Vanessa Sanyauke

Girls Talk London CEO. Age 29.

Please could you tell us a bit about Girls Talk?

I started Girls Talk because I saw a gap in the market and I thought that there needed to be a platform for young, millennial women to talk about issues which affect us. Girls Talk is all about connecting young girls and women with the FTSE 100 businesses. We’re about trying to get more young girls and women into the top 100 companies in the UK and, in particular, male dominated businesses.

What were you like at school?

I was actually a good student. I was a prefect and I was always very academic and worked hard, but I was also always getting told off for talking in class. It’s quite funny because now my day job is centred around me talking, for example presenting our talk show and hosting our Q&A events, so it kinda helped me into what I do now.

Where do you find your confidence?

Between 16 and 18 I was actually in an abusive relationship. When I came out of it I realised I was much stronger than I thought I was and realised how determined I could be to succeed. I think if you go through something quite traumatic at a young age you can either let yourself sink or swim. I really pushed myself to overcome what I went through and I think that’s where I developed my sense of strength.

What do you still want to achieve?

I really want to be a millionaire… that’s one of the things I’d love to achieve. In terms of non-material things, I really want to achieve happiness. I want to achieve that sense of fulfilment where when you look back on your life, you’re able to say that you left a legacy. When I’m gone I want young women to be inspired by the work I’ve done. I think that’s what I ultimately want to achieve.

I really want to be a millionaire. That’s one of the things I’d love to achieve.
If your teenage self could see you now – what would she think?

If my teenage self could see me now I think she would laugh! I think she would laugh and say “oh my gosh – you were brave enough not to listen to your parents… I can’t believe you had the nerve to do that!” I think she would be quite shocked that I actually chose to follow my own dreams.