Yesterday was my first day at FieldHouse, but it certainly didn't feel like it. Two interviews and a night in the pub is all it took for Cordelia and the team to convince me that this was best place for the next step in my career.
2016 was clearly a year of siesmic change and one that will go down as a major turning point in British history. Also globally, we were rocked by major political, social and economic upheaval with yet more to come this year. It also marked a more positive change much more closer to home……for me. After nearly 11 years with my previous PR agency, I felt it was time to bite the bullet and try something new.
When the opportunity arose to attend the event at which Nesta would be announcing its predictions for 2017, it seemed only sensible to head on over and find out from the horse’s mouth what it thinks will be defining the world we live in over the next year. It was variously inspiring and worrying - and entirely fascinating.
After very excitedly receiving my job offer for the role of ‘Graduate Associate’ from Cordelia over the phone – to which I squealed ‘yes!’, causing the Pret barista to jump away in shock from the till I was standing at – I’ve had just over a week to do my research and prepare myself for a job that I feel as though I’ve been gearing myself up to for 22 years. After being introduced through my lovely colleague Gayle, Cordelia described our introduction as ‘fate’… and who am I to turn down fate?
From the moment I stepped out of my first interview at FieldHouse, I just knew that if an opportunity was offered, my answer would undoubtedly be a ‘yes’. Three rounds of interviews later, here I am, on my first day, excited for the next step in my career. But let me tell you why I made the leap to move.
“The post came six times a day and people discussed Pamela at a LiveJournal rate.” With this reference to the enthusiastic spread of correspondence about Samuel Richardson’s epistolary novel across 18th-century Britain – doubtless today we’d talk about it going viral – Lydia Nicholas, Senior Researcher at Nesta (the UK’s innovation charity), introduced a panel discussion on the future of storytelling at FutureFest 2016.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the female founders event hosted by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK - an amazing non-profit initiative started ten years ago to inspire entrepreneurship and drive accelerated growth of British businesses. At the event, we were treated to an amazing talk by Megan Smith, the Chief Technology Officer of the US (part of President Obama’s administration). Among other things, she talked about the amazing women of the past, that have somehow been written out of history.
Back in September, I was fortunate enough to attend day one of this year’s Nesta Futurefest held at London’s Tobacco Dock. The Grade 1 listed old warehouse served as more than a suitable backdrop for a day of filled with the most progressive thinking in tech, politics and business.
Professionally, I have grown up in the tech and investment world. Acting as a comms advisor in these fields for one and a half decades, I can unequivocally say that ‘women in tech’ or ‘women in business’ have been consistent and dominant themes throughout my career. Not enough of them, too hard, cultural challenges, glass ceilings, unequal pay. For a few years, I even worked for Business In the Community’s gender equality campaign, which lobbies at the coal face for equality at board level and has a mine of stats on the economic value of a diverse board.