|Our next installment of Synergy Spotlight is here! We talk to Ruth Holdaway who leads the fantastic Women in Sport charity. Women in Sport are empowering women and girls through sport and transforming the sport sector; their vision is to create a society where gender equality exists in every sphere.|
|1. Your career in 1 paragraph? |
Driving social change through great campaigns and communications. After some interesting internships with the likes of The World Health Organisation, the BBC (producing Newsnight) and in the U.S. Senate, I started out as an NHS manager, with operational, strategic planning and change management roles in hospitals, Health Authorities and latterly in a Cancer Network. I then moved to the voluntary sector where I found my home. I’ve had communications, campaigns, fundraising and service delivery leadership roles with Breakthrough Breast Cancer (now Breast Cancer Now), Prostate Cancer UK and Women’s Aid as well as doing some consultancy and voluntary work along the way, including being a Team Leader Games Maker at Wimbledon during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
2. What is the highlight of your career to date?
There are just too many to mention – I’ve been incredibly privileged! On a professional level I’m proud of things like having successfully lobbied for the 30% gender diversity target to be included in the Code for Sports Governance, rebranding WSFF as Women in Sport, increasing awareness of prostate cancer across the UK by 70%, and achieving a maximum two week wait for breast cancer patients enshrined in Government policy and delivered in all 5 of the hospitals I looked after. Personally, I’ve had some crazy moments of work madness: I sold raffle tickets for Breakthrough at the TV Quick Awards and danced with the cast of Coronation Street at the after show party, I’ve delivered presentations around the world, I did a day of radio interviews with Max Beesley’s Dad(!) I ran away from Joseph Fiennes when I was supposed to brief him on breast cancer complementary therapies because I was too shy to meet him, and I saw Andy Murray win the Gold medal at the London Olympics. Probably the biggest highlights in my current role have been cheering on England to win the Cricket World Cup at Lords this year, holding the Rugby World Cup with Clare Balding and Sarah Hunter in 2014, and meeting my hero, Judy Murray, which I’ve been lucky enough to now do several times.
3. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Focused, Energetic, and quite Grumpy first thing in the morning!
4. What is the key to your success?
What success?! I’ve worked hard, I’ve ‘leaned in’, I’ve made mistakes and learnt from them and I’ve been prepared to volunteer to take on more work than I can really manage in order to learn and to prove myself. Success is about hard graft and resilience I think – be positive, keep moving forward, put the time in and don’t give up.
5. Who inspired you and why?
My inspiration is my former boss at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Baroness Delyth Morgan. She’s AMAZING! She gave me my first role in a charity, for which I shall be forever grateful. She nurtured me and she’s one of the most effective leaders I have ever known. She has a blend of focus, toughness and kindness which I have found impossible to replicate but I continue to aspire to.
6. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t take things personally.
7. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I think I’d just want to give myself more confidence – I’ve always struggled with this. And I’d definitely tell myself to eat healthy food and do more exercise!