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Our Inspirational Females

Discovery Latest
8 March 2019

Happy International Women’s Day! This year’s theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

To celebrate the day, we spoke to a few of our women from across Discovery to find out how they built their careers, some of their best advice and their greatest life achievements. Get ready for an inspiration overload!

Sam Lismore, Locality Manager – Northmead House and Taunton Domiciliary Support

Sam Lismore, Locality Manager – Northmead House and Taunton Domiciliary Support

How did you get started in your career?

My career started in 1994 when I was offered a job as a support worker in a challenging behaviour setting. I couldn’t believe how rewarding this role was and I was determined to find out as much as I could and where it could take me. By the age of 23 (three years later), I was managing this service. I developed cancer in 2005 and after treatment, my confidence took a massive nose dive and stayed like that for many years.

What do you consider your biggest achievements in life?

My biggest achievement in my personal life was having the determination to kick cancer’s butt! In my work life, the biggest achievement is getting where I am now and having the confidence to do it on a daily basis, not allowing my past to dictate my future.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Take on board the importance of continual learning.

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers or trying to climb their career ladders?

Think about what you need to know to achieve your career goals and then think about who you can reach out to for advice.

Suzanne Beese, Executive Assistant

Suzanne Beese, Executive Assistant

How did you get started in your career?

After leaving college I worked for a Retirement Housing Association as a Lettings Assistant. After two years, an opportunity arose with them to apply for a Housing Manager role to cover maternity leave. At that time I had no formal housing qualifications but I knew this was the path I wanted to take. I was lucky to be successful and the role became permanent. Over the following 20 years, I continued to build my career with the same organisation managing teams of up to 40 staff.

What do you consider your biggest achievements in life?

Working with some great people along the way and making a difference in people’s lives.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

You don’t know it all to begin with and you learn from the mistakes you make. Be confident in your abilities and if you want something, go for it!

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers or trying to climb their career ladders?

When I look back, I was so young and perhaps a little naive, however, my confidence grew over the years and I learnt mainly on the job. A list of qualifications is not always necessary – confidence, recognising your own abilities, determination, and of course enjoying what you do, is sometimes all you need to climb the career ladder.

Zoe Hembury, Operations Director

Zoe Hembury, Operations Director

How did you get started in your career?

I began my career in health and social care through the recommendation of a former colleague. Supporting people to achieve whatever they want to in their lives, however big or small, was and still is a huge passion of mine so being able to play my part in different ways is my daily reward.

What do you consider your biggest achievements in life?

Being a mum to my beautiful daughter Aisha who is now seven and demonstrating to her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. She is very independent, strong-willed and (even at seven) a force to be reckoned with!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t ever doubt your own confidence to achieve whatever you want to in life. So many times, through negative comments from previous managers, I have doubted my abilities which resulted in my confidence being knocked. A motto I would share with my younger self (and do share with my daughter regularly) is “if you believe it, you can achieve it”.

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers or trying to climb their career ladders?

Life is not one path, you can go off in any direction you want to and can always divert again if it wasn’t the right way. I started my working life in insurance, then skincare and cosmetics, then welfare and now health and social care. Do I regret not starting in social care sooner? No, because each industry and sector has taught me the knowledge, skills and experience to help me get to where I am today.

Have self-belief and confidence. If someone tries to knock that, use it as the fuel to drive you even further instead of allowing it to prevent you from reaching your destiny.