In light of International Women's Day, we interviewed some of the most influential and inspirational women working in the wellness industry - and we were spoilt for choice! Nutritional Therapist, Melanie Brown, specalises in infertility. In this article, Melanie shares why age is just a number in the health industry and her biggest inspirations...
What does working in the wellness industry mean to you?
If you have your health, you have everything, you can do anything and be anything. And especially when you get older. This is an industry where age is unimportant as a therapist, in fact perhaps the wisdom and experience that comes with age is a real benefit. And then the flip side is that being involved in the industry, and still working hard is hugely beneficial to me too. I have just completed a Masters and I think I will go on in the industry for ages!
Who are you inspired by & why?
Zita West has been an inspiration for me; she has pioneered the more wholistic approach to fertility, and in the beginning, she was pilloried for her views and her clinic. But she kept going through the tough times and stuck to her principals. She gave me my first nutrition job almost 20 years ago, for which I shall always be grateful. Outside of the wellness industry, I am a huge admirer of the MP Jess Philips, who just keeps on fighting for not just women’s rights, but of those on the margins also. No matter how much abuse she gets she makes her voice heard, and with a bit of luck one day she may be Prime Minister!
What tips would you give other women wanting to get into your business?
Nutrition is a science, so become as qualified as you can. Our work is complementary to medical advice and for me, the future for health and wellness has to be an amalgamation of the two. And personally, I think specialising in one area is also a good idea. You simply cannot know everything about everything. You need to be the ‘go to’ person for referrals, and your reputation will be enhanced.
What are your three top tips?
Get your sleep
Eat your greens (and take your Lionheart!)
Keep your brain active
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I remember when I grew up in the 1970s, my mum could not get a mortgage without a man guaranteeing it, so my uncle had to go with her, unbelievable! But 50 years later women still face different challenges, and for those in the developing world life seems impossibly difficult, with sexism and misogynism rife. So, highlighting this day, and making younger women aware that there’s still a long way to go is just so important.