Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day and to mark this occasion, we’re sharing some stories of our inspirational women here at We Love Pets. Our franchisee network is 80% female and with more women entering into franchising than ever (up 20% since 2015) – there’s never been a better time to join them!
When you consider that there’s still an 11.9% pay gap between men and women and no sector according to Government figures where men and women are paid the same, it’s no wonder that entrepreneurial women are getting frustrated with the corporate 9-5 and turning to franchising instead.
Offering freedom, flexibility around home life, no glass ceiling to contend with and the opportunity to follow your passions, franchising is becoming a popular option with women who want more control over their careers.
30% of UK franchisees are female, so there’s still a long way to go, something that not for profit organisation EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) has made their mission to achieve.
We Love Pets founder, Jo White, is EWIF Regional Chair for the East of England which means that she creates awareness, gives advice and provides opportunities for networking in the area for anyone who wants to get into franchising – particularly women.
As a franchisor herself since 2008, Jo’s built her franchise network from her own branch in Hungerford to 48 branches nationwide in a little over 10 years. Jo’s entrepreneurial instincts were right about meeting a demand for quality pet care services and has worked hard since to build an award-winning brand, as well as start a family while remaining hands on in her business.
Jo heads up a fantastic network of franchisees at We Love Pets, 41 of whom are female. Tracey Alexander was voted our Most Supportive Franchisee 2019 for her work to onboard new franchisees and take care of our existing ones. Not only does she run a high performing branch of her own, but twice a year she organises and facilitates our Franchisee Council where we discuss new ideas to implement.
About a year after joining We Love Pets as Reading East branch owner, Tracey and her new husband Rob, (also a busy business owner) had their first baby, William. Franchising meant that Tracey could have it all and now William is nearly three, Tracey is still able to spend time with her son and work hard on the business which is seeing amazing growth.
So inspired by Tracey’s achievements, former customer Millie White was considering becoming a We Love Pets franchisee herself whilst at university. And when she graduated with her English degree and no prior business experience – that’s exactly what she did!
Proving that you’re never too young to start running a business or to follow your passions, Mille is our youngest franchisee and first to open a branch in Wales. Millie’s youth, drive and refreshing attitude to work is infectious and you can’t help but be inspired by her warmth and enthusiasm.
Millie is a huge inspiration to other young people who not only want to make working with animals their career, but to become a franchisee – a much less explored career route for graduates.
Even when you have a successful career with perks and prospects, sometimes it’s just not enough. Sometimes that job can stifle you and feel like a never-ending merry-go-round. It takes courage to get off and try something new which is what former Recruitment Manager Jenny Bond did following her husband’s redundancy.
Jenny started to question everything and was fed up with her commute into London everyday. She felt small and insignificant in her previous role and didn’t want to end up spending the rest of her career feeling lost. Jenny broke out from the rat race in 2018 and hasn’t looked back, owning three branches in the Wimbledon area.
All of our women at We Love Pets have their own story and motivations but all benefit from an amazing supportive and encouraging network. If you’re thinking about becoming a franchisee, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you’d like to register your interest in an EWIF East regional meeting, you can do so here.
Happy International Women’s Day everyone!