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TGT Meets... Nina Sawetz - IWD Special

TGT Meets... Nina Sawetz - IWD Special

We spoke to Nina Sawetz, Founder and Managing Director at Future, the Manchester and London based PR agency, as part of our International Women's Day interview series.

Name: Nina Sawetz 

Location: Castlefield, Manchester 

Occupation: Founder & Managing Director at Future  

Which woman would you compare yourself to or aspire to be like? 

There are so many different things you can learn from individuals no matter what gender they are - how they handle challenges, how they outgrow environments, how they use their negatives to their advantage, or how they make differences in their industries.  

Celebrities, famous entrepreneurs, business leaders – there are lots of inspirations, but for me, I take guidance from those closest to me. My mum who is passionate about her hobbies and inspires me to follow my dreams, my grandma who despite being chronically shy, always told me to be brave and ‘go for it’, and my other grandmother who was perhaps the funniest person I’ve ever known.  

Being around these characters when you’re growing up is key to believing in yourself. If I can combine even some of these elements into my own personality, I know I’m on the right track. 

What’s great about being a woman in business? 

In my opinion, having only moved here 14 months ago, I’ve found there to be a lack of female business role models in Manchester.  

It’s a city built on entrepreneurialism and of course, female strength with the Suffragette movement, but for some reason, the city’s business world is being led by men. There’s definitely a gap in the market for females to show their strength and success, and as there are so few of us, it’ a great opportunity to step into. 

Do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day? 

I think it’s important to recognise achievements of those who have struggled and strived for a greater good, whether that’s historically, or in the present.  

It’s also a good opportunity to shine a light on the ongoing struggles that females face in everyday life around the world, from pay inequalities, to gender discrimination, violence and oppression on a global stage. There are millions of women who don’t have freedoms, privileges and chances that we have here in the UK, and it’s important to spare a moment to remember this, not only to understand how we can make a difference, but to be grateful for how lucky we are.    

How do you maintain a work/life balance? 

My business is born out of a realisation that you can have a successful business and a successful lifestyle without sacrificing one of the other. I’m lucky that I’ve created something which allows me to be happy with both.  

I honestly believe the traditional 9am-5pm business model created out of the industrial era is massively outdated. I’m constantly telling people they don’t need to sit looking at the same four walls of their office every day, only to then pick up their laptop and commute home in traffic each night. I think remote working is something that people are becoming gradually more aware of and understanding over time.  

Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career? 

I started Future with £100, while sleeping on the floor of someone’s kitchen, but I count myself as very lucky. People often ask how I could take such a big risk and start a business, but for me, it was more of a risk not to start it.  

Future is 100% owned by me, with no investors, so if I don’t agree with something, or need to change something, I can do. If I feel I need to have a break, or switch the business focus, I can do. It also means I can travel, or move, at the drop of a hat. If anything, it’s opened doors I would have never found otherwise.  

Do you ever experience any discrimination in the work place because of your gender? 

I’ll put it this way – if I ask you for a coffee, it means a coffee.  

What advice / tip would you pass on to the next generation of women in Business? 

No one knows you better than you know yourself, and if you think you can do it, you probably can. I’ve also noticed that people will only criticise you, if you have something they want.  

Do men ever feel intimidated by your success? 

Short answer – I couldn’t give a f… 

Long answer - I’m not intimidating, they are intimidated. There’s a massive difference between the two. 

If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be? 

Marylin Monroe – my grandad was her personal car mechanic in Hollywood.  

My Nan – see above.  

Lady Gaga – because I think her creative brain is unrivaled.  

Christina Aguilera – God is a woman.  

Maya Angelou – to help me make sense of the world.  

As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? 

I don’t even know what I want to do next weekend, let alone in ten years’ time. But as long as I am proud of achievements, and living a healthy, happy lifestyle that I’ve created on my own terms, then that’s good enough for me.

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