Mentor and Leader, Rebecca Jackson Chooses to Challenge!

Rebecca Jackson, Tendering Director, takes the opportunity of International Women’s Day last month to reflect on the topic of Women in Leadership.

I chose to go straight into full-time work as opposed to doing A levels and further education, and after roles within a multinational bank and a global chemical company (where I studied and gained my degree), I joined Invensys Ltd, who were subsequently acquired by Schneider Electric.

Rebecca Jackson Mentor

My roles within Schneider have all had a ‘service’ element to them, whether they be customer-facing or back office. They have spanned different businesses and locations and in each, I’ve gained experience which I’ve taken with me into the next role. I work hard but I love life away from it, so it’s not all toil. I run and cycle, I love to ski in Winter and Paddleboard in Summer and relax with Yoga … oh and an occasional glass or two of decent wine.

In my current role as Tendering Director, I manage Technical, Tendering and Commercial teams across the UK and Sub Saharan Africa, and no two days are the same. It’s diverse, fast-paced, and incredibly challenging, which drives my motivation.

Motivation is fuelled by inspiration and I’ve worked with both men and women who have shown brilliance in their roles, including their leadership. They are confident, professional, and honest and remain true to their beliefs; they build great teams and readily earn respect.

“Motivation is fuelled by inspiration and I’ve worked with both men and women who have shown brilliance in their roles”

I’ve shared that inspiration and been privileged to play a part in many people’s careers, coaching and being a mentor to both men and women who have also gone on to shine. There is nothing better than seeing those people move on to bigger and better things and I am always truly proud to have helped drive their development. If you get the chance, be a mentor and inspire others.

Being a woman in today’s workplace is tough; expectations of both men and women are high right now, yet somehow it feels like females must ‘go the extra mile’ to prove themselves. It feels it’s acceptable to be challenged by male colleagues yet deemed confrontational when we do the same or defend ourselves and often sees women going above and beyond simply to demonstrate we remain on top of our game.

“If you get the chance, be a mentor and inspire others”

I‘m an avid reader and Untamed by Glennon Doyle is a worthy read; billed as part memoir/part self-help. In Glennon’s eyes, she is in no way perfect and after years of trying to be who society expects her to be, she finally cuts through the pretense to say ‘Here I am.’

I echo that, in leadership, in fact in any role, a key lesson that I’ve learned is that you can’t please everyone, so don’t try. Don’t be someone you’re not, be the absolute best version of you!

Rebecca Mentor

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