Or in the case of this blog…it’s not when you start…. Surely the master of all types of procrastination is the kind you have when you want to write, but don’t know where to start.

So I will start at the beginning. Born to a working class family in Derbyshire, I grew up in a family where grandparents and uncles were all employed by the National Coal Board. My Dad worked as a driver, but his Dad and my Mum’s Dad and Brothers all worked in the mines.

I was born before the Miner’s Strike of 1984-85, and my parents, with a baby and toddler to take care of were faced with the prospect of months with no pay coming into the house. You see, whether you went out on strike, or whether you crossed the picket line, you were not paid for that 18 month period.

My parents ended up losing their house and we moved into a much smaller terraced house where I shared a room with my little brother.

The school I went to had no 6th form (still doesn’t) and I found the career counselling to be uninspiring. The only idea for a girl like me with and avid interest in science was “you can be a science teacher”. Without traditional business role models around me it was hard to see what the path forward was.

I was very lucky that my parents have always been “reach for the stars” kind of people. Had I said I was going to become an actor or go to the moon they would have throw their support behind it.

I didn’t have any specific idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I loved to learn. I read everything, feeling that whatever I was going to do to improve the situation, it would start with a university degree. So I aimed everything at that.

Fast forward to present day, and tonight, on International Women’s Day I am a keynote speaker at a London University. Billed as an “exceptional female business leader”. I will share my journey and hope to inspire others. It took me a long time to realise I had something to offer. But here I am, telling others my story.

I won’t give all the secrets up front, but I want to help other people find their path, and realise their dreams. I hope people will see that you can overcome challenges, with the right people and resources around you.

The Family


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