International Women’s Day – Vikki Seal

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

“International Women’s Day gives a platform to enable everyone to champion women in our professional and personal lives. I think it is important to have a day that creates an environment where everyone can celebrate what each individual brings to the table.”

What advice would you give to young women thinking about their careers?

“The advice I would give is to surround yourself with those who you trust and who are really positively minded. I established very early on in my life that I wanted to have a career where I would be surrounded by likeminded people, who are positive and strong drivers- people who want to encourage you and see you succeed and share in that success.

“Also, I’d say don’t be afraid. It is easier said than done but no matter how afraid I am, I always take up any opportunities that come my way. I would speak to my peers and my mentors seeking advice and also try to keep an open mind to each opportunity that presented itself. Advice is really important and by surrounding myself with those who want to see me succeed, it has allowed me to make some of the best decisions in my life; both personally and professionally.

“Having a positive mindset yourself is also something I would consider to be a crucial ingredient in a successful and happy career. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and if you’re happy to work hard for it. I am a firm believer in being kind to one another as well. I certainly recognise that without the kindness and support of others I wouldn’t be as successful in what I do. I consider myself to be very lucky that I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by those who champion me and encourage me to be my best.”

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

“I think diversity is important for a number of reasons. Making sure everyone has an opportunity and addressing subconscious bias is so important in a workplace. If I work in a business that I think operates fairly- people get paid fairly, treated fairly, and get fair exposure to grow within their roles, that for me, means that that’s the business that I would choose to work for. In the very early days of my working career, I would go into a business and sell myself and I had the mindset of “Does this business want me?” whereas my approach now is asking “Do I want to be a part of this business? Is this business going to give me a platform to allow myself to achieve my own goals?” I also like to see my colleagues being given that opportunity and I think that’s now more important than ever. Our successes are very much in our own hands, and I think that this is a fabulous opportunity for us to have, which is definitely something that wasn’t as common place at the start of my career journey- which shows just how far equal rights for women has come.”

What is the proudest moment in your career to date?

“The proudest moment, for me, was coming back to work after having my children. Having taken time out of the workplace to be a parent and achieve something I have wanted to do all of my life- become a mum- and being able to come back to work and successfully achieve the balance of motherhood and a professional career was something I found incredibly daunting. However, due to the support and understanding of the challenges I was faced with in this new phase of my life, I received by various Executive Team members and my colleagues, gave me the self-belief to come back to work full-time as well as being a new mum. The support I received from CET, was second to none. They allow me the flexibility to work around the commitments of my children.

“I was very proud of myself, to be a woman who continued my career, be a parent, and juggle these in really difficult circumstances. But I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the right level of support, and having people around me really encouraging me, and checking in on a regular basis to make sure I was okay. I have not found that being a female or being a working mum has been a restriction- I feel that it has made me better at my job and has positively impacted me in a way that I know see things and understand things differently. Becoming a mum has empowered me to become a successful professional individual, by not only having my family network but also having my colleagues around me to support me.”

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