Claire Proudlove, on who she is today
In the sixth 'Women in business' series of blog posts which highlight and support how important diversity in our workplace is, we talk to Director of Client Services at Optamor, Claire Proudlove as she discusses her unique take on what it is to be a woman in business.
How did you get where you are today?
Hard work and accepting the need to develop my skills and approach to bridge the gap between parts of my inherent personality and the wider range of skills required to achieve success in my chosen field. I have a strong internal work ethic and can be openly stubborn when I truly believe in something. I don’t give up. For me, every day is a school day.
What woman inspires you and why?
My mum is a huge inspiration and taught me you can be yourself to achieve things. She juggled all aspects of her life and was a strong guiding light. There isn’t any one woman outside of my family that inspires me, rather I am inspired by types of people. I take inspiration from various balanced and mature people and I believe it’s about what they’ve achieved not who they are.
What top 3 tips do you have for women in business today?
1. Don’t rely on being a woman. If you’re good enough, gender doesn’t matter. Go after what you want, be successful as a person not just as a woman.
2. Work hard.
3. Be aware of your impact – seek support and advice where you need it. Learn about areas you need to develop. It is not a failure to surround yourself with good people. Be as generous with your knowledge as you expect others to be with theirs.
What are the biggest changes you've seen in terms of women in business?
Generally in the 18 years I have been working full time there has been a definite change. In terms of attitude/effectiveness there are more support structures to help women have a voice. We should be advocating the right people for the job and training the right people; for me it is not about fulfilling a quota. There is a need for new flexible structures in place in order to get people back to work and we are definitely seeing that now. Businesses need to recognise the importance of the retention of women; Serocor Group is the best example in my work history of the types of encouragement initiatives to keep women in the business. Ultimately however, ability should rise above any other trait.
What was your dream job as a child and why?
I wanted to be a journalist as I love words! I love to read, learn and understand things. When I had my tonsils out as a child I brought a dictionary with me to read! For those that know me well that will not be a surprise!