Eloise Turner |

International Women's Day: Interview with Fodbods Founder, Vanessa Hutchinson

International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, is a global day to celebrate, reflect upon, and acknowledge the women who surround us, those who inspire and implore us to be the best version of ourselves.

As a female-founded and led business, we’re constantly striving to make Fodbods an inclusive brand where consumers are supported to not only conquer life without gut issues but also feel empowered and unstoppable every step (or bite) of the way.

In an enlightening conversation with our founder, Vanessa, we delved into her perspective on International Women’s Day, exploring her insights on female empowerment and the challenges that women navigate in the business landscape.


What are you most proud of in your career?

I’m incredibly proud of Fodbods – that a personal struggle and idea has led to a brand that positively impacts thousands of people every day. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day running of a business (often wondering why on earth I was crazy enough to embark on this rollercoaster journey) but if I take a step back, it’s hard not to be proud of what I/we’ve built. It has been an immensely steep learning curve scattered with countless curveballs and mistakes but we’re still here and growing. 

Can you share some of the challenges you've encountered as a woman in business?

I think the biggest challenge I face daily is the juggle of being a mum and business owner – the constant guilt and feeling like I’m not doing a good job of either. I’m sure this is felt by many parents though, not just women.

I’ve worked in a lot of male dominated environments – commercial law, finance, venture capital. There have been many occasions when I was the only woman in a room of men when it was assumed I was the secretary and I’ve been subject to some pretty extreme gaslighting.

In contrast, however, being a woman in business can be advantageous. I’m very lucky to have worked with and been mentored by some incredibly supportive women who genuinely want me to succeed. In my experience, most women rally around each other, they have empathy and understanding. So we really need more women in senior leadership and the business world will be a better place. 

This year's theme is #InspireInclusion, a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. How do you convey this at Fodbods?

Being inclusive is inherent in everything we do at Fodbods:

Our brand is about health, wellness, being happy and living your best life. We use bright, happy colours that should appeal to everyone.

We intentionally make products for everyone to enjoy, and our customers are from all walks of life – parents, kids, athletes, health conscious, vegans, those with gut issues and those without. All we want is for people to love them and feel great!

Do you have any advice for women looking to start their own business or climb the corporate ladder?

My biggest piece of advice is to have confidence in yourself because you’re just as capable as everyone else. Challenge yourself, take (measured) risks and really go after what you want. 

Use being a woman to your advantage – seek out other amazing women who lift you up, offer a different perspective and say yes to more opportunities. 

Who’s a woman you admire?

I have so much admiration for Jacinda Arden – an absolute legend! As Prime Minister of New Zealand during an incredibly challenging time, she led with empathy and understanding. She’s so impressive but also a person just like everyone else. She had a baby while in power which I know would have been unbelievably hard (I’ve had two babies since starting Fodbods and the juggle is real) but just shows what women are capable of! 


Tags: Fodbods, tips
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