On 31st May this year I was *incredibly* honoured to be named Veuve Clicquot’s Bold Woman of the Year. This is the longest running business award for women, now in its 51st year. It celebrates women who are following in the footsteps of Madame Clicquot, an original trailblazer who back in 1805 was known for her enterprising spirit, as well as her courage and determination when she took over the reigns of the House after her husband’s passing, securing its success against all the odds.
I had 2 minutes to make my acceptance speech, and used this to highlight the urgent need to bring the outsiders in.
I grew up on a farm.
And could never have dreamed that I would go from the cow sheds to a champagne house, so thank you!
I’ve always been an outsider — first as a country girl making her way in the urban world.
And more recently as a woman, realising I live in a man’s world.
It’s tough being an outsider; and Madame Clicquot knew that all too well.
But being an outsider also gives you superpowers.
Outsiders are the ones who can see the problems that are hiding in plain sight.
Outsiders are the ones who can think laterally because they’re not beholden to the status quo.
Outsiders are the ones who recognise the talent of those who’ve been overlooked.
Outsiders know it’s just common sense for business to be a force for good.
Unfortunately however, outsiders have been locked out of the Board rooms and meeting rooms for far too long.
And it’s no coincidence that humanity is now facing multiple existential crises — from the climate crisis, to the inequality crisis; from the resource depletion crisis to the biodiversity crisis; and from nuclear to AI.
To solve these crises, we need a brand new model of leadership — one that brings the outsider in.
Outsiders need money, not mentoring; and power not platitudes.
By bringing the outsider in, the future will be bolder and brighter than we can possibly imagine.
And so this outsider would like to close by thanking …
The Veuve Clicquot team for this incredible honour!
My co-founder Saasha, the Olio team & the Olio community for inspiring me every single day
And last but not least, my husband, who fights so hard to redefine his gender role, so that I can redefine mine.