SilverGuard’s commitment to #BreakTheBias for International Women’s Day
SilverGuard was formed with the vision of three mums who decided to set up a company during the first lockdown. The idea of launching the company had been floating around the school gates, but the pandemic gave us the drive to move forward with it. As a team at SilverGuard we offer each other friendship and support through the whirlwind that is starting a business.
Meet Tahira, Lynn and Stephanie
The SilverGuard team is made up of Tahira, Lynn and Stephanie. We are a women-led company. Collectively our backgrounds are in healthcare, textiles and sustainability. With people becoming more aware about airborne diseases because of the pandemic we started to manufacture and sell antimicrobial face masks and snoods and have expanded the product range to include bedding, towels and more.
Women who have and continue to inspire us
Tahira – my dearest friend Trudy
I have been friends with Trudy for nearly 30 years, through ups and downs, she is unequivocally my family. She raised two amazing children, who are inspirational in their own right and if that wasn’t enough when she was 40 she decided to apply to college to get a degree in nursing. This was such a natural fit, as she is one of the kindest and most caring people I know – she is well known for taking in all waifs and strays, human and animal, and when I needed a home, she took me in too. Despite the challenges, Trudy defied the odds and became a District Nurse for the NHS. She has worked through all kinds of challenges including the Covid pandemic and lockdown. Her unwavering commitment and empathy she has for others is truly an inspiration for all. Trudy’s knowledge and experience makes her a highly valued sounding board for us at SilverGuard when we look to develop healthcare and antimicrobial products.
Lynn – my creative mother Wilma
Growing up my mum always had a sewing contract of some kind that she was working on, from making kilts to dancing costumes to soft furnishings. At an early age she taught me how to use a sewing machine and how to make my own clothing and this is what inspired me to study textiles at university. I still cherish the memories we have of sewing together when I was a child. The fact that she has always been her own boss, for as long as I can remember, showed me that nothing is impossible in business and beyond. Her fine attention to detail and being able to understand what a customer wants and then translating that into the final products she makes is something I strive to apply in my work today. She has such a wealth of experience and always finds the time to offers us her opinion and ideas when we want to develop new products.
Stephanie – my fierce daughter Maya
My 10-year-old daughter Maya never ceases to amaze me. She is funny, confident, loud, fiercely loyal and can also be incredibly stubborn – traits I wish I had myself, when growing up! She has never considered that a woman should be treated any differently to a man and recently took offence that she wasn’t included in a sports team for a school competition for boys, as she said “she was better than most of the boys chosen”. She has shown me that nothing should be barrier to being able to do what you love, least of all your gender. I often think that if my younger self was friends with Maya, she would have given young me, the self-belief and confidence that anything is possible. She inspires me to be bold and have fun everyday.
How can we #BreakTheBias?
We as women, individuals and as a company want to openly commit to #BreakTheBias by:
Maintaining a gender equal mindset
As parents and women in business, we try to set examples for our children. There are no grand statements, gender equality is simply part of all our daily lives. The are no rules about who preps dinner, washes clothes or takes them to football; Daddy is just as capable of doing the school run, and Mummy knows how to use a drill. Amongst the Harry Potter and Gruffalo books, our shelves are filled with inspirational stories of both women and men of all ages who achieved their dreams, often against the odds or the stereotypes set. With households of both girls and boys, we believe that gender equality is the norm and not a goal to be achieved.
Celebrating women’s achievements
We will continue to champion the growth of women-led businesses. A big shout out to some of the women’s owned businesses we support: Anna at Anna Foynes Property Management, Charlie at A Furry World, Sara at Rocking Horse Photography, Lorraine at Mudchute Farm Shop, Clare at Holistique Beauty, Michelle at Travel Counsellors, Caroline at Great In and Out, Wilma at Professional Sewing Services, Lucy at Avonwick, Elizabeth at Studio EMP, Kelly at East London Pilates, Talya at Motherhood: The Real Deal and Sharon at E14 Yoga Coach.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.