Moira is a Productivity Consultant with Transformation, HRD and Programme Management experience gained during 30 years in the Pharmaceutical, IT, Regulatory and Financial Services sectors. She co-founded beproductive.ie in 2016 to help organisations increase productivity and workplace wellness by helping individuals and organisations be productive. Like most women in business, she is very motivated to succeed. Her daughter Maeve who is now 16 has always provided an extra incentive as she wants to provide her with a good female role model. Moira is really active on Twitter, Insta, Facebook posting Productivity tips most days so please give her a follow for a Productivity boost each day! What can we say, another brilliant interview. I think many women from all walks of life will relate to this one. I know we do. Check out what she had to say:-
1) How do you define career success?
Adding value, doing something worthwhile, providing a service people need and helping people be the best that they can be in their business lives.
2) Do you think female executives get the support they need from their work environment to be ambitious?
It is hard to generalise as company policies and culture really varies across different industries and organisations. I think things have improved a huge amount in the past 10 years in a lot of sectors. But in many ways the executive level still operates the way it has done for years and it is often still up to women to “fit in”. This often means modifying their natural leadership style to fit expectations.
3) How does one create a supportive environment at work and home?
Get a housekeeper! No seriously it is still hard to achieve the balance because there is ALWAYS a feeling of guilt, that one part of the equation is being neglected. Flexible working hours and work locations really enable women to succeed in the workplace. Happily this is becoming more commonplace particularly in newer companies. The productivity offered by our mobile devices to work anywhere and be in touch constantly, if managed well, really helps women with this balance too.
4) How do you balance your work and personal life?
Having strong interests outside work can ensure that you switch off. Hobbies, personal projects and of course family members help this. I find a great way of switching off from work is to be productive about making plans for the next day or next week. This helps you capture all the important information in your head before you leave work and allows you relax and recharge knowing you have a good plan for when you get back to work. Being clear about your priorities really helps in making split second decisions about what to prioritise as plans change and new things crop up. My tip is – “if you say yes to something new, remember you are saying no to something you had planned to do!”.
5) What do you think is the biggest issue facing women today?
I think many women are still not as confident as men when it comes to promoting themselves. Women with great credentials, experience and skills can still be overlooked while male counterparts are more inclined to “sell themselves”. Again I add, this is a generalisation!
6) What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you throughout your journey?
I was just out of college in my first job in the Pharmaceutical Industry near London when I met a senior City of London Bank Executive at my landlady’s Christmas party. He advised me to “always go the extra mile” when asked to do a piece of work. It really stuck with me, I can still remember the conversation so clearly (and it is a long time ago now!). I would like to think I have always done it and it has made a huge difference along the way.
7) What is your superpower and why?
Being super productive! Well my business is called beproductive.ie so I guess that has to be my answer. I also like to think that my interest in people I work with allows me to understand their requirements.
8) Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?
Diversity helps us understand others and be more accepting of our differences. We all start from the default position that everyone sees things the same way that we do. It takes quite a while to learn that everyone doesn’t! The sooner we can understand things from other people’s perspective the sooner we develop valuable inter-personal skills that help us succeed as leaders. A great model that shaped my working style is the “Belbin Team Roles”. It was developed by Meredith Belbin as far back as the 1960’s but is more relevant than ever in today’s diverse multicultural world. It helps members of a team embrace and value the different strengths each individual brings. It provides ideas on how to adjust our behaviour and expectations for each different member of the team. I often train teams on using this model and they find it really useful and practical too.
9) Any female role model who has inspired you over your career and why?
I guess my mother was my first female role model because she brought me and my 2 sisters up to be very independent and self-sufficient. There was no pressure to go to University or have a career but every support was there when we needed it. Other than that, I am inspired by any woman who makes it to a senior level in an organisation as it is never easy to get there. I am also continuously inspired by the increasing number of women who are setting up their own businesses so that they can be in control of their own work hours, work ethic and (dare I say it) keep away from all the traditional office politics!
Another exciting interview coming your way tomorrow so make sure to stay tuned!