White Label managing director Katharine Glass was proud to find herself in the company of some "extraordinary women" at the International Women's Day launch of the #Ladies First exhibition.
Katharine is among 22 women living or working in Croydon who feature in this stunning showcase of large-scale black and white portraits by award-winning photographer Jackie King, pictured above (right, centre) with Susan Beresford and Jeanne-Marie Eayrs of exhibition organisers, Undercroydon.
Croydon Council CEO Jo Negrini, four-time Olympian Donna Fraser and one of the borough's first female firefighters, Lara Richardson, were among the women at the end of Jackie's lens. And exhibition organisers Undercroydon hope their amazing images and stories, on show at Bernard Weatherill Community Space until July, will inspire the next generation of young women in the town.
"It's an honour to be included in this fantastic exhibition alongside some of Croydon's most inspirational women," said Katharine.
"White Label was started in 2010 by co-director Jo Gumb and myself – two women with a passion for Croydon and a vision that we could make a difference in our community.
"We've come through all the challenges of starting a new business and are proud to head a company with a talented and diverse staff, which includes women and men at all stages of their lives and careers.
"Being a woman in business still means you have to try harder to succeed – I hope that this unique exhibition, and my involvement in it, will help to inspire other young women in Croydon."
Exhibition curators Undercroydon was founded by professional artists Susan Beresford and Jeanne-Marie Eayrs in 2002 to increase local community involvement in the development of public art. The organisation mentors a number of young women across a range of projects.
Smaller photographs and interviews of the of #Ladies First women by 20 young 'mentees' of Undercroydon are a major part of #Ladies First. Katharine's mentee, Raquel Chaves from Barcelona, asked what she attributed to her business success?
Katharine replied: "I've worked in Croydon for over 30 years. My passion and my heart has always been in Croydon. This is a great place to be.
"I'm not the type to be held back. I believe you have to be quite focused and driven to make a mark. You have to be 100% committed. That's what I see in other women who have made a difference; they have that same approach to the work ethic."
An interactive feature of #Ladies First is the pin-up community board, We Are #LadiesFirstCroydon, which allows the public to bring in and 'pin-up' photos of women they admire and find inspirational in their own lives.
The #Ladies First exhibition is at Bernard Weatherill Community Space, Mint Walk, Croydon until the end of July. For more information contact: Jeannemarie.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Susan Beresford on 07958 397794