‘Underrated’ Female CEOs Explain How Women Can Break Down Barriers

  • The number of women in leadership positions such as CEO, CFO and CIO is gradually increasing.
  • Insider spoke with two young female CEOs who built their businesses from the ground up.
  • Their advice focused on education, developing soft skills and creating a good support system.

The number of women in leadership positions is gradually increasing, especially in roles such as CEO, CFO and CIO.

The Alison Rose Review, published in March, revealed that more women than ever are starting new businesses and that more than 140,000 businesses were started by all-female teams last year. This represents an annual growth of more than a third.

The exam was first set up in 2019 by Alison Rose, CEO of British bank NatWest, to identify the barriers women face when starting a business.

Insider spoke with two young female CEOs who shared their top tips on how to start a business at a young age.

Ofome Eyanagho

Ofome Eyanogho

Eyanogho is the founder and CEO of The Glow Pot.

Ofome Eyanogho


Eyanagho, 27, is the founder of The Glow Pot, a skincare brand for black skin. In an interview with Insider, she recalled how her parents struggled to find the right skincare product for her when she was younger.

She said her UK-based business was set up as a result of her childhood struggling with her skin as she suffered from bad eczema. “Most of my childhood memories were of my parents going around town trying to find different drugs or creams – we tried everything, including seeing dermatologists,” she added.

“There has been no respite,” said Eyanagho, adding that she believed black people’s needs were not being catered for in some parts of the UK.

In its early days, Eyanagho was completely self-funded and had no family, friends or investors who helped her start the business. She now employs two full-time employees, but has also had to continue working at another full-time job to ensure there is a steady stream of funding for the business.

While running her business, her duties range from building a community on Twitter to becoming a trusted source in her community for skincare advice and voicing important issues. platform, my voice to pave the way for people like me,” she said.

Philip the cat

Philip cat.

Philp is founder and CEO of Pivot Marketing.

Philip the cat


Cat Philp, 20, is the founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Pivot Marketing.

Philp, who lives in the West Midlands, UK, decided to use her marketing skills to start her business after being laid off at the start of the pandemic. Although she never thought of herself as a CEO, she said, “Part of the creation of this company happened in the background, in an unconscious way.”

In general, it’s hard to make a name for yourself and build a successful business, but as a woman it’s even harder, Philp said. “Especially as a young person and a woman, you are taken advantage of a lot and you are underestimated.”

She said: “There are times when clients put you in the box and don’t think you have skills. You have to prove yourself even more to show that you are qualified.”

She added: “You have these barriers to cross and I want to get rid of them as much as possible.” Philp aspires to pave the way for young future entrepreneurs so that they are not underestimated in the same way as she was.

Learn about what already exists

Your driving force will always be where you’re going — find role models who’ve done similar things to you or who you aspire to be like, Philp said.

Eyanagho added, “Once you’ve researched your market, go for it. The worst that can happen is you fail.”

Develop soft skills

Philp pointed out that the most important part is having the right mindset — keeping yourself in check, building the right habits — it’s about having the right tools to ensure self-confidence.

Have a support system

“It’s much easier to give up in most circumstances than to keep going,” Eyanagho said. Building a business is not without its challenges, but when you are passionate and committed, there will be times when it will be worth it, she added.

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