This International Women's Day, CLOUD NINE are supporting the theme of #breakthebias.

We speak to the women behind the brand and beyond to celebrate the power of women. We explore their successes and achievements, the secret of powering up for a big day and how their influence impacts the future of haircare.


I can do it without great hair - said no one ever!

It's no secret, great hair gives you power; the power to boss your day, to believe in yourself and do whatever you put your mind to.

women in power

This International Women’s Day, CLOUD NINE are celebrating the achievements of influential women within the hair and beauty industry. We talk to the women behind our brand and beyond, to find out more about their journey and what being fiercely powerful means to them.

Jo Fox is Group Sales and Marketing Director at CLOUD NINE. We spoke to Jo to discuss the importance of International Women's Day, achievements and power:


How did you begin your career in the hair/beauty industry?

I joined ghd in late 2002 to head up their sales division which consisted of 20 plus distributors and to establish how ghd was being sold into the professional hair market.

How do you 'power up' for a big day?

For me its all about positive thinking and being organised for the day ahead. Looking good and being professional is also a key motivator, I take time on my appearance, because if I don’t look good then I don’t feel good.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you and why do you think it is important to observe it?

IWD is all about equal rights to women being free of bias and stereotypes and discriminations. Working in an environment that is meaningful and rewarded as an equal, and where pay and benefits are highly competitive is so vitally important to women in the workplace.

For me being part of IWD raises the awareness about issues impacting on women’s inequality but also allows us to celebrate women’s achievements and accomplishments.

Which powerful woman do you admire?

This might be a cliché, but you can’t help but admire Mackenzie Scott. Despite earning a huge fortune through her instrumental work setting up Amazon alongside her ex husband Jeff Bezos, she was also raising four children and now her focus is philanthropist work. This all is undoubtedly impressive. Her work focuses on giving to non profit organisations that specialise in racial equality, LGBTQ rights and climate change. And now her newly launched “equality cant wait challenge” looking to promote gender equality, and expanding womens power and influence is meaningful and revolutionary in the way in which she supports this financially.

What is your proudest achievement?

There have been a number of moments I would say have made me feel proud both personally and professionally. However being in a my current position as Group Sales & marketing director at Cloud Nine, where you have a responsibility to ensure the success of the organisation, not only through sales but through the people I employ. Seeing people thrive and develop personally, is ultimately one of my proudest acheivements.

And finally...What does the idea of power mean to you?

Someone who can make a difference and inspire others.

Sam Pettman is Business Process Director at CLOUD NINE. We wanted to find out more about her day, what International Women's Day means to her and what inspiring advice she would give to her 20 year old self.


What does the idea of power mean to you?

For me power isn’t about exerting control, it’s about having the ability to influence in a positive way. Real power isn’t given to someone, it comes from within including the choices people make and the actions they take.


How do you power up for a big day?

Preparation is key for a big day. Planning and clear objective setting promotes clarity and confidence. It’s equally important to get a good night’s sleep, eat well and then start the day with a positive, can do attitude.


What does International Women’s Day mean to you and why do you think it is important to observe it?

Throughout my professional and personal life I’m fortunate to have never been disadvantaged or discriminated against due to my gender. We know this is not the case across the whole of society and while there have been significant improvements in women’s equality and gender parity, I believe International Women’s Day plays a key role in the work still to do and raises awareness, influences change as well as celebrates women’s achievements.


What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Take ownership of your own goals and work hard, play hard. Recognise the value gained from listening to and learning from others. It’s important to trust your gut and not be afraid to voice your own opinion. Remember, don’t take things personally (it’s not personal) and ask for help if you need it. Above all, be true to yourself and be kind.


What makes you feel powerful?

Being able to influence behaviour or activity in positive way (and therefore drive change) is incredibly powerful and this increases as we offer more support to those around us and create an environment where opinions are valued. Taking ownership of what I want to achieve and not expecting others to make it happen is also incredibly empowering and provides me with clarity, focus and resilience.

Jayne Lewis-Orr is Executive Director at M Squared Media who organise exhibitions, conferences and awards; and publish magazines in the beauty, spa and wellness, aesthetics and hair industries.


How did you begin your career in the hair/beauty industry?


I began as the junior on the Hair & Beauty Group and grasped every opportunity to learn and get involved in all aspects of the business – I knew I wanted to be a journalist and was very focused on achieving that aim.


How do you power up for a big day?


I try to stay calm and focus on a great outcome – easier said than done on some days but for me, it is all about being prepared and planning for every eventuality – the devil is in the detail! I genuinely love what I do so you have to take each day as it comes and try and enjoy it.


What does International Women’s Day mean to you and why do you think it is important to observe it?


It makes me reflect on the women who have had a huge influence on my life, from childhood to now. And historically how women continue to significantly contribute across every industry and area of life.


What for you, is the best thing about being a woman?


Being a Mum. I feel incredibly lucky to have two amazing sons and I couldn’t be prouder of them – they are without doubt, the achievement in my life that I am most proud of.


Which powerful woman do you admire?


It would have to be my Mum. I only had her for 22 years but she has had a lasting influence on me and has given me the strength and courage to live my life as I want to live it both personally and professionally.


What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?


Believe in yourself, don’t let anyone take you for granted and don’t be afraid to say what you think and challenge in a positive way.


CLOUD NINE are celebrating female achievements and influential women within the hair and beauty industry for International Women’s Day. What positive changes have you seen for women in the hair and beauty industry throughout your career?


There are so many women in this industry who are doing the most amazing things with incredible creative innovators and business leaders of all genders. The hairdressing industry is a melting pot of talent.


What does the idea of power mean to you?


I think the term power can be misconstrued as it is often used in a negative way. Using a positive power to help others or make change as great educators do, or those supporting the industry such as the Hair & Beauty Charity or the Lions Barber Collective. This is a hugely positive power that is used in a really meaningful way. If you can look back and you have had made a positive impact on those around you, be it family, friends, colleagues or peers then that is truly powerful.


What makes you feel powerful?


When you can pull people together to work for the greater good of the industry and the people in it; but if powerful means confident, then there is no better feeling than getting a cut, colour or blow dry. Feeling better about how you look and subsequently feel is a really powerful thing.


What is your proudest achievement?


On a personal level it is absolutely my family. We have come through some tough times together and been there to support one another. On a professional level, it has to be seeing the industry come together and support one another throughout the pandemic, and HJ’s team being very much a part of the community and keeping everyone connected.

Follow CLOUD NINE blog and CLOUD NINE Insta for more of our inspirational women content. Or to read more, check out our International Women's Day page.

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