Kate Thorton: “My Gender Should Be Irrelevant In Business.”07 Aug 2017, Posted by Interviews, Women in
When we think of the term Boss Woman, Kate Thorton pops out at the top of our list. A well-respected journalist who showcased her wit and vivacious personality as the first presenter on The X Factor, Kate became a household name through her many entertainment ventures. Now she’s sharing what many of those close to her have known for years; she’s also a clever businesswoman. As the founder of the popular retail site, TBSeen.com, Kate has effortlessly merged rewards and cashback programmes with the high-street brands such as M&S and Bobby Brown to create an online space where fans of clothing and beauty can get paid to shop for items they love. We recently sat down with Kate to get her thoughts on success, ageing and the best way for women to support themselves and one another.
You have had an incredible career in a number of sectors, as a journalist, the first presenter on the X Factor, Loose Women and This Morning and now as the powerhouse founder behind TBSeen. What would you say has been the key factor in your success?
KT: Staying interested in everything that’s going on around me and trying to find a way to plug into it. When I left print to move to TV, digital television was just about to launch and it felt like an incredible time for new opportunities. My move into digital was much the same, I could see content was growing online, as was e-commerce, and I wanted to be a part of where it was at and – more importantly – where it can go.
In the past, you have stated that you don’t hear the word “no”. What is your best advice for moving forward when it feels as all of the doors have been shut?
KT: Find new doors to knock on! One man’s passion is another man’s poison, so always try to find people who share the passion for what you’re doing and politely thank those that don’t for their time.
You’re clearly a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants (which we love!). As a gender, we have seen women fight from the beginning of time. What do you think is the hardest battle women are facing today?
KT: In terms of running our own businesses I still think women have an unnecessarily hard time finding and securing investment. Only 2.71% of VC funding was invested into female run businesses last year. That’s a sad and sorry stat that needs to change if women are going to find they backing they need to build and grow their businesses.
What do you feel is the best way for us to overcome it?
KT: Let your work do the talking as much as possible and never be afraid to club together to affect change. That’s something I’ve found invaluable over the last few years, other women in business have been amazingly supportive of me and I have regular dialogue with women who are trying to do not dissimilar work and we are more than happy to share information where it’s helpful, make introductions and provide each other with friendly sounding boards.
We encourage the women in our network to be Unapologetically Female, whatever that means for them. Will you share what it means for you?
KT: To be honest, I don’t think myself as a woman in business, if anything I am a business person – my gender should be utterly irrelevant. I know that’s probably a simplistic view, but I think it’s an important stance to take. If you flip that and ask a man how he would be unapologetically male that would seem equally as wrong.
It’s no secret that many women are thrown into boxes the second someone finds out their age. As a dynamic woman in her forties, what do you think is the biggest misconception about women who have hit (and strutted over) the big 4-0?
KT: I hate the idea that experience has no value, that’s a total nonsense and an oxymoron. I tend to ignore it as much as possible as a conversation because I get way too worked up about it and it feels like a waste of energy. If you continue to work in ways that add value, insight and are useful to others I couldn’t give a hoot how old someone is and nor should anyone else!
Finally, we’d love to end with a bit of word association. Tell us your own personal definition of the following words:
Feminism: My friends
Love: Too many to mention but I have a build a life that’s full of it
Fearless: Unconditional love.