MyKindaFuture's Inspirational Women

MyKindaFuture's Inspirational Women

Friday, 9th of March

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, we asked some of our team at MyKindaFuture to share their experiences of being, or working alongside, inspirational women within employment. They share their thoughts and advice through a Q&A, celebrating the role of women in the workplace today, but also highlight the improvements that are still yet to be made. #PressForProgress

Rowena Bach, Head of Product Development

What do you feel empowers you within your current role?

Autonomy and space to win or fail with support. Opportunity to bust open (perceived) barriers. Lots of opportunities to learn and develop.

How do you try and inspire others through your work?

I share (hopefully on welcome ears) tips and techniques that have helped me. Mostly I try to get to know them, their aspirations, their worries and help them be their best in every situation. Through my work, I hope I inspire with an impeccable work ethic, keen focus on keeping it as light and fun as possible, and pushing to be better every time.

Generally, what do you feel needs to be improved for women today in the workplace?

Flexible working is still awkward – I hate having to leave the office at 4:30pm every day and often walk out saying “bye, I’m online!” because I always work on the way back and in the evening, and in the morning before my daughter gets up.

Across your working life, have you ever felt disadvantaged because of your gender?

Not because I’m specifically a woman, thankfully. But I think my female characteristics have had an effect, for example nurturing can be seen as ‘unleadership’, or when I’m outspoken it has been seen as bossy. So irritating.  

What actions do you take to empower other women within your workplace?

I stand up for women in discussions, especially when I feel that they may be being judged for not displaying predominantly ‘male’ characteristics of competition, speaking first, or winning at all costs.  I was the first person at MKF to work flexibly in the London office and feel that has helped to open people’s minds to show that it is possible.

What advice would you give to woman today who want to excel in their desired career?

Be patient. Be persistent. Network extensively. Be open to random opportunities as you never know where they will lead. Be bold. Back yourself. Work on your inner voice to make sure it’s constructive, not destructive and holding you back.

If you could have dinner with any woman of your choice, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Ada Lovelace. First female computer programmer. When computer programming wasn’t even really defined, she battled intense stereotypes to get her voice and ideas heard. And she never gave up. And she was pretty glamourous, too!

Simon Reichwald, Emerging Talent Lead

Generally, what do you feel needs to be improved for women today in the workplace?

To be flexible as an employer, both when it comes to agreed and contracted hours and when the unexpected happens and a member of your team needs to adjust any of their hours.

What actions do you take to empower other women within your workplace?

Demonstrate visibly the flexibility you are able to provide. Especially for women who return to work following having a child – they are especially able to offer so much experience, calmness in the face of challenge, resilience, patience and commitment… I could go on! In short, they bring so much to the workplace – I would not be without them.

If you could have dinner with any woman of your choice, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

My wife as I am away quite a lot and when I am home, so busy with family life! I just hope she feels the same if she was asked a similar question…!

Becky Jenkins, Senior Commercial Assistant

What do you feel empowers you within your current role?

Having the control to make decisions that will the shape the success of the business and the direction that it’s going.

Generally, what do you feel needs to be improved for women today in the workplace?

From the perspective of being a mother, I feel there needs to be more support for women returning to work following maternity leave, or simply just changing teams, for example. From a women’s point of view, when you are progressing through your career, there is a need to be treated with respect. Making assumptions and judgements prior to learning about someone’s experience or capabilities doesn’t empower women, just as it wouldn’t any other individual based on their perceived gender, age, race, sexuality, and so on.   

What actions do you take to empower other women within your workplace?

No matter what job someone does, their gender, age everyone is entitled to a level of respect. Treat everyone how you wish to be treated, regardless of their sexuality, gender, age, position of power etc 

What advice would you give to woman today who want to excel in their desired career?

Be as resilient as you can be, don’t let negative opinions affect your own opinion of yourself.  

If you could have dinner with any woman of your choice, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Michelle Obama. Because she is a wife, a mother, but also a strong, independent businesswoman within her own right. It is often difficult to strike a balance between these three, however she sets an inspirational example, and outwardly seems to get the balance right. I’d like to ask her how she does it!

Blair England, Senior University Relationship Manager

What do you feel empowers you within your current role?

Being able to make a difference to someone’s future and opportunities is a huge reward to my role.

How do you try and inspire others through your work?

Coming up with innovative ideas and events and really getting under the skin of what students and companies are looking to achieve.

Generally, what do you feel needs to be improved for women today in the workplace?

Better flexible working opportunities and being able to work outside of usual office hours.

Across your working life, have you ever felt disadvantaged because of your gender?

I have felt underappreciated and underestimated in the workplace, sometimes however that has related more so to do with the work I am doing or the grade I am in rather than my gender.

What actions do you take to empower other women within your workplace?

Offering to share any skills or information I have to empower other people to develop and take on additional responsibilities.

What advice would you give to woman today who want to excel in their desired career?

Don’t lose sight of your dream career but do your best in any job you get as you never know what opportunities it may offer!

If you could have dinner with any woman of your choice, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Margot Fonteyn

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