can prove, but an early diagnosis gives you a better chance of surviving a long life. I am proud of who I now am because of cancer, because of CoppaFeel! and because of all the experiences I have had over the last 9 years. I really like who I am and what I have become – how many people can say that at the age of 33?
What is your superpower?
Procrastination, but still, somehow getting shit done. Creating CoppaFeel! was a real challenge, but I believe anything that is worthwhile is bloody hard work – it would also be really dull if it was easy.
What has creating CoppaFeel! taught you?
That people are bloody great! People can be so kind, so generous, so CREATIVE, and so brilliant not because they have to be, but because they want to be, and that is very cool. I never realised how good it felt to enable others to be good people, but that is one of the best off-shoots from starting my own charity. Every day I witness people being good humans and that is awesome.
What decision has changed your life?
Building CoppaFeel! has made my life, and it has saved my life. Without it I would never have had a purpose and a reason to live so ferociously – aside from my family of course – they’re totally worth sticking around for too.
This is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.
Getting older is never good news – hangovers get worse, going to the gym becomes necessary and saving money becomes a reality.
One of the worst things about passing the 25 mark however is losing your rail privileges, with our young persons railcards (for 16 to 25-year-olds) expiring.
Yes, that means paying full price for national train fares.
It was announced last year that there might be hope, with Greater Anglia Railways breaking the news that it would be trialling a new Millennial rail card, offering up to a 30% discount on train travel for 26 – 30-year-olds.
We were hesitant with our celebrations as it seemed too good to be true, but sure enough, the news has been confirmed, trialled, and as from today, is available for everyone deemed eligible.
Yes, really. The 26-30 railcard is going to be rolled out nationally by the end of the year.
What is the millennial railcard?
The millennial railcard is a digital annual pass for 26 – 30-year-olds, costing £30 a year and entitling the holder to up to a third off their train fares. It’s essentially a continuation of the young persons rail cards – but it’s a first for the UK.
How can I get a millennial railcard?
The millennial railcard scheme is coming to the end of its trial stages, and has received the green light to be rolled out nationally by the end of the year. Head on over to the National Railcard site to apply!
We’re off to form an orderly queue for our railcards but given the popularity, it looks like we might be queueing for a little while!
Here are all the details from this year’s Future Shapers Awards, where we celebrated 11 incredible women. ICYMI, this is what happened
This year’s Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards, in partnership with Neutrogena, saw us recognise the work of 11 game changing women.
From cyber experts and nursing trailblazers to sporting legends, Marie Claire Editor in Chief and Future Shapers judge, Trish Halpin, recognised our winners, announcing: ‘Finding out what has driven our winners to success and what gives them such a unique take on the world is something I’ve found truly inspiring.’
Editor in chief Trish Halpin
Joining her on the judging panel to select our eleven extraordinary winners was the marketing director for beauty in Northern Europe at J&J, Meghan Davis, campaigner and author Gina Miller and Marie Claire columnist and TV presenter Angela Scanlon.
This year, the women we honoured ranged from cyber experts and fashion designers, to award-winning actresses and champion sportswomen.
But the inspiration wasn’t limited to the stage – all of our attendees are shaping the future, not only looking incredible on the red carpet, but also passing on their words of wisdom to Marie Claire readers about how to succeed in different industries.
Emma Gannon, author of the bestselling Multi-Hyphen Method, gave us her top tips for women starting out in her industry, saying that we need to ‘harden up a bit’. Passing on her advice she explained, ‘You’ll get a get a lot of rejection and it’s okay to feel like you’re being rejected: it’s part of the process!’
TV and radio broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher also shared her wisdom, telling young women to ‘Listen to your gut and take the right advice.’
And of course it’s unsurprising that the ceremony itself included a healthy dose of #inspo. In her acceptance speech, Daisy Kendrick, founder of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation, encouraged us to be aware of our daily habits, as ‘the way we choose to work, eat, drink and spend our money can literally save people on this planet.’
Author of The Language of Kindness, Christie Watson, also moved us, using her speech to pay tribute to her career as a nurse. ‘I cannot think of a better job than holding someone’s hand during the darkest period of their life’, she announced, going on to make an impassioned plea about the future of nursing and the gender bias. ‘Nursing is the most undervalued of all the professions and it’s the most undervalued because it’s 89% female.’
Who are our 2018 Future Shapers?
Anna Whitehouse – Founder of Mother Pukka and Flex Appeal campaign for flexible working
Catherine Allen – CEO and founder of virtual reality company Limina Immersive
Cristina Gavrilovic – Head of European Programmes for Justice and Care, which fights against modern slavery
Christie Watson – Author of Sunday Times bestseller The Language of Kindness and registered nurse
Daisy Kendrick – Founder of and CEO of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation
Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke – Authors of the seminal Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible
Eniola Aluko – professional footballer for Juventus FC, sport and entertainment solicitor and football pundit.
Hannah Weiland – founder of faux-fur brand Shrimps
Jodie Comer – BAFTA-winning actress and star of Killing Eve
Sarah Taylor – Director of Cyber and National Security Capabilities at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Our VR Pioneer Catherine Allen set out her dreams for the future of cutting edge technology insisting ‘It is not a boys’ toy, not a gimmick. It’s actually an artistic medium of social and artistic potential. We are really shaping this industry against the tide, and we’re making it more diverse.’
Authors of the groundbreaking bestseller ‘Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, spoke about what the success of their incredible book meant to them, explaining, ‘When we had recognition from the mainstream media that this book was a cultural landmark, it was overwhelming, and made all those sleepless nights, and the worry that we wouldn’t get it right worth it.’
Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin, Slay In Your Lane authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, and DJ Clara Amfo
One of the most moving speeches of the night came from anti-trafficking warrior Cristina Gavrilovic, who spoke passionately about her work and how it needed to be talked about more.
‘This award helps bring attention to one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of our times,’ she told the room. ‘Human trafficking and modern day slavery involves children, women and men being forced into a situation of exploitation where violence, deception and coercion is just a way of being.’
The last speech of the night came from flexible working pioneer Anna Whitehouse, who gave us the sobering fact that 54,000 women every year get made redundant for having a child – something that needs changing, as well as paying a tribute to her own parents, who had accompanied her to the awards.
Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin with Anna Whitehouse and Neutrogena’s Meghan Davis
Celebrity guests from Ella Eyre and Vick Hope to Hayley Hasselhoff and Jasmine Hemsley joined us for the post-ceremony party, where we sipped on Red Door Gin cocktails and feasted on gourmet canapés and luxury macarons, with the DJ sets going into the night.
What did we eat?
Truffle marinated salsify, Jerusalem artichoke
Black pepper tuna, olives
Bone marrow croquettes
Fish & chips
Salted caramel, chocolate ganache, shortbread
Lemon curd, toasted meringue, vanilla sablé
Apple mousse, blackberry, honeycomb, macaron
What did we drink?
The Red Door Gin & Tonic
Red Door Gin, tonic, raspberries to garnish
The Red Door Gin Elderflower Collins
Red Door Gin, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, soda, lemon to garnish
If that wasn’t enough, each of the guests left with a bumper goody bag… see below for all the products:
What was in our goody bags?
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye-awakening gel-cream
Neutrogena Scented Hand Cream
Neutrogena Spot Proofing Oil Free Moisturiser
Living Proof dry shampoo
BUXOM lip gloss
BEPPS vegan snacks
Pip & Nut sachet
Kind Snacks bar
Marie Claire November issue
Huge thanks to the Principal London for the gorgeous venue, and Collective Two and Loop VIP for making the night so special.
As more of us are commuting long-distance and travelling for work than ever before, Alix O’Neill speaks to the women who have nailed the art of the business trip
Frequent fliers is no longer only a term for the international jet-set, now we’re all expected to get on-board with work travel. For the past 11 years, sales and marketing director Aoife Delaney, 35, has been working at around 30,000ft, averaging four trips a month to far-flung destinations from Cairo to Cape Town. Since having her second child in April, she sticks to a strict routine while travelling for work to maximise her time on-the-go. ‘My biggest issue is maintaining the healthy lifestyle I have at home while on the road,’ she says. ‘I’m all about eating well, practising yoga and hitting the gym, but airports are fundamentally unhealthy places.’ Her ultimate productivity tip is making nutritious boxed snacks for days when she’s flying. ‘This means that when I get to the airport, no time is wasted trying to find a semi-decent place to eat. I park myself in a good spot, connect to wifi, have my snacks and get straight to work writing sales pitches.’
As more of us spend our working day on planes and trains (according to networking site Maiden Voyage, women are the fastest growing segment of business travellers), the patronising trope of a female flier shopping in duty free no longer applies. Women are just as likely to power up their laptop in the lounge or be on the hunt for a charging port to check their emails as men are.
‘I’ve written some of the best business plans after flights’
‘It used to be weird travelling solo as a woman and heading to an airport or hotel bar alone,’ explains Juliet Kinsman, the luxury travel expert who helped found boutique hotel specialist Mr & Mrs Smith. ‘Now it’s much more acceptable to sit on your own with a drink and your laptop without worrying about a travelling salesman trying to pick you up.’ The demise of the traditional 9 to 5 is changing the nature of business travel and, as a result, hotel design. ‘Desks in hotel rooms are less of a priority these days, as when we’re travelling we tend to work from our beds,’ says Kinsman. Meanwhile, airports and hotels are increasingly catering to female business travellers. ‘The line between work and leisure is blurring, so when we travel for business, we demand a stylish environment and great food.’
Suki Waterhouse At Heathrow Airport
At Heathrow, there are now a number of initiatives in place to make our working life on-the-go easier. These include independent lounges equipped with wifi, showering facilities and resting suites; a blow-dry bar in T5 Arrivals to help you freshen up for that big meeting; charger points for mobiles and laptops; plus a takeaway food service via the Heathrow app, which lets you pre-order food as you make your way through security.
‘Frequent fliers, book a window seat at the back of the plane for optimum quiet’
What about getting the most out of your time in the air? Don’t be tempted to use the flight wifi, advises Kinsman. ‘It’s always slow and besides, you can often be more productive when you’re offline − flying gives you a perfect excuse to disconnect. I use that time to get admin done instead.’ She also suggests booking a window seat at the back of the plane as it’s the quietest spot, and popping a tennis ball behind your back for a DIY massage.
Sometimes, though, using a flight or train journey to take a break from work altogether can leave you refreshed and ready to hit the ground running on the other side. Lucy Hutchings Hunt, MD of a North Yorkshire-based digital agency, spends her long-haul flights catching up on podcasts with inspirational businesswomen she admires. ‘I’ve written some of the best business plans after flights − that’s when I often have my most profound breakthroughs. On a plane, you physically can’t do anything else other than sit still and focus.’
Crazy Rich Asians has just come to our screens, and unsurprisingly it is set to be the film of the year.
The strong female leads, the food porn (do not watch this film without snacks), the fashion (we’re talking Elie Saab, Dior, custom-made Michael Cinco and Carven Ong) and the many life lessons we can take away from it. But the film has of course become such a talking point because of the Asian representation (the first all-Asian cast in a major studio film in 25 years).
Junior Digital News Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Crazy Rich Asians‘ leading ladies, Gemma Chan and Constance Wu, to talk high class couture, Asian representation, and why now is not the time for Crazy Rich Asians, it’s long past due.
Constance Wu and Gemma Chan in Crazy Rich Asians. Credit: Warner Bros
Crazy Rich Asians is such a long time coming, why do you think it took so long?
Gemma: To be honest, I don’t know. It’s been 25 years since there’s been a mainstream Hollywood movie with an all Asian cast and yeah, it feels like the film is somewhat overdue. There was the belief that if you have a film with non-white leads, it won’t sell abroad or that it will only have a niche audience, but these things have just been proved untrue.
Constance: There hasn’t really been an evocative voice that demands attention rather than expresses gratitude for belonging until recently. You know, in Asian-American culture there is an assumption that you play by the rules. But then when you have a voice as evocative and provocative as we do here, it causes people to think differently – it causes conversation and we need to have more conversation. We live in countries where we can express and so we should express. That’s what happened here. There were people who were willing to speak out and that started giving other people the confidence to express themselves, their views and their identities. And I think that when people see there is more than one voice out there with talent, that there are lots of different voices with talent out there, then they start paying attention.
What initially drew you in?
Constance: It’s a number one lead in a studio movie, and despite definitely having Asian actors that are worthy of it, it hasn’t really happened before. Sandra Oh for example is tremendous – and she should have been the star of her own movie ages ago, but she’s always been the number two or number three. She even said with Killing Eve when she read the script she just assumed that she was number two because it just doesn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong – number two is great, number three is great, everybody who is a supporting cast member is fantastic and it’s awesome. But it’s when the industry expects a certain ethnicity to only do that and to just be grateful for that, that’s when we have to ask for more.
Gemma: I think the conversation has really got going in earnest now and I hope Asian representation isn’t just a trend – I don’t think we can go back and I think people are now going to demand diverse and authentic storytelling, because there is a want for it. It has been proven – people will show up. They will get a babysitter on a Friday night and they will pay their hard-earned money to go to the cinema to see movies like this.
Constance: This is going to sound cocky but yes. To everyone else it’s been a surprise but not to me – not because I thought I’m such hot shit but because this happened to me with my TV show, Fresh Off the Boat, on a smaller scale so I knew there was a drought of content of Asian-American pop culture and I knew that people would be moved to see their faces represented on television in a modern way. Nobody was talking about it before so it wasn’t an apparent problem, but it couldn’t not have been a hit because of the time we’re in. Right now, you don’t have to work for the major news stations to have a voice; if you have something provocative to say that is actually good, it will spread around.
Gemma: I certainly felt the film had potential to be something really special – I had read the books and I’d already fallen in love with the characters – but you never know whether that’s necessarily going to translate – whether all the elements that need to come together will actually come together to make a film work. We all had high hopes, we all worked incredibly hard and we had an amazing director who kept all the plates spinning but yeah, when I watched it for the first time I was blown away. It made me really emotional. It made me realise that I’d never seen people on screen that looked like my family – like my granny – it was incredible for me just as a viewer to see that and to realise how much of a lack of representation there’s been in the past.
Chrissy Teigen said she had never seen her family represented on screen either…
Gemma: That was amazing and I completely identify with it. My mum and dad saw the film for the first time last night and my mum was really emotional when I saw her afterwards. She started crying quite early on. There was a song on the soundtrack – a Chinese song – that she hadn’t heard since her childhood. It was what her mum used to sing to her and her dad. Sadly they’ve both passed now and so for her it was a really emotional thing – she never expected to hear that in a Hollywood film so it was just an amazing moment for us.
How did you get the part?
Constance: I was approached for the role by the director, Jon, and I couldn’t do it because of my television shooting schedule, but I knew it was going to be a smash – not just financially but in people’s hearts. So I just let it go and he auditioned a bunch of other girls, but I knew how much it was going to mean so one day I wrote him a really impassioned email. It wasn’t long – it just said why it was going to be meaningful to me and to kids growing up and what I would do with the part. I wished him all the success with the project regardless of whether I got a role, but I said ‘If you wait for me, I can and I will do it. I know how to carry a movie and you won’t regret it’. So then he did. They actually pushed the movie back! I know so many Asian actors or any actors, who are so scared to ask for what they want. I’m just like ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’
Gemma: Mine was relatively straightforward. I got the call from my agent that they wanted me to audition and sent off a tape, not expecting to hear anything back. I had asked to go for Astrid because I had fallen in love with her when I had read the books – and gosh she’s got a fabulous wardrobe. I went to L.A. and I met our director Jon M. Chu, and Nina, one of our producers, and heard about their vision for the film and then they offered me the part.
Talk me through filming…
Constance: We filmed in Singapore and Malaysia, and I think it took around 6-8 weeks – it was pretty fast. There were some real highs – the location, set design, the people and crew and the passion that everyone had for the project. But there were lows – the hours were long, and the weather!! It was hot and super humid every day – I don’t even know how my hair held up.
Gemma: Filming in the tropics is tough – the humidity and the heat was insane. You know, we had all those party scenes when the men were all dressed in their suits and gosh, I don’t know how they weren’t dropping like flies, I felt so, so sorry for them.
What were your favourite scenes to film?
Constance: My favourite scene to film was probably the dumpling scene because there’s so many different layers going on. There’s so many different generations at that table and there’s something about the act of making food with your hands that’s interesting. There’s so many different conflicts and relationships in that scene that are so subtle, and that’s what makes them real. When you sit down with family you’re not like, ‘I have issues with you because you were always better than me’. Instead you say something like ‘oh, you’re going to take all those mashed potatoes?’ – you do little cutting things that are sugar-coated – or should I say ‘dumpling-coated’! She’s taking it all in and seeing the family dynamics – there’s just so many things going on in that scene that I really think make it complex and alive.
Gemma: Mine was my final scene where Astrid is speaking to her husband, Michael. She finally stands up and asserts herself and it was a very satisfying scene to play. I think the arc of the character was really interesting – at the beginning, she’s taking a backseat and hiding her light, but by the end, she’s reasserting her power. I think it’s really refreshing that in this film, none of the women need saving. You’ve got at least four very different women, and none of them are waiting to be rescued. In fact, many of them have made sacrifices for the people in their lives but they figure out a way to save themselves really.
Constance: Yeah. Patriarchy is strong in Asian culture, but it’s nice that it’s more the matriarchy in this movie.
Can we talk about the fashion?
Gemma: Gosh, Astrid had such good clothes, and there’s so many to choose from, I couldn’t pick a favourite. I loved the Audrey Hepburn inspired outfit she makes her first entrance in – the shades, the pale pink drop-waist dress – I love that look. I also loved the Alexander McQueen dress, which I wore for the wedding – that was another one of my favourite scenes to film. I got to walk down the aisle with Lisa Lu, who plays Ah Ma, and she’s an incredible actress. She was in the last film that featured an all-Asian cast, The Joy Luck Club – 25 years ago, so it was lovely to have that continuity between that film and ours. She has such an amazing energy and I love working with her.
Why go watch Crazy Rich Asians?
Gemma: It’s the kind of film that you can see with your family and your friends – it’s a feel-good movie, but it has substance as well. You’ll laugh, you may cry and hopefully you’ll leave the cinema feeling like certain things have been affirmed. Our story is a specific story about this Chinese-Singaporean family but the themes are so universal. We’ve taken this film all over America and I’m amazed at the amount of people who’ve come up to me saying, ‘my family isn’t Asian but I completely identify with it’. There’s so much going on in that family and I think people can really relate to it.
Constance: And also just the scenery, the colours, the clothes, the food – it’s all just beautiful.
Well that we can all agree on – see you all there.