FASTSIGNS has had a female CEO for over a decade. Through Catherine Monson, women gain confidence to follow the company’s franchise model
Having determined in her teens that she would become a CEO, Catherine Monson is an inspiration to women aspiring to achieve high level careers.
She says: “Women can enjoy the same professional success as men. We determine how we define our own personal success, but like anything worthwhile you have to be committed to learning, resilient and determined to achieve.”
The British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey, released in December 2017, shows increasing numbers of women becoming franchisees, with 37 per cent of all new franchisees over the last two years being female.
FASTSIGNS is a franchise that utilises state of the art technology to deliver creative signs and graphic solutions to businesses, helping them to overcome their communication challenges.
With over 34 years of experience, FASTSIGNS centres offer businesses high quality, high impact visual resources like digital signage, banners, vehicle graphics and windows, walls, doors and floors graphics.
Friederike Slee, one of FASTSIGNS’ top performing franchisees, co-owns FASTSIGNS Hammersmith with her husband.
She says: “Being a female franchise owner is empowering, particularly in the signage industry, as it can be perceived to be male dominated.
“My background as a landscape architect gave me skills in project management, creative design and customer service, which helps with the running of our business. On a personal note, I enjoy the flexibility the business affords me to spend time raising my young family. A positive work-life balance is very important.”
Melanie Martinez, one of the newest women to take on a FASTSIGNS centre, bought the franchise she had worked in for 20 years with her husband and their business partner.
“Having recently purchased FASTSIGNS Crawley, I feel excited and empowered as a female franchisee, especially after having been employed here for so long,” Melanie says. “As a mother to two daughters, I wanted to set an example for them, so will dedicate myself to drive our business forward.”
Similarly, Ronke Osula, who only opened FASTSIGNS Southampton in October with her husband, is already taking huge strides forward in her new business.
“I stepped out on this journey in an entirely new industry,” Ronke says. “It’s been a challenging learning curve, but FASTSIGNS has been exceptionally supportive.
“Every day is different and an opportunity to learn. Where I make mistakes, this becomes a positive learning process, giving me immense satisfaction for every milestone our business achieves.”
Best version of themselves
Catherine adds: “There is absolutely a place for women within FASTSIGNS. We have a lot of female franchisees, outside sales professionals, graphic designers and sign makers.
“Our franchise model works, not based on what gender someone is, but on their aptitude to be the best version of themselves. For some women, this will include having the ability to be the best FASTSIGNS owner they can.”