“A feminist can be a stay-at-home mum just as much as she can be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.”
Scarlett V Clark was just 19-years-old when she became the CEO of Smart Girl Tribe.
As a motivational speaker, professional podcaster, soon-to-be-author and ambassador for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, she has her hands constantly full with her work.
Clark noticed at a rather young age that our world is lacking in safe and inclusive spaces where women can access resources and support. She combined her dream to help women with her amazing sense of ambition to create the UK’s number one source of female empowerment.
What began as a digital magazine has now led her to work with major organizations such as the UN’s HeforShe, as she builds a safe space for women on the internet.
So far, Clark has created a supportive community for over half a million women and her ‘Smart Girl Tribe’ podcast is equal parts empowering and educational. Her platform is continuously redefining what it means to be a woman in the current political climate – and has no plans of stopping.
The inspiration behind Smart Girl Tribe is simple:
“I felt that women were worth more than what we were being sold. Movies, magazines and ads in the subway were only focusing on three subjects; sex, weight, and boyfriends. Someone had to change the system, someone had to do something, and then I realized I am someone.”
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Clark puts the spectacular success of Smart Girl Tribe down to tackling the big problems, as she sheds light on issues such as mental health, the gender pay gap and other social justice issues affecting young women.
“It’s crucial that all women, particularly young women, have a safe space online because we need to give a voice to the female experience. This isn’t about men bashing at all. Smart Girl Tribe, the business and all team members truly value men and the contributions they make. It’s just vital that all young women have an outlet where they are seen, heard and valued.”
Starting Smart Girl Tribe as a teenager did not come without struggle but the risk was well worth the reward for the young entrepreneur.
“I set it up at 19 when I found that magazines were only focusing on sex, weight, and boyfriends, not the conversations I or my friends were having. Smart Girl Tribe has since become the leading hub for young women, we were really one of the first platforms to talk about mental health and diversity.”
Clark reminisces some of the barriers she faced on her climb to the top, dealing as so many women do with not being taken seriously for her efforts.
“I was a teenage CEO, nobody took me seriously at the start. Smart Girl Tribe was often just seen as a hobby, the “thing” on the side. I was an academic, I was achieving exceptional grades and my professors were really encouraging me to go into politics so it took a lot to turn my back on that corporate world and go down a more creative path. I really believed in Smart Girl Tribe and even then we had an amazing community encouraging us.”
Despite these setbacks, Smart Girl Tribe remains an important and safe space for women online. Growing up, Clark noticed the gendered language, lack of representation and often skewed ways women are portrayed in the media, particularly in the realm of politics. It’s in her nature to stand up for the disadvantaged so Smart Girl Tribe is a platform to support women as they fight twice as hard for the same rights as men.
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☀️ Good morning SMART GIRL TRIBERS. 👩🏼💻 This is Scarlett here, the brains behind the brand and I’m contemplating moving my personal account across to this platform so we are all in the same space. 💖 We tend to publish the same content but on my Instagram you can see the books I’m reading, when I’m speaking and who I’m meeting- ALL posts I am sure you’ll love. 🔮 So, here is my first personal post. Me last night heading off to meet the extraordinary Emma Watson, and yes she is as brilliant as you would expect. 🌟 Maybe in the next post I’ll share a few more things about me and properly introduce myself 😉
“When Smart Girl Tribe was first created I was being told I needed to sell like a man, and people would compliment me on how masculine I was, given my ambition. The patriarchy was so obvious and that’s really when everything made sense to me and how breath-taking Smart Girl Tribe was – nobody was doing what we were.”
“A feminist can be a stay-at-home Mom just as much as she can be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. It would be all too easy to highlight the celebrities and well-known advocates for women’s rights, I like to celebrate the women on the ground. Smart Girl Tribe has a responsibility to represent every girl and I love how different we all are.”
This interest in providing a safe and authentic platform for women has also led Clark to work with UN Women to help raise awareness around domestic violence as a promotor of the #DrawALine campaign.
“UN Women is a phenomenal organization and I am so proud that I have been able to work with them. Together, we organized a series of events in London to celebrate the arts and gender equality, I was part of the team organizing and promoting it.”
The current political climate is challenging for women and it can be hard to remain positive. Despite the difficulties we face, Clark shines through and it’s clear that she’s brilliant at her job as a motivational speaker.
“Negativity churned into positivity” is her mantra and it’s a magical one at that.
“It would be easy to complain about the mess we are in as women, through no fault of our own but time and time again I see the action we are collectively taking. That keeps me positive – seeing how much is being done on the ground.”
Clark loves her life and her job as a motivational speaker. She reaches thousands of people with her message and loves meeting and interacting with her ‘Tribers’. When asked about the sacrifices she had to make to get to the top, Clark didn’t know where to begin.
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“I have sacrificed a steady income (and for those first few years, any income at all), and unlike my friends rather than moving in with my boyfriend or buying a car I was putting everything into my business.”
“The entrepreneurial life in itself can bring a lot of challenges – it’s not about being the smartest or the most experienced, it’s about perseverance and being the one that can hold on for the longest. It certainly has been a roller-coaster, but if you don’t find a way, you’ll find an excuse. I have always believed in the Tribe and I have never listened when someone has said no—that’s what my success comes down to.”
Clark encourages women to ‘take their dreams and times them by ten’.
“We have been conditioned as women to shrink ourselves and apologize for taking up space”.
“I was just a teenager, nobody took me seriously… I got so used to it I started believing it could never be a business either. I would celebrate small victories, which you should do but I never thought how big Smart Girl Tribe could be until 18 months ago. That’s when I really starting believing that I was deserving of this and that Smart Girl Tribe really could be everything it is today.”
If there’s one thing you take away from Scarlett V Clark, it’s that passion and ambition can overcome all barriers. Success isn’t measured in money or power but in doing your best and proving them wrong when they tell you that you can’t do something. Success is believing in yourself and your dreams.
When she isn’t jet setting and changing the world, Scarlett can be found podcasting and connecting with the Smart Girl Tribe community. To join the Smart Girl Tribe, join the private Smart Girl Tribe society Facebook group, listen to the podcast and follow the Smart Girl Tribe Instagram.
Keep up with Scarlett’s journey as a girl boss and see what she gets up to on her personal Instagram.
Featured image via instagram.com.
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