Top trumps alert! What are the three cards you’ve played to help you get where you are in your career?

  1. Listening - you don’t learn anything without listening to those around you and then asking the right questions. We have a wealth of wonderful people in this industry and it would be a crime not to get their views. Right from our very first clients at Bluestripe through to the multinationals on our client roster now, I always make the time to talk and also be available to those who want to talk to me. Sometimes this industry makes heroes out of those who are always on broadcast mode. Perhaps we should shift the dial back the other way.
  2. Resilience - I have been made redundant twice in my career. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but I benefited from both experiences. I gained confidence in my own abilities and went on to become a freelance PR consultant working with PR agencies and clients globally for over fifteen years. I am sure I would not have made this move (which allowed me to work from home and raise children pre-hybrid working) if I had not lost my job.
  3. Surrounding myself with a great team - My first boss, a woman, gave me the best advice - surround yourself with great people and empower them to be brilliant! A great example is the female dominated senior leadership team at Bluestripe which is packed with brilliant women.

Ballsiness, being the bossy boots, Machiavellian ruthlessness - why do many women feel that they need to act tough to succeed? What are the real hallmark signs of good female leaders?

Women have varied leadership styles just as men do. I think it is up to each woman to concentrate on being a great leader, not necessarily a great female leader.

I have worked with some incredible leaders and they all had several things in common - a clear vision and sense of purpose; a passion to succeed; a measure of confidence; they were adaptable and they were empathetic.

Who has inspired you in your career? Why?

My late father first got me interested in PR - he had heard a radio programme about how it was going to be the next big thing, and thought it would suit me. The way he related it to me, PR would combine creativity and innovation with the persuasive arguments of the Law (my first career choice).

He was right! I went on to develop a 30 year career in PR spanning agencies, in-house and more recently co-founding Bluestripe Group with Justin Pearse and Andy Oakes. 

If you could wave your magic wand and right one wrong in the workplace, what would it be and what would you do?

I found out years after the event that women in my team had avoided being alone with an individual amid concerns of unwanted behaviour. I want women to feel confident that they can stand up for themselves and call out wrong behaviour and that they will be supported by their peers and leaders.

The route to success is never smooth. What tips, professional, personal, and left of field, would you give rising stars, if you were starting out today?

Become an expert: As a young student, I was told to find a niche and become an expert in it, this still rings true today. Find an area of your role that you are curious about, that captures your interest and become the expert. Having a point of differentiation will help you stand out.

Build your network: It’s never too early in your career to start building your network. Despite hybrid working, social media and all the tech that surrounds us, we remain social beings and we like to work with people that we feel we know and trust.  Set yourself challenges to extend your network in real life as well as online.

Treat others with respect: Good leaders understand that everyone’s contribution is important and treat people with respect regardless.

Don’t be afraid to strike out on your own! Ignore the voice inside your head and trust in yourself. 

Contact if you would like to share an opinion with the community. You can also SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER HERE