As a franchise, FASTSIGNS firmly believes everyone has a part to play – and have had a woman at the top-level, for decades. Through CEO, Catherine Monson, women gain confidence to follow the FASTSIGNS model for success. This International Women’s Day we celebrate the success of the women in our franchise network.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The first day, in 1911, saw around 1 million people backing the initiative, which has gathered pace and momentum to today. At FASTSIGNS, we are proud women are realising their potential within our franchise – from the top-level, to franchisees, to designers, sign-makers. Our CEO, Catherine Monson, is a clear example of what women can do.
Having determined from her teens she would become a CEO, Catherine has inspired many women who aspire for top level careers. “Women can be just as successful as men,” Catherine says, “but success is like anything worthwhile, there’s a price for reaching the place where success becomes possible. We determine for ourselves how we want to define success, then give it our everything.”
The bfa NatWest franchising survey, released December 2017, shows increasing numbers of women becoming franchisees, with 37% of all new franchisees over the last two years being female. Especially amongst the under 30’s, 52% of whom are female. In America, where FASTSIGNS originated, the IFA commissioned a report which also showed a similar increase of women franchise-owners of 50% compared to their previous report.
FASTSIGNS is a franchise opportunity for those with an artistic flair for success. Through the use of start-of-the-art technology, they deliver creative solutions for customers’ branding needs. With over 33 years of experience and innovative design behind them, FASTSIGNS owners offer businesses high-quality, high-impact resources, like digital signage, banners, vehicle graphics, windows, walls, doors or floors graphics.
One of FASTSIGNS’ top-performing franchisees, Friederike Slee, co-owns FASTSIGNS Hammersmith with her husband. She says, “Being a female franchise-owner is empowering, particularly in the signage industry, which is 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 running our business. On a personal note, I enjoy the flexibility I have for raising my young family.”
One of the newest women to take on a FASTSIGNS centre, Melanie Martinez, bought the franchise she had worked in for 20 years, with her husband and their business partner. “Having recently purchased FASTSIGNS Crawley, we are at the start of an exciting journey! I feel excited and empowered as a female franchisee, especially after having been employed here for so long. 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 FAST Southampton in October, with her husband, is already taking huge strides forward in her new business venture. “I stepped out on this journey in an entirely new industry. It’s been a challenging learning curve, but FASTSIGNS have been exceptionally supportive. Every day is different and an opportunity to learn. Where I make mistakes, they become a positive learning process, giving me immense satisfaction in every milestone of our business.”
As Catherine says, “There is absolutely a place for women within FASTSIGNS! We have a lot of female franchisees, outside sales teams, 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!”
If this describes you, discover your place within FASTSIGNS! Contact Hannah on: …