What does “choose to challenge” mean to you?
For me it means you don’t automatically follow the herd!
As a woman and a woman of color – I think it’s important to speak out on the things you don’t think are right without automatically accepting the view of the majority.
Being bi-racial enables me to see both sides of the story to make an assessment is also an important ‘choose to challenge’ quality.
Who is a woman you admire as a challenger, and how do you carry on her legacy?
I don’t just admire one person, I admire women in general – and how we’ve proven to be so much more than mums and housewives.
My generation of female friends are mums who have careers and have to try and do it all, (particularly during Covid!). It helps to be clear when you want to achieve certain things, have the environment to succeed in and the joy of never taking that for granted!
With the status quo being challenged more and more, in the past 10 years, what have been the biggest changes you’ve noticed for women?
Women in general have really made it clear that the world can’t do without their contribution. We won’t be pushed or ignored and we are a force to be reckoned with on all angles and all levels in society. We have voices that are listened to and a seat at the table.
What advice do you have for a woman starting her career?
Have confidence that no matter where you start you will get where you want!
Your career is long, you own your own career and have a long way to go. This means making mistakes and starting in the wrong place doesn’t matter. You have the time to decide what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. It doesn’t matter how much time it takes to get there
Can you tell us about a time when you challenged a colleague and/or client? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
I’d pushed a new performance management system to a line manager in a different job that he didn’t want me to implement. I convinced him to let me pitch it to the rest of the team to see what they thought before we discarded the idea. He let me do it, it got lots of people voting for it and we launched it! If people don’t give me a good reason, I will challenge! I never accept a no without a good story - my husband will testify to this! The why is really important to me and I don’t back down without understanding it!
How do you build your inner resilience?
My life mantra is – it is what it is. Things go the way they go and you can of course be upset when they don’t go how you want them to but I find it comforting to know that you can move on – even if something is tough.
What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women?
It’s still keeping the balance between all the hats you wear - employee, leader, parent, friend, wife etc!
Do you think it is important for women to challenge one another? How do you challenge other women around you?
Never be fake. Be authentic so you can actually learn from each other. It’s important we are honest with each other in our challenges. Making out things are great all the time doesn’t help other people who’ll be chasing something that isn’t realistic. Keep it real, the less glamorous and insta filtered the story the better – honesty teaches others more.
What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received in your career
Enjoy it! Look back on the stuff you have achieved, be proud of the wins and take the time to sit back and acknowledge the great stuff!