Today is the day – International Women’s Day 2018. All this week we are sharing the stories of our new Tees Valley #ThisNorthernGirlCan ambassadors. Today I have pleasure in introducing the #ThisNorthernGirlCan interview with Megan Lillie.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
A. My name is Megan Lillie and I am a multi-award winning blogger at www.thumbelinalillie.com and digital marketing executive at Whitewash Laboratories.
Q. What have you loved about growing up in the North?
A. I loved being so close to various places to visit as a child; venturing up Roseberry Topping with a packed lunch, cheering on at a Boro match, heading to the beach for a donkey ride and heading to Stewart Park to feed the animals are some of my fondest memories as a kid.
Q. Did you have any challenges growing up in the North?
A. Being in the blogging industry, I did feel that being up North limited the opportunities that I had. I felt as if because brands knew that I wasn’t a small commute from London they wouldn’t invite me/consider me for certain events and collaborations. That and the fact that nobody seemed to know where on earth Middlesbrough was!
Q. Have you or do you face any challenges being female?
A. Absolutely. I feel like sometimes I am not taken seriously, professionally, because I’m a small, often shy, girl who likes to wear a lot of pink. I think girls like myself are extremely underestimated and are often disregarded as a valuable voice. I don’t feel like I have to be wearing a power suit as a woman in business to get my point across but I feel as if the industry still feels this way.
Q. What or who inspired your journey to where you are now?
A. I think my Grandma and Mam have a lot to do with the person I am today. They have been the biggest supporters throughout my entire journey growing up and have been right behind every decision I made, pushing me to go further, despite how scary it may have seemed. They are both fantastic family-driven ladies and the most loving people I have ever come across.
Q. What advice would you to give to girls growing up in the North?
A. I feel as if when I was growing up everyone was ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get out’ and we need that mentality gone! The North has a fantastic amount of opportunities covering a wide range of sectors – you don’t have to go to London or Manchester to ‘make it’ in your field! Put the North East on the map and make it up here instead!
Q. How do you think we can encourage more young people about the importance of gender equality?
A.I think that things needs to take a modern turn, I’m not sure what that is, but I often feel like conversations around gender equality can seem a bit old fashioned. I think if you say the words ‘feminist’ to a young’un they widen their eyes in scepticism. We need to modernise the conversation, start in school and understand what’s going on in their generation and how we can help change that.
Q. Tell us some of your favourite Northern places.
A. The Riverside Stadium is without a doubt one of my favourite spots. Nobody does football support like Middlesbrough Football Club! A few more places are The Baltic, Roseberry Topping and Saltburn beach to only name a few on a long-ass list!
Q. Who are your favourite Northern people (alive or dead?)
A.Good ol’ Captain James Cook who helped put Middlesbrough on the map! What a legend. Mary Butterwick and her incredible hospice.
Q. Explain your love of the North in one sentence.
A. I’m gonna have to use Cattle & Cane’s line from their song Infant Hercules;
‘Born from grime, born from graft’ because us Northerner’s are proper grafters’
Q. What would you like to see the #ThisNorthernGirlCan movement do?
A. I would like to see it start a new conversation in our younger generation to prevent what is still going on today.
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