Making waves: Lessons from Britain’s top “accidental” sportswomen
Season 1, Ep. 4
In this episode…Susie Rodgers MBE was born without a fully formed arm or leg on the left side of her body. She turned her disability into a superpower, winning six Paralympic medals during her career as a professional swimmer. She retired from competitive sport in 2017 but says transitioning into the corporate world was tough: “You don’t get much support once you’re out the system. It’s pretty cutthroat.”In 2018, Nikki Henderson became the youngest skipper in history to finish the gruelling round-the-world Clipper Race. She was just 25. Having sailed Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic to the UN climate summit in Madrid at the end of last year, Nikki is at a “pivotal” moment in her career: “I’ve hit a natural break and I’m trying to figure out what to do next.”Susie and Nikki share their triumphs and “soul-destroying moments”, their constant battle for perfection, and their tips on resilience.Top three takeaways:Everything in life is either a victory or a lesson. There’s no such thing as failure.If you’re a leader, you’re a performer. You have to get used to putting on a mask.Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
How to command respect - when you have a baby face
Season 1, Ep. 2
In this episode…Shona Baijal lost her father when she was in her teens. “My mother was a qualified accountant but she gave up her career to raise a family,” she says. “When she was suddenly widowed at the age of 43, she was completely lost and bewildered.” Determined to be financially independent – and help other women with long-term wealth planning – Shona joined UBS Wealth Management straight out of uni and was promoted to managing director in 2013. Now in her 40s, she doesn’t want to slow down – so what’s next?French entrepreneur Juliette Souliman also has a big role at a young age. She founded two start-ups before joining Octopus as its youngest ever investment professional and now runs her own fintech fund, CRED. And she’s still just 25. “My family all work in fashion; I’m the black sheep that went into finance,” she says. “I adore what I do but am I prioritising the right things and will I have regrets further down the line?”Our finance duo discuss how to make sure you’re taken seriously as a young woman in a room full of men, how to stay sane(ish) and how to keep evolving and developing, even when you’re at the top of your game.Top three takeaways:• Don’t apologise for who you are. Acknowledge your own strengths and play to them.• Seek discomfort: if you want “abnormal” returns, you need to make abnormal decisions.• Find the right combination of people for your “personal boardroom” – and make sure your inner circle includes men.
The highs and lows of being a super-achiever
Season 1, Ep. 1
In this episode…Jacqueline de Rojas CBE spent her childhood trying to be invisible. Now, as president of techUK, she's one of the most powerful women in tech. She tells us how she went from survivor to thriver – and why she still sets her standards impossibly high: “Even if I got to a good place in everyone else’s eyes, it wouldn’t be enough for me,” she admits.Crystal Eisinger has just turned 30 and already heads up marketing strategy and operations at Google. Feeling the weight of a huge workload, she’s trying to set some boundaries and is learning to ask for help: “I wake up every day and throw myself against a brick wall, expecting that brick wall to move,” she says. “Surprise, surprise, it doesn’t budge. I just bruise myself.”They discuss the downfalls of being “hyper-vigilant”, how to have honest conversations with your boss, and why the term “mentor” needs a rebrand.Top three takeaways:• People don’t always need answers – sometimes they just need space to be heard.• If you’re struggling in the ocean, find a swim lane. Work out what “good enough” looks like.• Dress for the mood you want to be in (not the mood you’re already in).
Reinventing your career through motherhood and midlife
Season 1, Ep. 3
In this episode…Trish Halpin’s career high was in 2009, when she became editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. “I used to read Marie Claire when I was a student,” she says. “If you’d have told my younger self that I’d be editing the magazine one day, I’d have fallen on the floor in shock. Back then, I didn’t have the confidence to think I could do a job like that.” After a decade at the helm of Marie Claire, Trish, 52, is now reinventing herself as an editorial consultant and podcast host – and it’s “nerve-wracking”.Meanwhile, BITE managing editor Nicky Kemp has just turned 40, her youngest kid has started school and she’s “really ready to be ambitious”. She wants to continue working a four-day week and be a power part-timer.Our publishing pair share tips on how to pitch flexible working to your boss, how to use social media without letting it take over your life, and why women need to give themselves permission not to be perfect.Top three takeaways:• Real leadership happens when no-one is looking.• Flexibility and ambition shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.• Listening to someone is one of the most powerful things you can do for them. The enemy of love in modern life isn’t hate, it’s hurry.