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Her voice, her power

International Women’s Day 2024: Meet the North East women shaping Social Media Empowerment

Once a contemporary form of instant messaging, now an integral part of day-to-day life – social media has redefined the way the way we communicate with each other. Whether it’s business or personal, social media allows us to fashion the perfect shop front of our lives for all to see. However, amidst its convenience and connectivity, social media has also become a breeding ground for toxicity, with a constant swarm of ‘who’s making the most money’, ‘who looks the best’ or ‘who’s working the hardest’. But is anyone really living a life, or running a business that is as perfect as it seems?

As women, we’re scrutinised daily, with constant pressure to look, act, or behave a certain way. And with social media a constant reminder of unattainable standards and comparisons, the burden to conform only intensifies. But luckily, there are some who are choosing to go against the status quo.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, meet the North East business women who are smashing through the shiny façade of social media, choosing to use their social media platforms for authenticity, advocacy and female empowerment.



Sarah Lou Harker

Private Chef, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach


Born out of lockdown, following a redundancy that almost cost Sarah her home, Sarah Lou Harker launched Sarah Lou’s Kitchen, an online cooking, recipe and lifestyle platform. With over 10.4k followers on Instagram, Sarah Lou uses her platform to empower people through inspirational quotes, authenticity, and the key to so many hearts – food!

“What started as me battling to stay sane, facing the prospect of months of lockdown alone actually helped me build a business from scratch and train as a nutritionist alongside it.”

How has social media helped your business?

Social media has been the biggest marketing tool for me, being able to post and share recipes, as well as top tips and lifestyle hacks has helped me grow my profile and get maximum exposure. It’s such a useful tool when used correctly and has been paramount in building my brand and getting it out there.

What role has social media played in your own empowerment as a woman?

I’m definitely thicker skinned and care less about what people think (teenage me would be an anxious, quivering wreck at the thought of that!) I genuinely just look at what I do now, as a daily life blog. I think knowing that my brand is genuine, showcases what I truly love and helps people makes it almost feel easy as I’m not having to try for the likes, it’s simply me being me!

What advice would you offer to women looking to use social media to empower others?

Be yourself and yourself only. There’s nothing worse than being able to see through people who are desperate to be liked for all the wrong reasons. Likes mean nothing, if you truly believe in what you’re doing then so will everyone else, even if takes time. Success comes from consistency and learning from mistakes and failures. There’s nothing more beautiful than a confident person who’s comfortable and happy with who they truly are.

What are your favourite North East businesses at the moment?


Stephanie Barlow and Lauren Gill

Founders of R:U READY, fitness experiences and retreats.


R:U READY began in 2017 with a vision to challenge the notion that fitness was restricted to the gym. Now, with over 20 events in their catalogue, a loyal community behind them, and retreats across the globe, Stephanie and Lauren are redefining what it means to exercise.

“As two female founders in a predominately male industry, social media has given us the platform to broaden our reach and engage with so many people we may not have met otherwise.” 

How has social media helped your business?

Social media has played a pivotal role in the growth of R:U READY. Initially we had no website and no marketing experience between us, but we had a vision of how we wanted our brand to appear on socials. The community within social media, which has expanded over the years, has been an organic one through the impact of our events – which is ultimately networking in real life – and has transitioned onto socials.

What role has social media played in your own empowerment as a woman?

Encouraging women to strength train, take up space and change the narrative is so rewarding. But to be able to showcase our programming alongside our retreats and events shows women and men the importance of exercise in connection, community and lifestyle.

Stephanie: As a lululemon ambassador, I love posting on socials what I’m wearing to train in. Feeling good in my workout clothes and encouraging women to feel good, rather than looking a certain way or fitting into a certain box, is what empowers me.

Lauren: I often have a social media mute, delete and follow spree to ensure my feed is full of what inspires me and feeds my creativity, or motivates me in business or fitness. I think its super important to manage your social media like you would your social circle.

How do you leverage your social media platform to uplift and empower others, why do you believe this is important?

R:U READY empowers and encourages people to ‘do it all.’ You can be a mum and still join us on a Bali retreat. You can train three times a week and still enjoy socialising with your friends and eating out. Life is for living and R:U READY encourages social, fun wellness for all. The specialists we use within our events, that always feature on our social media platforms, are also chosen with empowerment in mind. Using this content to encourage and empower women to exercise through factual education is priceless to us.

What are your favourite North East businesses at the moment?


Emma Vincent

Founder of Emma Vincent Coaching and The Self Confidence Club



Emma left the corporate world in December 2020, with a mission to help women do business and life on their own terms. From there she has worked with entrepreneurs building business empires, professional leaders taking their place at the tables that matter, and individuals navigating massive changes in their lives.

“My current mantra for myself and clients when talking about using social channels is to be the one who shows that it’s safe to be yourself, to be loved and to be happy – rather than showing off about all the “things” you may have accumulated.”

How has social media helped your business?

I mostly use Instagram as an information and inspiration sharing channel to reach as many women in my demographic as possible – it’s a space where I create relationships without any pressure or judgment for any woman who needs help.

What role has social media played in your own empowerment as a woman?

I truly believe in curating your social feeds in the same way as you choose what you’re binging next on Netflix.  I have a feed full of inspiring women who enrich my life and challenge my thinking – I am a great believer in giving more than you take and that’s the same for social media.  I am also a great believer in bless and block if there are individuals who make you feel bad/behind/unworthy, which is an empowerment exercise in itself.

What advice would you offer to other women looking to use social media for advocacy and empowerment?

To speak from your own heart and stand up for what you believe in. Don’t try to fit in because actually to stand out and empower others to do the same you will rarely fit in! Even when the lure of those claiming overnight success is all you may see, we all have a duty to change the script and to stop the fear of “being behind”.

What are your favourite North East businesses at the moment?


Georgia Scott

Content creator

@ge0rgiasc0tt (IG)

@ge0rgiatalks (TikTok)

Georgia started her TikTok account in 2021, and since then her following has grown astronomically. Across her TikTok and Instagram profiles, she shares empowering, authentic content that not only highlights Georgia in her day-to-day life, but brings awareness to stammering.

“It takes a lot of courage to post your authentic self online. I’ve developed a newfound level of self-confidence because of it. I am who I am, and I now celebrate that.”

How / when did you start your journey with social media and how has it grown? 

I posted a video of me ordering food at a McDonalds drive thru, to show people how difficult it can be when you have a stammer. I didn’t really think people would be interested but my mindset was, if it can help just one person, it’s worth it! My TikTok account has grown, and I now have a following of 285k which I’m so grateful for. I still very much have a focus on stammering, as well as vlogs, fashion, beauty, and travel.

What advice would you offer to other women looking to use social media for advocacy and empowerment?

Embrace your authentic self and don’t try to be anybody you’re not. Stick up for what you believe in. I would also say as a consumer of social media, just be mindful of the people you follow. Unfollow anybody who makes you feel like rubbish and don’t compare yourselves to others.

What are your favourite North East businesses at the moment?


Charlotte Falloon

Social Media Manager and Community Founder

@nefempowerment – Instagram

@nefempowerment – TikTok

Charlotte launched her community, NEFEMPOWERMENT, as part of a university assignment back in March 2020. Since then, she has seen monumental growth, with over 9000 members. Alongside her page, Charlotte co-hosts networking events ‘Babes in Business’ with Rebecca Taylor from Under the Ivy and Hannah Jackson from Flamingo Café, with hundreds of women in attendance.

“I’m honoured to have met so many influential women and small business owners, made some incredible friends and so many connections. It’s pretty magical.”

What role has social media played in your own empowerment as a woman? 

Social media can sometimes be a really scary place but for me, social media has allowed me to just be “me” without fear of judgement, my little corner of the internet is a really safe space and the support from other women has given me so much confidence

How do you amplify the voices and stories of women on your social media channels, and how do you ensure their experiences are accurately represented? 

By allowing the women to be their true, authentic self, no bias just pure empowerment. I prioritise researching important issues and topics that we, as women, face daily. Every woman’s story is so different and so inspiring. I want my community to feel seen, heard and understood through the stories that I am so fortunate to share.

What are your favourite North East businesses at the moment?

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