This is our brand new role models series where we hope to inspire you with every day people who are our real Champions of the North.
In our very first interview we chat to Simone Roche.
She started her career in the male-dominated military and then held roles at Aintree Racecourse, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the Arena Convention Centre Liverpool and the Olympics, and she is quick to note that she was not treated differently because she was female.
So it wasn’t until she became the director for a campaign supporting women in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry – and she was asked to be a champion for the Government Equalities Office – that gender equality grew to be her passion.When the International Festival for Business was held in Liverpool in 2014, Simone campaigned to include businesses’ role in promoting gender equality and developing talent, and held a sell-out event focused on the role women played in driving the economy.
Q. First things first — what do you do?
A. I’m the founder of Northern Power Women ~ a campaign to accelerate gender equality FROM the North.
Q. What did you love about growing up in the North?
A. People – Culture – Family – Togetherness.
Q. What challenges do you feel like you’ve faced in the North, if any?
A. I don’t recall any challenges. I was brought up to believe anything is possible. I feel as if I have made my own opportunities.
Q. What or who inspired your journey to where you are now?
A. Family and the Royal Navy which I joined aged 18. It made me ‘me’ and set my course to where I am now with a few diversions along the way.
Q. Do you believe you’ve faced any challenges by being a Northern female?
A. Categorically, not for being female but occasionally for being Northern but being Northern gets you over that hurdle!
Q. What advice would you give to girls growing up in the North?
A. Be the best version of yourself. Find your role models and BE a role model.
Q. How do you think we can encourage young people?
A. Celebrating success and what good looks like – ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ so let’s recognise all of our role models of every sector and location and encourage our young folk to strive for what makes them happy and whole.
Q. What are some of your favourite Northern places?
A. Everywhere! But I love being on the water and seeing the cities and the towns from the landscape of the rivers and seas – the fabulous River Mersey, Lake Windermere, docks at Leeds and the magnificent Tyne as well as all the canals and inlets that connect.
Q. How do you think we can improve and add value to our #This NorthernGirlCan campaign and movement?
A. Keep sharing success and shouting about it loud and proud.
You can find out more about Simone and Northern Power Women at www.northernpowerwomen.co.uk
The 3rd Northern Power Women Awards will take place on 6th March 2018 and nominations open on Monday 25th September at midday.
If you want to be become part of our growing #ThisNorthernGirlCan movement then you can join over 700 like minded women and men in our Facebook group. We’d love to see you there!
If you would like to be featured in this series or you wish to nominate a Northern role model ( male or female) then we’d love to hear from you.