A working woman’s ‘lifeline’ can come in many forms. Setting family and colleagues aside, my roll call of personal lieutenants includes my nanny, a particular neighbour-come-lifesupport and my hairdresser. So I asked three women, whose achievements leave my jaw on the floor, to name their own lifelines…
Katie Caldesi runs the celebrated Marylebone Caffè Caldesi plus Caldesi in Campagna in Bray and a central London Italian cookery school, La Cucina Italiana. She’s also writing a book, and shares her home life with her husband and business partner Giancarlo, their two sons, and her elderly father.
Katie says: “I wouldn’t have my life any other way but I couldn’t do it without my yoga teacher, Lisa Bond. She teaches dynamic hot yoga which demands complete focus and blocks out work, family and general worries. I feel incredibly strong and energised after each session. I get some great work inspiration during the classes, too.”
Tamara Heber-Percy is co-founder of travel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith, and the website’s chief technical officer. She has two pre-school-age children and, naturally, her work involves a lot of travelling.
Tamara says, “My mum, Heather, has been a constant source of practical support and entrepreneurial inspiration. She made things possible when I went back to work after having my children and, despite running her own business, she steps in when I am away from home. Most importantly, she taught me how to cope when it gets tough – personally and professionally.”
Beth Storry is Goalkeeper for the England and Great Britain Women’s Hockey teams. She’s training 20 hours a week for the Olympic Games, while playing in international tournaments, studying for her final accountancy exams and volunteering for a number of charities.
Beth says, “My mentor is [former Ireland Women’s Hockey team captain] Sarah Kelleher, a businesswoman who has a natural gift as a life coach. When I need to address my relationship with my teammates or focus on an aspect of my hockey, she’s the one I call. Because of her, I get much more out of myself.”
And if I had to name just one? My personal trainer, who keeps me fit and ready for business. More on that in a future column…