IWD2020: The Women Behind Hot Tin Roof

In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day our intern, Alice, spoke to the great women behind Hot Tin Roof about the ladies who have inspired them, their favourite tech innovations and what advice they would give their younger selves…

Can you tell me about a female role model who has inspired you?

“Very early on in my career, there was a professor I worked alongside: Professor Alice Brown. She just had everything together; she was well dressed, stylish, and had incredible determination. After having children she returned to work and university to complete her PhD before going on to become a lecturer. Her students adored her and she was an inspiration to a lot of people.”  – Sarah Lee, founder

Gabriella Madero. She is helping to mitigate landslide risk in countries like Columbia. She does this using geotechnical engineering skills; helping empower local communities to monitor their own hillsides using WhatsApp. They send updates back to the university, where the team work to develop low-cost solutions to re-route water. I think it’s a great example of a woman who is using her skillset to save lives, help communities and also create a template which can be used all over the world.”  – Annie Diamond, director

“One of my favourite books when I was little (surprisingly for an arachnophobe) was Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte the spider was kind, selfless and a loyal friend to the very end. Her commitment to saving Wilbur the pig from his slaughterhouse fate was inspiring, and her intelligence and humour far outweighed her terrifying appearance and inexplicable excess of legs. To a young, imaginative and slightly awkward girl like myself, Charlotte was a wonderful role model, and her determination to be a true friend and to always try to do good in the face of adversity remains inspirational today.” – Jane Lynchehaun, account manager

“My granny, Marney, has always been a big role model in my family. The life of every party, generous to a tee and never afraid to speak her mind, often in colourful language! A Derry girl for the ages. When I think of my granny I’m reminded not to take nonsense, not to be afraid and to always have a stash of chocolate hidden for emergencies.” – Bronagh Grace, intern

Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give your childhood self?

“It’s cliché, but believe in yourself. You know this stuff – you can do it. Just absolutely never stop believing in yourself.” – Sarah

“If I could go back to myself during my school days, I’d tell myself to stop worrying so much. I am a natural worrier – it’s exhausting! I’d tell myself to relax a little more and not stress so much about what was going on at school – friends, boys, exams…. you know, the usual! As much as I loved my school days, I do wish someone had told me then that if I did poorly in a test then it really did not matter that much, so long as I did my best. Honestly, if did poorly in a NAB (usually maths!) I’d think it was the end of the world. It really wasn’t.” – Vickie Henry, senior account manager

“Your voice is valid. Don’t be afraid to use it and speak up!” – Jasmine Geddes, senior account executive

“Stop worrying about things you don’t want to happen, it’s a waste of time, which you will never get back. On the other hand, visualising what you want to happen and taking positive steps to making it a reality is a much better use of time and energy.” Jen Richards, account manager

“Don’t let your fear of spiders put you off reading Charlotte’s Web for so long! Also, you DO like anchovies. You just need to eat them a few more times.” – Jane

And, since we work with tech at Hot Tin Roof – what is your favourite tech innovation?

“Social media. I think it’s extraordinary. It has shifted the way that we do PR and the way that businesses communicate. It has changed the industry.” – Sarah

“So it’s really old, but I think the best invention ever is the tape recorder. Being able to listen back to people’s voices is so powerful. Hearing a child’s voice as an adult, or listening back to a loved one’s voice after they’ve gone is so special. The medium of sound is incredibly emotive.” – Annie

“Similar to Annie, my favourite tech invention of all time is the radio. Santa kindly brought me a much-desired radio alarm when I was 12, and it’s woken me up almost every morning since. I love that you can be listening alone but feel connected to the thousands of people who are tuning in at the same time, it creates a strange sense of community. That said, I also think audio is a particularly intimate form of media, it can feel as though a personal story is being told directly to you; experiences and surroundings are described but your imagination gets to fill in the visual.” – Bronagh

“It has to be the Domino’s pizza tracker. Does anything in the world bring you more joy than the ‘out for delivery’ notification?” – Jasmine

“Ooh this is a tricky one. There’s so much brilliant tech out there! But I do love my Apple Watch. My boyfriend got one a few years back and I was really dubious about it. Then he surprised me by buying me one and now I couldn’t live without it. It’s the fitness side that I love the most. Being able to keep an eye on my progress has been brilliant – and Jake and I have linked our watches together so we regularly have (healthy) competitions to see who can burn the most calories in a workout!” – Vickie

“Really, my favourite technology is the printing press. It’s where it all started. More recently, I would say touch screen technology – underrated genius!” Jen

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