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17th March, 2021 |

5 minutes

"I would encourage people to be aware of their unconscious bias..."

Helen Brindley

Helen is director of financial reporting at Home Group

I’m a young woman in a leadership role, in an industry dominated by men which has led to many challenges. Being a younger woman I have often experienced awkward moments, unfair insinuations and judgement.

I regularly meet people who assume my role is something different, based entirely on my age, gender and perhaps even how I choose to dress. I would encourage people to be aware of their unconscious bias and to really challenge it.

I was born into a wonderful stable family home and my sister and I wanted for nothing; something I now realise was incredibly precious. The biggest adversity in my life was getting divorced. It had a huge impact on my mental and physical health and I couldn’t help feeling a huge failure. It made me realise how I judged mine and other people’s lives. I realised that there is always more to every story; you just have to ask and listen.

I left my job at the same time as my marriage ended and I no longer had my own home so I moved back in with my parents at the age of 30. My role models are my mum and dad. Mum worked as a civil engineer and was the only woman for years in an office and industry full of men. She is bright, determined and generous to a fault. I thank my lucky stars every day that she is my mum.

 

My dad stuck with a job he hated for over 20 years because the shift pattern worked for our family. He was there every day; picking us up from school, making us dinner and helping with homework; dad had a huge influence on how I was brought up.

I am proud of the work I have done through counselling to become comfortable in my own skin. I have learnt that taking care of your own happiness is utterly priceless.

What I like about Home Group is that people can be themselves; as the famous quote goes “be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

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