“Daring female leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging.”
At Reuthe’s – the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, the future is female.
Owner Claire Price saved a derelict plant nursery & arboretum from terminal decline, and in a few short years has created The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, set in 11 acres of ancient woodland in the beautiful Weald of Kent. The historic gardens in Seal Chart, Sevenoaks, are currently being restored to their former glory. We have won 28 gold medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for our world beating plants and there are a number of notables amongst our famous customer base including Winston Churchill (for nearby Chartwell) and members of the Royal Family.
Claire feels strongly that the business philosophy & community focused approach of The Lost Gardens exhibits a strong female presence eminating the creator of this new vision. More widely, research shows that organizations with greater gender diversity among senior leaders are more profitable. However women are still underrepresented in leadership positions and the reality is we need more women in leadership positions. It’s not just good for women—it’s good for business. But Claire sees hope for the future and she identifies a positive change in the friendship groups of her teenage daughter Genevieve who are en-masse growing into remarkable, smart, confident and brave women in whose hands our futures will be safe.
Claire believes that a more diverse workforce, including more women in leadership roles, is linked to more innovation and better financial performance. Studies show that having women in leadership roles can help organisations forge a deeper connection with their customers, inspire other women employees and boost employee engagement.
So just how do the leadership styles of men and women differ? From her decades of business experience Claire tends to find that, women adopt more of a collaborative style of leadership which is good for engagement, performance and productivity. Women can be more democratic and while people often wrongly judge the male default leadership style as having a more ‘command and control’ leadership style, this isn’t exclusively a male attribute. The crucial difference is sadly that lazy stereotyping allows for both staff & management to be more accepting of an autocratic leadership style in men, than they are with women. Effectively men are seen to be “strong” when expressing their opinions, whereas a women displaying the same qualities and communicating in the same style is often criticised as being “bossy” or “shrill”.
Here at Reuthe’s, despite being a micro-business, we address societal misogyny head-on by providing mentoring and coaching for women & girls who join our work family and we are always thrilled to see them grow and develop into evermore responsible roles. We do not mentor females only, but bringing women up in our Team is an important founding philosophy for us based on a belief in the importance of female leadership in business.
On March 8th 2023 Reuthe’s – the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks is proud to support Sevenoaks Town Council’s International Womens Day lunch, a call to action for accelerating equity for women and creating a fairer & more equal world