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In aid of Internationals Women's Week, our COO Hayley Johnson visited the House of Lords to discuss the role of women in business. In celebration of her achievements and the pivotal role she has played in the development and growth of Epos Now, we asked for Hayley's perspective on issues facing women in business today and the difficulties of juggling a demanding career with the challenges of being a single mum.
The role of a chief operating officer requires you to be all things to all people, especially in a company with the momentum of Epos Now. Running the daily operations of the business on both sides of the Atlantic, heading dozens of direct reports with teams made up of over 200 people, could be considered a logistical nightmare! Yet Hayley's tireless passion has helped secure Epos Now as the fastest growing EPOS Company in the UK.
Naturally driven, a young and ambitious Hayley climbed the corporate ladder quickly, determined not to let circumstances dictate her future. It was when she had her daughter at 27 she struggled to balance a promising career with the challenges of motherhood. With no support network work to rely on, Hayley was frustrated she had to watch opportunities for progression pass her by. When she was able to attend business trips and away days, her own guilt and the harsh judgment of others blighted what would have otherwise been career enhancing opportunities.
Unchallenged and unhappy in her corporate role, Hayley accepted voluntary redundancy. Upon accepting a senior position with another company, it quickly became apparent they did not offer the flexibility of her previous role. Relying heavily on a childminder, no longer able to do the school run, late nights and missed mother's days all took their toll on Hayley and her daughter. Accepting she would have to sacrifice her career for the wellbeing of her daughter, Hayley looked for a less senior role with a better work-life balance.
In 2013 Epos Now was a tech startup founded by small business owner Jacyn Heavens. He was confident he had the market insight and the products to help improve the lives and businesses of SME proprietors like himself, he just needed the right team in place to make his vision a reality. Invested in the courage of Jacyn’s convictions, Hayley took the role on the promise of having more time and flexibility to support her daughter. For the past 3 years, she takes an afternoon to pick her daughter up from school, can work from home when she's ill and has never to missed an assembly or parents evening since.
Under Hayley’s tutelage, her small team of 4 has grown to 200 with a platform of over 30,000 customers across two continents. She and Jacyn attended Buckingham Palace to accept an award for Enterprise and Innovation from HRH the Queen and she regularly gets asked to talk at tech networking and educational events at the University of East Anglia. Hayley's recent trip to the House of Lords highlighted some of the issues faced by women in business today. Hayley's pulled together some tips she’s learnt from her experiences as leading women in business. You can ready Hayley's full story in her own words here. For more information on International Women's Day, please click here.
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