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TGtB Meets...Rachael Booth - International Women's Day Special
Alongside her job here at Total, Sales Manager Rachael Booth has a hectic home life, bringing up her baby daughter Ava. Below Rachael reveals how she manages split her time between work and being mother, the skills that she brings to her role and her hopes for the future.
Which woman would you compare yourself to?
I thought long and hard about my answer to this question and honestly can't choose one single woman. I've recently been researching my family tree and have learnt so much about my female ancestors and the struggles that they had to overcome. They were incredibly strong women and believe that they contributed to the person that I am today. Given all that I've learnt, I'd be proud to compare myself to them.
What would you say is your most valuable skill and why?
I'd like to think that I'm a supportive person. I try take time to listen and understand in both my working and personal life. If I know that I can help anyone, I'll take time out of my day to do so.
Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?
I think it’s important to recognise women for their achievements and their contributions to family, work and society, for women to be seen as equal partners to men after generations of struggle. Also to teach future generations of women their worth.
Do you have family (and/or children)? How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have a 13 month old daughter Ava and returned back to work when she was just 5 months old. I've been very fortunate that Total Guide to have allowed me to juggle my responsibilities at home with my work commitments. It’s so important for me not to miss out on any of my daughter’s early stages and to spend quality time with her. It's a mutual agreement and I'll often be seen burning the midnight oil or on email at 5am. It's about being organised and planning my time effectively.
Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?
Looking back, rather than leaving university and going straight into the workplace it would have been great to take a year or two out to travel and experience different places and cultures. The flip side of this however is that I can now share these experiences with my daughter as she grows.
Do you ever experience any discrimination in the work place because of your gender?
Fortunately no, I've always considered myself to be quite outspoken and this has never been an issue for me. I have seen it happen to others though, I used to work in finance and women who were more than capable of their roles were occasionally overlooked in favour of their male counterparts. Fortunately this now seems to have been largely eradicated.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
Always stay true to yourself and don't compromise your values, always put the client’s needs first and try and put yourself in their shoes. Take time to understand their business and needs each client is individual as is their business and work together towards the common goal. Always try and go the extra mile and above and beyond what’s required it’s always better to over deliver.
Do men ever feel intimidated by your success?
I don't think that this has ever been an issue, I've always found my male colleagues to be extremely supportive.
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
I'd think I'd have to ask for a bigger table to invite more women! But if I could only choose 5 they would be:
- Coco Chanel
- Virgina Woolf
- Eva Peron
- Anna Wintour
- Malala Yousafzai
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I'd hope to be doing a similar role to what I am now but perhaps in more of a training and mentoring role, I feel it’s important to pass on experience and skills and assist younger people who are trying to follow a similar career path. In my personal life I'd hope to be assisting and teaching my daughter to live her life to the full, value herself and follow her dreams.