About SSP

We hated growing up, because we always felt like we were different. It felt like everyone else had been issued with a rule book telling them what to do and what to be interested in and what was fashionable this year, and we couldn’t figure it out.

As adults in the world of work, it’s somehow seemed similar. Everyone’s on the same treadmill, obeying the same unwritten rules and speaking the same language – and with a set of values that we don’t necessarily believe in. We’ve seen lots of women break on the wheel of this difficult and confusing world, where the rules are made and enforced by people who are Not Like Us. We have both come near to it ourselves. We’ve felt like star-shaped pegs in a world of round holes, never really fitting in, never having a chance to use our talents.

But as adults, we’ve learned that it’s always more complicated. Everyone else isn’t the same. Many people feel like this all the time – a lot of them are women, but by no means all of them. In our journeys, we’ve met more and more star-shaped pegs. And this community is what’s helped us to survive and forge new paths, paths that are taking us to places where we can use our gifts and be more truly ourselves.

SSP is a record of our journeys and what we’ve learned and we’re still learning. It’s a work in progress – there are good days and bad days.But we believe that everyone’s different and we’re different for good reasons. This is a space to cultivate and nurture that difference, to build a community that brings strength for ourselves and others, to learn how to create star-shaped holes for ourselves rather than fitting into other people’s.

SSP is a feminist space. That doesn’t mean that men are unwelcome, but it does mean that everyone’s expected to understand that we live in a society where certain groups of people (men, heterosexuals, white people) are privileged, and to talk accordingly.

About us

Francesca has been a management consultant (specialising in learning), investment banker, IT project manager, executive coach, CV writer, secretary, maths teacher and image consultant. She is now a full-time positive psychology student. She’s particularly interested in communities and relationships, language, adult learning, addiction, style and image, spirituality and ways of getting more choice for women. She describes her personal style as ‘Edwardian Gothic Hollywood with a side order of Italian prostitute’.

Sarah Jane is an accountant who’d rather be a lion-tamer. (Right now she’s still an accountant, although we’re working on it, so this is a pseudonym.) She’s particularly interested in the ways society shapes women’s lives and ambitions, especially with reference to work and family, anti-consumerism, literature and the fantastic, women’s relationships with food,  and finding ways to reduce inequality in society. She describes her personal style as ‘character from a country-house murder mystery turned 1970s Dr Who companion’.

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