Women in STEM: Be Clear on Why You're There & the Difference You Want to Make

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Susie Ramroop's career has spanned media, global telecoms and healthcare. While her work was award-winning, stress affected her health and relationships, until she eventually realised the cost was just too high. She trained as a Performance Coach and now supports high performers who are where she was.

Tell us about yourself?

A: I have got really good perspective, which means I can take the detail and make sense of it very easily.  I am very energetic and pour my enthusiasm into whatever I am focused on.  I love solving problems and do so with creativity and flair.  I have acute listening, and hear what you don't say as much as what you do.  I am very direct and full of love.  I am generous, but have really clear boundaries which makes people around me feel very stable in the knowledge that if I say I'll do something I will, even if it takes all the bravery I can muster.  For replenishment, I love the outdoors, playing with flowers, dancing, singing and doing jigsaws (if they have minimal trees and sky).  Notice I didn't talk about my job or marital status......THIS is who I am.
 

How did you get into your role as a mindset coach?

A: In my 20s my main focus was on my career - how I could get to the top as fast as possible and get my hands on that elusive job title and salary.  I learned when I got my first Director position and a six figure salary that it didn't make me any more fulfilled.  In fact it was worse because now I had nothing to focus on to make me feel happier.  There began my journey into personal growth with my first coach.  I trained as a Performance Coach myself in 2005, and began coaching clients on the side.  It wasn't until a decade later when I was bullied at work that I realised I had been too scared to set up my own business and go it alone as a Coach.  Four redundancies had failed to give me the message, but being bullied sealed the deal for me!
 

What challenges did you face when setting up Make Life Simple Ltd., and how did you overcome these?

A: The main challenge was my focus.  When you have a job and a strategy that you are delivering against there is never a moment when you don't know what to do.  When you start your own business from scratch, you don't have clients to serve yet, and your days can be spent not making any real impact at all.  I used to love the buzz of the office, and so I missed not being around people.  I effectively had to buy this in by joining a group coaching programme that was very directive.  It told me what to do, gave me deadlines and gave me other people to compete against, which at the time was meaningful to me.  Having that support system in place got my business off the ground, although it took me years later to get over the feast / famine nature of my income!
 

What do you enjoy most about working as a mindset coach?

A: That moment when you bring relief to a person, when they realise how capable they are, and start setting up boundaries that free them up to do the things they dream of.  I have a creative and fun approach, and so bringing about transformation is incredibly energising for me.  I help people go from good to brilliant, and so there is no heavy energy associated with my work.  The best part of my job is running my retreats where I take a small group of women to a forest for 3 days of unlocking their potential in nature.  It is fun and relaxing, but highly productive.  Everyone leaves with a clear vision of their future and an unbreakable plan that they are committed to following.  It truly is amazing work!

 

Is there anything you miss about working in a corporate environment?

A: My ego misses things like catered meetings, going to suppliers' offices so they could impress me with new tech, flying around Europe all expenses paid, but I know that bored me when I did it all the time.  I used to really miss the Christmas party, the mucking in when someone has a deadline, the conferences.  Over the years I have replaced these with my own events, going to speak at conferences and helping out other people when they have events.  Contribution is my number one value, and so as long as I am making a difference to other people, as well as to myself, then I am happy.
 

Why have you decided to get involved with European Women in Technology?

A: I have always been in European roles when I led product development for global telecoms providers, and I still have a number of clients in Europe.  Following a really successful session at Women of Silicon Roundabout last year, I wanted to reach a broader audience.  Even though I have lived in London all my life, I realise it is not the centre of the universe!
 

What will you be speaking about at the conference and why have you chosen these topics?

A: I am fortunate enough to be speaking twice at the conference.  I will be running an Elephant in the Room session about having awkward conversations.  When I was in a corporate environment, I believed that you either agreed with people or had conflict, and there was very little grey area.  Now I have a very different belief and hence a different approach.  I believe that honest conversations had from the heart can unlock more opportunities for everyone.  I don't think there is a need for conflict and if it ever arises it's because we aren't speaking about the truth, but the symptom of a cover up.  I am excited to unlock the conversation with a very interactive audience so people can share what they really feel in confidence that our room is a safe place.
 
My other talk will be on imposter syndrome for leaders; it precedes a book that I am launching next year about leadership.  Having a title or certain level of seniority does not exempt you from feeling insecure or doubting yourself when you want to branch out and do new things.  Women in particular have a need to prove that they are worthy, even when they already have the job, so I want to bring practical things that people can do so that they have more confidence in themselves and can speak up for what they want.  It will help current leaders and people who aspire to be great leaders in the future.  It will be a powerful, jam packed session. 

 

What advice would you give to women working in STEM roles? 

A: Be really clear on why you are there and what difference you want to make.  We can often get disheartened when we feel in the minority, and that feeling helps us to back down when we have something to say.  Be clear about who you are, what you want and why; when you are clear, being heard is so much easier.  Believe that what you have to say must be said and that minds will be changed because of it.  Do this and you will see evidence that people's ears are open for you.
 

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