Getting off to a good start

At the start line

  I can hardly believe the start of the new academic year is already well underway. The noise as new voices fill the corridors and the canteens, the sense of excitement, the vague looks on faces as people try to find their way around a new place… If you are a new starter – whether you that means new to this role or new to the organisation – you may be feeling a potent mixture of excitement and overwhelm. There […]

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A 50+ hour work week?

Pulling together

Fact: many researchers and academics work long hours. It’s the type of career that you choose because you love it. Work-life balance usually means something different to researchers than to many people. Most researchers will tell you that they love the work so much that it often doesn’t feel like work. I know I always felt really privileged that I got paid to do stuff that I was amazingly interested in, each and every day. But, (and you knew the but was coming […]

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PWC Women In Work Index

Mouse short-cutting the maze

PWC have published their most recent report: the Women in Work Index. The UK could boost it’s GDP by 9% if we had the same proportion of women in work as in Sweden. When it comes to the number of women in full time employment, the UK ranks 30th out of 33… That we have so few women in full time employment might mean that we have a lot of loving mums who can’t bear to leave their children and who […]

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PhDs – fit for purpose?

 Are you a scientist? Have you done a PhD in a science or science related area? If so, do you feel that your PhD prepared you for your life and work in the months and years that followed that training period? In many of my encounters with younger, early career researchers in the sciences, there’s an underlying discontent. It comes in many forms but a common theme is, “I never expected it to be like this”. People did their PhDs. They knew […]

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What’s in a name?

students

“The prime minister will announce on Monday that a series of leading employers in the public and private sectors have agreed to recruit candidates on a name blind basis (including the BBC, the NHS, the civil service outside the highest ranks, KPMG and HSBC). Deloitte will say that it is going a step further and blanking out the name of a candidate’s school and university during the interview process.” The Guardian 26.10.15 What is so dangerous in knowing the name of a […]

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Of course men make better leaders???

Woman climbing over fence

Discussing career development, advancement and progression I recently heard the sadly familiar opinion “It’s not surprising there are fewer women at the top, women just don’t make such successful leaders.”. My heart sank. How long does it take for facts to overtake stereotypical but outdated bias? We see men in positions of leadership so we assume men make better leaders – despite evidence to the contrary. A woman may have a different leadership style to a man though it is at least […]

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Women in senior positions – what is holding you back?

Man and Woman share a "high 5" success

While I was a researcher working my way up through the ranks and now, as a coach working with women in various organisations, I see again and again, the very male dominated ranks of senior management groups. Why is this? Over the years many possible reasons have been put forward – women weren’t good enough, weren’t tough enough, preferred family over career, would get there in equal numbers just as soon as the pipeline flowed through… Each of these has been […]

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On starting a new PhD

Thought bubble what if...

It’s that time of year again when academic engines are gearing up for a new intake of students, for the new year groups to settle in and for new research students to start their programmes. For most of us, staff and students alike it can be a mixture of excitement and apprehension. I find that no matter how well I prepare there’s always a rush to the start line accompanied by a little more work than I thought it would […]

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Building networks, making connections

The human brain is an amazing thing. Maybe 86 billion individual cells, each capable of making up to 10,000 different connections with other cells. The complexity of this network is currently beyond our capacity to map and it is probably what makes each one of us unique as an individual. Yet, despite the fact we perceive ourselves as individuals, our own brains in our own bodies, we are made for connection and relationship, yes, even the most extreme introverts out […]

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Why Coaching Works

Thought bubble what if...

Who believes in you more than you do? I trained as a Coach over 10 years ago and have worked with hundreds of clients over the years. Throughout this time I’ve also found it helpful to work with a selection of Coaches myself, not continuously but frequently. I’ve particularly chosen to be coached through times when I knew I was stretching myself, expanding, growing. For me there are two major reasons I choose to work with a Coach: Focus Becoming […]

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