What does your role consist of?
As an environment sustainability manager, my role is about helping create an industry that protects our environment, connects our communities and serves our customers whilst balancing our commercial priorities, to deliver value for money. My day is very varied, which makes it exciting, from being on a construction site to presenting to executive leaders. I work with designers, engineers, project managers and my job is to guide them on how to make major rail programmes more sustainable.
Has anyone inspired you during your career?
I think the one person that springs to mind was a mentor I met a few years ago. He taught me to take the time to step back, self-reflect and challenge myself when making important decisions on my career. He encouraged me to ask myself: “Is this the right direction for me?”, “Do I want to try something else?” and “Is there an opportunity for me to stretch myself?”. Ultimately, by encouraging me to push myself out of my comfort zone, he helped me see challenges as a learning opportunity.
Do you think women handle leadership roles differently from men?
I think everyone has a different leadership style. I look at leaders around me and learn from them the type of leader I would like, or would not like, to be. I look more at the person rather than the gender. Leadership is not really different across each gender. It’s more personal, and you learn from what you see.
What advice would you give to other women in rail?
You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Just because you and I are women doesn’t mean that we can’t climb up the career ladder to the top.
Interviewed August 2016