1. Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I often get asked “should we have a day? Yes, I think so mainly because I love any excuse to celebrate and telling people how great they as often as possible. Personally, for me, it is about having an environment and inclusive work culture where everyone’s careers can thrive and achievements celebrated. If international women day allows us to stop and reflect and recognise individuals then let’s do it!
2. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
I have always worked in sectors that are predominantly male-dominated such as Construction and Engineering. I have not faced any barriers quite the opposite, however, there is still a lot of work to be done in getting more talented females into those industries.
3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
There is so much great advice I have been given over the years it is hard to pinpoint one particular standout. So for me, it is about just staying true to yourself and don’t ever let anyone tell you that your too ambitious “reach for the stars”.
4. What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Listen and bring the energy to the room – I think one of my favourite quotes is “when you talk you are only repeating what you know. But if you listen you may learn something new” Dalai Lama.
5. Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
Many have inspired me both male and female but I think the important question isn’t who but why, as that is what we can all learn from? Each person who has inspired me was encouraging, supportive and made me believe I could achieve anything I wanted to by giving me a voice that was heard and took me seriously
6. Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
For me it is just about inclusion – everybody should feel included and we need to do two things, firstly, care about people and secondly, have the courage to call what is wrong out.
7. If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Dr Kate Goodger – amazing person who no matter how busy she was always had time for everyone and gave me some great simple advice “take responsibility” which has always stuck with me – I tried to write down everything she said to me as there was always so many golden nuggets and inspiration in her guidance.
Joanna Lumley – stands up for people and is not afraid to challenge bullies and call them out.
Oprah Winfrey – she is a huge inspiration to me, she has been through trauma and come out smiling and takes what has happened to try and help others. Oprah is a great role model of resilience to us all plus I loved reading her book “a path made clear” similar to Dr Kate – the sense of a purpose is powerful.