Women Inspiring Women: Smash That Ceiling! Interview with Rachel Dipper
This interview is an extract from the book “STOP IT! It is all in your head” available 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 five 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. There is still a conscious and unconscious bias against women in leadership, powerful women.
“(Emerging) leaders need mentors 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’ every day – women inspiring women. I believe in women empowering women, so the second interview in the series #smashthatceiling is with Rachel Dipper.
Rachel Dipper is the VP of Marketing & Partnerships at OneDome, a property tech startup, 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 precisely what Rachel did, leapt and left a firm that had been established 120 years to go and work for a startup. Remember, if you want to change the world, you need a seat at the table, and Knight Frank would never give her that opportunity, so she went out there and Grabbed it!!
Interview with Rachel Dipper
1. When you were a child, what was your dream job and why?
I always wanted to work in a big shiny office block. As I would walk in in my imagination, 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 impacted me. Of course, 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 when you started to consider yourself successful?
My previous role was for a global property partnership. Even though I only worked on residential, senior people from other business areas started greeting me around the building and commenting on my work. I 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 you have faced adversity like every business/business person: how do you motivate yourself and force yourself 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. Of course, it aggravates me intensely at the time, but he helps me get some perspective. My son is only six, so he offers a big hug!
Ultimately, 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 many people looking sideways and copying their competition. Now OneDome is changing how people buy and sell property in the UK; our marketing needs to do things differently. I work very collaboratively with the team, and no idea is off the table at this stage.
SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES
5. As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”: what are your 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 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 inherent sexism – most people say they would like to hire more women if they are the best candidates. However, I think people are often subconsciously biased towards people like themselves, so the problem perpetuates.
WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN
7. What women inspire you and why?
Of course, everyone loves Sheryl Sandberg – she has done amazing things on Facebook and promotes 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 terrific. She left P&G last year and is now a Non-Executive Director for several companies. I would love to take her to lunch if she is reading this.
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 London is busy and crowded, but there are some natural havens if you know where to look.
10. And finally, something frivolous: the best thing about being a woman…
Drinking wine with my girlfriends. There is a very strict ‘no judgment’ 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 others’ challenges can change your whole perspective.
#TheWomanAlchemist indeed !!!
Tune in next week for the next inspirational story – #smashthatceiling – women inspiring women.