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Celebrating International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2024 by Carol Wallace

To mark International Women’s Day, we asked Hutch co-owners Vicky and Carol to talk everything leadership, business and their journeys to the top.

What were your aspirations when first starting out?

Vicky: When I first started out I wanted to be like Kate Adie. She’s incredible. Audrey Hepburn too! I originally wanted to be a photographic journalist before I went into design; after that I wanted to be a Creative Director. 

Carol: My inspiration early on was my boss, Anastasia, who I really looked up to and learned so much from. It was her effortless leadership and personal style that I admired the most, and how she brought our team together even when we worked across many different countries.  She definitely knew what she wanted, but she was always approachable, kind, bubbly and supportive.


Have you felt the challenges in gender equality?

Throughout Vicky and Carol’s journey, they explained how they have been on the receiving end of and felt the very real discrimination, misogyny and objectification. 

C: We’ve worked in industries that have been very, very male orientated. It was especially apparent in London, in boardrooms, where you aren’t listened to…  

V: Yes, especially when we were younger. We definitely had to work with people that were very misogynistic. It was direct and indirect too. Like when clients would call me up saying ‘I want to talk to your boss’ – I was the boss!  Things have improved, but even now the pair explain that there are still challenges.


How is it now as twin owners of a successful agency?

 C: Things have come a long way, and the challenges and discrimination feel less – I feel less pressure from it now. As owners of our business, we get to deal with who we want to deal with, but all our clients are great, as they appreciate our and our team’s skills, knowledge and ideas. Regardless if we’re male or female.

 V: Some clients have even come to us in the first instance because our agency is female-run, although it’s not something that was a conscious decision. We attract nice clients thanks to our approach, where we’re more collaborative and go over and above.

C: We’re getting there with equality, its definitely opening up for women in leadership, women in business. We’re building strength in Cumbria.


How do you champion gender equality?

C: We 100% champion women in business and are currently supporting Women in Property, and have entered the Enterprise Vision Awards again which celebrate the successes and achievements of outstanding female entrepreneursWe know how hard it is to be successful, so gender-aside, it’s about being pro good people in business!

V: We’d like the narrative to change so that gender disappears out of the context. It should be an even playing field. We’re all about judging people on merit. 


How would you describe being a leader in business, what’s your style?

C: Our style is certainly not anything that we’ve learnt from a book! It’s about understanding that every person is different in the team.

V: It’s about listening to what people want and letting them have agency of their own work. I’d say it’s more ‘guidance’ than ‘leading’. It’s also leading by example – we’re still passionate and very hard working, so we’re not saying ‘you do this’ and then we put our feet up, we’re getting our hands dirty and it’s all hands on deck.

C: We’ve always said we’ll be in the business for a long time as we’re both passionate about brand, design and marketing and we want to lead by example. We’re not the type of people to just sit back and take all the glory from our team’s hard work. We all deserve the glory. We’re all equal – that’s how we see it. 

V: We want to reward everyone – if the business does well – then we will share that reward. We want to get an agency trip to Barcelona, but it is going to be the whole team, we won’t go without them! We try to give back as much as possible and share it out. We’re aligned in all our values.


What’s next for Team Hutch?

V: Can we all just stay in Barcelona, somewhere sunny!

C: Absolutely! As we’ve grown so quickly in the last year it’s time to settle and gain some stability for the business and our team so we can ensure we have a happy Hutch family and clients.

V: We want to have a great team, with brilliant skills, so that we can deliver to the absolute highest standards and deliver some great work.  We’d also love to win some awards too – that’s the dream.




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