Don't be beaten by challenges - The Woman Alchemist : Rachel Dipper

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 07 Aug, 2017

Smash that Ceiling - Women Inspiring Women

This interview is an extract from the book "STOP IT! It is all in your head" available on Amazon now.

Some recent research carried out at the BI Norwegian Business School by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen and Professor Lars Glasø  "discovered" that women are better suited at leadership than men based on 5 measurable traits for effective leadership -   quelle surprise!!!

So what is stopping us then?

The fact that there is a lack of positive and visible females in leadership in traditional industries is an obstacle in the sense that women are missing examples that it IS indeed possible and in that organisational culture starts from the top . Plus there are still conscious and unconscious bias against women in leadership, especially strong women.

  “ (Emerging) leaders need mentor to guide them, but they also need a network of peers, to reassure them that they are not on the path alone”. – Alyse Nelson – President and CEO, Vital Voices. .

  “ If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results” – Tony Robbins.

Looking at practical examples can shortcut your way to success together with a point of reference. There are many role models  out there,  #WomenAlchemists as I call them,  turning their 'metal into gold' everyday - women inspiring women. I believe in women empowering women so here it is, the second interview in the series #smashthatceiling with Rachel Dipper.

Rachel Dipper is the  VP Marketing & Partnerships at OneDome , a property tech start up,  previously Head of Residential Marketing at the global property firm Knight Frank. Rachel could see that the Residential property industry was changing and wanted to be at the cutting edge with a company that would change the way people buy and sell property in the UK. Remember what I said before ? You need to Jump

And that exactly what Rachel did, took a leap and left a firm that had been established 120 years to go and work for a start up.  Remember, if you want to change the world you need a seat at the table, and Knight Frank was never going to give her that opportunity so she went out there and Grabbed it!!

1.   When you were a child what was your dream job and why?

This is going to sound really odd, but I always wanted to work in a big shiny office block. In my imagination, I would walk in and everyone would know me and say good morning.

 I must have watched the film “Working Girl” with Melanie Griffiths at least 20 times when I was growing up, which probably had an impact. It is very 80s but I think that unfortunately, some of the challenges that Griffiths’ character faces in the film can still be found in workplaces today.  

2.   Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?

My previous role was for a global property partnership and, even though I only worked on residential, senior people from other areas of the business started greeting me around the building and commenting on my work. I really wanted to say, “how do you even know who I am?”, but I thought it best just to roll with it.  

3.   I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?

My husband and son are a great support. My husband in particular is very good at pointing out the side of an issue that I haven’t seen. It aggravates me intensely at the time, but he helps me get some perspective. My son is only six, so he just offers a big hug!

Ultimately though, I’ve always had an “I’ll show them!” attitude to work, and will not be beaten by professional challenges – or challengers. Some people call it being bloody minded.

  4.   What are the best things about your job?

Some nights I can’t sleep for the excitement about what I will do the next day.

Working in property, I have seen so many people looking sideways and copying their competition. Now OneDome is changing the way that people buy and sell property in the UK, our marketing needs to do things differently as well. I work very collaboratively with the team and no idea is off the table at this stage.  

5.   As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues” : what are you daily/weekly habits?

I always listen to something motivational on the way to the office. I have a 20 minute walk from Bank so it is either a podcast that will inspire me in my work, or some cheesy pop that gets me pumped up for the day ahead. At the moment, one of my favourite podcasts is to Masters Of Scale with Reid Hoffman. 

6.   What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

 I believe a lot of it is down to recruitment. I don’t think that there is an inherent sexism - most people say that they would like to hire more women if they are the best candidates. However, I think people are often subconsciously biased towards people that are like themselves, and so the problem perpetuates.  

7.   What women inspire you and why?

  Of course everyone loves Sheryl Sandberg – she has done amazing things at Facebook, and to promote women in business. I also really respect Roisin Donnelly – the former Brand Director at Procter & Gamble. I heard her speak at a WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications, London) event and thought she was amazing. She left P&G last year and is now at Non-Executive Director for a number of companies. If she is reading this, I would love to take her to lunch.

8.   What advice would you give to your 16year old self?

  Don’t wait for anything to come to you – go out and get it. Whether it’s a new circle of friends, a great body or a career; nothing worth doing is easy.

  9.   Your instant mindfulness fix…

Being near water. I live in the Docklands so I’m lucky enough to have the Thames on my doorstep. I have been known to go down onto the riverbed when the tide is out – it is extraordinarily peaceful. People think that London is busy and crowded, but there are some real havens if you know where to look.

10.   And finally, something frivolous: best thing about being a woman…

Drinking wine with my girlfriends. There is a very strict ‘no judgement’ rule amongst my friends who have children. Understanding other people’s challenges rather than leaping to judge them has changed my whole perspective on life.

Top Takeaways from Rachel:

- Don't be beaten by challenges - You Can!

- Don't wait for anything to come to you - Go and Get It!

- Listen to something motivational before your day starts - Get pumped for the day ahead - whatever works for you.

- Find a peaceful haven

- Understanding other's challenges can change your whole prospective.

#TheWomanAlchemist indeed !!! 

Tune in next week for the next inspirational story - #smashthatceiling - women inspiring women.

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Je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2018
Tanti Auguri di Felice Anno Nuovo 2018
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and lucky 2018


Laura xxx
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