At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Paris-based Manon Allano, Managing Director at EstheClinic Singapore, few questions on her experience achieving success in the field of beauty and healthcare, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you.
Manon Allano: I was raised in a medical aesthetics environment, my father has founded EstheClinic in France over 20 years ago. He shared with me his vision of EstheClinic and aim to offer a non-invasive alternative to surgery to his patients. This is how I developed an increasingly undeniable passion for the beauty industry. After completing a business school in France, I worked for EstheClinic for 5 years in Paris. Then I decided to fly with my own wings and export EstheClinic to Singapore with my husband. We have opened our first branch in April 2015 in the lovely Tanjong Pagar area. We immediately understood that there was a huge attract for EstheClinic concept and innovative treatments in Singapore. We opened a second branch a year later in 2016, and a third one in 2017. We had a break in the openings while having two adorable daughters. In 2019, we thought it was time to continue expanding but have been stopped by the COVID-19 crisis. A few months after Circuit breaker, we were back on track and have worked on our 4th clinic, which will open in March 2021. While I am currently based in France, we are also working on expanding EstheClinic in France and should be opening a new branch in Paris by the end of 2021!
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Manon Allano: I couldn’t quote only one as so many women took part in changing the world and things. Of course, I’m admirative to women that are engaged in women causes, rights and health. But I would like here to stay focus on the beauty industry where many women have made thigs happen too. I’m inspired by these women as Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder, Helena Rubinstein or Elizabeth Arden who where visionary. At a time when most women of did not even work outside the home, they were challengers who proved that anything was possible. Armed with philosophy and perseverance, creativity and passion, they changed the face of the beauty industry. Their brands have the heritage centred around the hard work of a determined woman and I love that!
These quotes simply explain what inspires me every day:
Estee Lauder: “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
Coco Chanel: “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
Estée Lauder: “No one ever became a success without taking chances… One must be able to recognize the moment and seize it without delay.”
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Manon Allano: International women’s day is a day to celebrate all the achievements of women around the world. It also honours those, both past and present, who have been fighting for gender equality, while reminding us that there is still a lot of work to be done.
This year International Women’s Day is very special for me as we will be opening our 4th clinic in Serangoon Garden (myVillage shopping mall) on the 8th March! We will celebrate it by offering flowers to all our clients during that day.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Manon Allano: This year, IWD 2021 campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge.
“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
I think it’s a great theme for all women around the world. Life is a challenge, being a woman, a mother, business woman is a challenge every day, and especially when you also need to fight for equality on all levels. All achievement is a victory, and there is no achievement without a challenge! We need to be proud of all our achievements and learn from our mistakes to draw the positive of all situation.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Manon Allano: Beauty is Empowerment! Beauty for many women all around the world means confidence, empowerment, and freedom to express themselves. There’s a reason why it’s called beauty ‘therapy’, because it makes you feel good, and who can argue with that?
When we take the time to carry out a little self-care it makes us feel amazing. By carrying out self-care, you allow yourself to feel worthy, to feel loved and cared for. Our perception of selfworth plays a huge role in our everyday lives, from the decisions we make to our general thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Our self-worth is directly connected to our confidence.
When we feel confident we feel able to take on the world. Confidence encourages us to make those life changing decisions, to stand up for what we believe in, and to take those calculated risks that allow us to live the lives we want to live.
Beauty makes you feel good about yourself, it helps you feel like your true self, and enables you to do things you never thought you’d be able to do, and what’s more empowering than that? By taking the time to invest in yourself and have those treatments that make you feel amazing each and every day, you can create confidence from within, which is pretty powerful.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Manon Allano: Women are involved in all parts of society, but some matters affect and touch women more than others. From the power of the women’s vote to reproductive rights and the pay gap, there are still so many challenges women face in today’s world. Among the most important one, access to education, employment opportunities, reproductive health & rights, genderbased violence and gender equality. To make this more equal, we should fight to have more women in positions of power. One of the struggles that underlies all of our policy battles is the continued lack of women in positions of power. From corporate boardrooms, to the courts and political leadership around the world, the lack of women in senior positions continues to stymie progress on gender equality. The sooner we understand that the lack of women in leadership roles holds back not only women, but all people, the sooner we will be able to advance society as a whole.
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