Introducing our new Executive Assistant to CEO and Business Projects Manager
Where did you grow up and what’s your best memory of that place
I was born in London and then moved to Bournemouth on the South Coast of England when I was about 6. My best memory was riding around the streets after school on my bike with my best friend Sarah. Her mum let us do much more than my dad did so we always got up to all sorts that we shouldn’t have! We had matching bikes and had so much fun together. My biological mother left when I was very young so having Sarah in those years really cemented our friendship. We are still best friends now in our early 40’s although unfortunately she is still in the UK so I don’t get to see her as often. I did go back for her 40th as a surprise in 2018 and turned up at her work in a Dora the Explorer Suit – she didn’t have a clue and when I took the head off the costume, she was absolutely stunned! Best moment ever!
If you could give your younger self (aged 18 or 21) some advice what would it be?
Relationships and friendships come and go, build a solid foundation within yourself. Get to know YOU. There’s only one person that you have to live with for the rest of your life and that is YOU. Put yourself first more – say no more, I did way too much people pleasing which I’m still guilty of now at times but I’m getting better at it and getting better at being ok with it. As Air New Zealand would say, put your own oxygen mask on first before others!
What would you like to see changed, for the better, for all women?
Equality in the workplace is a big one for me. Women need to know that if they work hard, then they can succeed and have access to the same opportunities as men. It seems so simple right? It’s really disheartening to know that even if you are great at your job, the system is stacked against you. Women need to have equal access to employment, advancement, pay, and respect. It seems so simple yet here we are in 2021, still fighting for it.
Can you share a time or moment when you felt unstoppable/invincible/on fire (and why)?
That would have to be when I left England behind in 2014 and was on a plane to New York (all paid by my last boss as a leaving bonus!) and eventually on to New Zealand. I had never been brave enough to live anywhere else so this was a huge step for me. Leaving behind everything and everyone I knew was super hard. I had spent 35 years building up a social network and that’s not easy to leave but I was at a point in my life where things needed shaking up and I never imagined I’d still be here 7 years later let alone married! But here I am. Sitting on that plane, I felt excited about all the possibilities ahead. I wasn’t worried as I knew if I didn’t like it, I could just go home so it was a win win situation. So after many uncomfy networking sessions, awkward conversations selling myself, pushing myself out of comfort zones, doing what I didnt have the courage to do in England, I managed to make a pretty good name and life for myself here gaining my Permanent Residency and employment through my experience. Having residency in 2 different countries makes me feel that I have achieved something really great and that opens up opportunities which is ultimately what life is about!
Can you tell us why you joined the Y?
I was contacted directly by Dellwyn the CEO when she heard I was looking for work – she also knows a past CEO I worked for and had heard good things about me! I came from Diversity Works New Zealand who are passionate about workplace inclusion so the Y seemed like a fitting continuation for my career. I like to work for organisations where I feel we are making a difference and also anyone I mentioned Dellwyn’s name too, sang her praises for the work she does and the wonderful person she is – so how could I possibly say no?