Smashing The Ceiling

By Naomi Mellor

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Welcome to Smashing The Ceiling, the official podcast of The Skylark Collective. On this show we showcase the lives of women with interesting, unusual and inspiring careers, those who have achieved amazing things, some who've got a really cool or unusual job, and some who've just had a fascinating life. Each week I sit down with one woman to dig a little deeper into the HOW of it all - how did they get where they are, how they picked themselves up when things didn’t go right, and how their mentors, motivations and mistakes have led them to achieve the things they have.

Episode Date
Justine Nagaur - on holistic care, spiritual healing and recovering from chronic pain
If you’re into meditation and healing, you may know what a Tibetan sound bowl is. If not, you’ve got a treat in store, as we’ll be digging deep into the world of holistic health in this episode. My guest today is (Justine Nagaur), a spiritual healer, teacher, mentor, and creator of bespoke crystal malas. I met Justine a couple of years ago, and she’s one of those rare people with a degree of warmth, insight, intuition and care for others that is incredibly striking. But like many of my guests, Justine’s career is multi-layered, with twists and turns along the way. She went to finishing school, and we chat about that, she ran a very successful company in private members’ clubs and she’s worked in social media along the way, before starting her current business, (Aurora Facets Transformational Healing) after a long period of chronic illness. She is the queen of the pivot you might say. Useful links Justine's website: Justine's LinkedIn profile: Follow Justine on Instagram: Follow Justine on Facebook: Music Provided by (ZakharValaha), (AleXZavesa), (Coma-Media) (SergeQuadrado) (JuliusH), (Lesfm) and (lemonmusicstudio) from (Pixabay)
Apr 08, 2022
Caroline Kremer - on healing injuries, unexpected circumstances, and career re-invention
How often do you think about your own breathing? I bet you are right now. How fast do you breathe? How deeply?  Most of the time it’s completely unconscious. We just do it, and we rarely consider how we breathe unless we’re exercising and out of breath, or ill and out of breath, as many of us have been during the pandemic.It’s only when our capacity to breathe is reduced that we ever consider - without stating the absolute obvious - how important it is  My guest today helps people to breathe better. She helps people to feel better. She reduces their pain and helps them with many other conditions besides. Her name is Caroline Kremer, and she’s the owner of Pulborough Natural Health, a clinic in a beautiful part of England, West Sussex. Caroline is a Bowen therapist, and a practitioner of Evans Alignment and her own Kremer Method to stimulate the vagus nerve, which is known as the “rest, digest and repair nerve”.  Her business and interest in health and wellbeing is one of the reasons that Caroline is on the podcast this week. The other is her remarkable capacity for career reinvention. From being kicked out of school to becoming a chef and working in restaurants, to running a ski company with her husband before being widowed at 34 with 3 small children, Caroline has an incredible sense of resourcefulness and a can-do attitude that I really admire. She is full of stories and in this episode we barely had time to scratch the surface of the people she’s met in life and how colourful her career has been. We recorded this episode deep in the Covid lockdown and the sound isn’t the best on Caroline’s line at the beginning, but bear with it - she’s worth it. Useful links Caroline's website at Pulborough Natural Health: Caroline's LinkedIn profile: Follow Caroline on Instagram: Follow Caroline on Twitter: Music Provided by (ZakharValaha), (AleXZavesa), (Coma-Media) (SergeQuadrado) (JuliusH), (Lesfm) and (lemonmusicstudio) from (Pixabay)
Mar 19, 2022
Dot Zacharias - on sleep deprivation, life at a tech startup and the power of yoga Nidra
This week, we’re talking, amongst other things, about sleep. My guest today is (Dot Zacharias), COO and co-founder of (Nourish), a wellbeing app designed for busy mums to find a little calm in their lives, which aims to protect maternal mental health and provide support. But that description doesn’tquite cover Dot’s career. After starting her working life in Russia, she’s worked as a management consultant, qualified as a sleep coach, been a part of multiple start ups and successfully exited her own previous company, Sleepability. She describes herself as rebellious and adventurous, which basically means she’s a woman after my own heart. We recorded this episode a little while ago, and given the current events in Ukraine, I debated whether I ought to release this episode this week with its discussion about Russia and Dot's work there. The actions of the Russian government and the unspeakable horror they are unleashing on the citizens of the Ukraine is appalling, and cannot be condoned, but our conversation was on the world of work, and Dot’s experiences with the people of Russia that she met, most of which was wonderfully positive as you'll hear. On balance, I felt the insights she offered warranted leaving this section of the interview in, and I hope you agree. You can donate to the Red Cross appeal for Ukraine here: Today's podcast is supported by (Fem Foundry), a one-of-a-kind global community for womankind to discover, learn, connect and thrive. One of the key components that sets Fem Foundry apart is their focus on the multi-faceted aspects of a woman’s life, from her career to her wellness, from her spirituality to her mental health. This, along with their founding team and Fem Foudnry’s global partners, mean they are uniquely positioned as a media powerhouse for women’s empowerment on a large scale.  With a new improved 2.0 version of the app just launched, Fem Foundry has huge global ambitions, with a mission to become the Bumble of humanised female networking, learning and support. So (download Fem Foundry) today and have a look. Useful links Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed - Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker - Kim Cattrall's highly personal monologue on insomnia - FemTechLab's Accelerator Programme - Dot's LinkedIn profile: Follow Dot on Instagram: Follow Nourish App on Instagram: Music Provided by (ZakharValaha), (AleXZavesa), (Coma-Media) (SergeQuadrado) (JuliusH),...
Mar 04, 2022
Sinéad McGrath - on endometriosis advocacy, becoming a golf influencer and women in the law
My guest this week is endometriosis advocate, golf influencer and brilliant lawyeréad-mcgrath-b6a15b93/ (Sinéad McGrath) - as you might imagine, the subjects we covered in this conversation are many and varied. Sinéad sits on the ( Executive Committee of the Junior Lawyers' Division) at ( The Law Society), and after saying ‘no’ for many years, she started (playing golf) a couple of years ago. There she discovered a community of women that are passionate about the sport and both keen to change the image of golf as an old white man's game, and to tap into the opportunities that golf provides for women. She’s amassed a large Instagram following in the golf world, and writes brilliantly about her journey into, and love of, the game. Sinéad has also ( written openly) in the Law Gazette about her experiences and struggles with endometriosis, and is now an active supporter of increased awareness, conversation and help for women and girls in her position. Endometriosis affects 1.5 million women in the UK, about the same number that suffer from diabetes, but on average, it takes 8 years to get a diagnosis. Sinéad had her first surgery for endometriosis when she was just 13 years old, and it has impacted every part of her life and career so far. Today's podcast is supported by (Fem Foundry), a one-of-a-kind global community for womankind to discover, learn, connect and thrive. One of the key components that sets Fem Foundry apart is their focus on the multi-faceted aspects of a woman’s life, from her career to her wellness, from her spirituality to her mental health. This, along with their founding team and Fem Foudnry’s global partners, mean they are uniquely positioned as a media powerhouse for women’s empowerment on a large scale.  With a new improved 2.0 version of the app just launched, Fem Foundry has huge global ambitions, with a mission to become the Bumble of humanised female networking, learning and support. So (download Fem Foundry) today and have a look. Useful links Sinéad's LinkedIn profile:éad-mcgrath-b6a15b93/ Follow Sinéad on Instagram: Sinead's article in the Law Gazette on endometriosis: Endometriosis UK: NHS website on endometriosis: Tiffany Mack Fitzgerald and Black Girls Golf: Music Provided by (ZakharValaha), (AleXZavesa), (Coma-Media) (SergeQuadrado) (JuliusH), and (lemonmusicstudio)...
Feb 17, 2022
Catie Friend - on unexpected career challenges, solo travel and life in the mountains
My first guest of 2022 is Catie Friend, who says of her adventures that she “will always be a completer rather than a competer”. Given the challenges she’s completed, which include ( the world’s toughest ski mountaineering race) and the (half Marathon des Sables), and the things she’s done in her career, completing any of them would be considered a strong achievement as far as I’m concerned.  Catie grew up in south west Scotland, and after travelling solo round the world, she embarked on a career in events management, found her way into radio, and is now a (multi-lingual sports commentator), presenter, (podcaster) and coach. She lives in Verbier, in the Swiss Alps, with her family. In this conversation we discuss (amongst other things) solo travel as a woman, surviving a difficult boss and a nightmare job, the difference between a ‘job’ and a ‘career’, the paradox of age vs. wisdom, and why sometimes it’s best not to overthink it. Today's podcast is supported by (Fem Foundry), a one-of-a-kind global community for womankind to discover, learn, connect and thrive. One of the key components that sets Fem Foundry apart is their focus on the multi-faceted aspects of a woman’s life, from her career to her wellness, from her spirituality to her mental health. This, along with their founding team and Fem Foudnry’s global partners, mean they are uniquely positioned as a media powerhouse for women’s empowerment on a large scale.  With a new improved 2.0 version of the app just launched, Fem Foundry has huge global ambitions, with a mission to become the Bumble of humanised female networking, learning and support. So (download Fem Foundry) today and have a look.   Useful links  Catie’s website: Listen to her podcast, Chatting To A Friend: Follow Catie on Instagram: Music The Show Must Be Go by Kevin MacLeod Link: License: (Royalty Free Music from Bensound)
Feb 03, 2022
Siobhan Daniels - from nursing to broadcast journalism to pro-age campaigning, and life in a campervan
Siobhan Daniels grew up in a care home as one of eight children amongst the elderly people her family looked after. She's subsequently had an incredibly varied and colourful life, first working as a nurse in the NHS before joining the BBC as a trainee in broadcast journalism. Siobhan spent 30 years as a presenter, reporter and producer at the BBC, before selling her property and setting off on a new round of adventures in her camper van! She's now a freelance broadcaster and journalist, and a pro-age campaigner. Since the age of 50 she's run two marathons, and is currently writing a book. Siobhan is a huge advocate of supporting women through the menopause in the workplace, and talks about all this and more in this chat. She's a total delight, and great fun. Enjoy. Trigger warning: This episode contains references to parental abuse Useful Links Siobhan's website: Siobhan in the news: Follow Siobhan on Instagram: And Twitter!
Nov 05, 2021
Vicki Prais - on international human rights and a lifetime of advocating for others
When you think about human rights, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it's the treatment of prisoners overseas, or working conditions and pay in a place of employment, or freedom of speech, or the right of an individual to live freely and safely in whatever manner they choose? Maybe it's a multitude of other things, because the subject of human rights is broad and deep. It's also vitally important. My guest today is Vicki Prais, a human rights lawyer and consultant, podcaster and writer. We love women with adventurous and challenging careers on this podcast, and Vicki has that in spades. She's worked for the UN in Kosovo, Amnesty International, Penal Reform International and the British Government. She's worked in Ukraine, Russia and Armenia, and consulted on cases involving Guantanamo Bay. "We are all experts in our own little niches" she says. Vicki Prais, welcome to Smashing The Ceiling. Useful Links Vicki's Website: Connect with Vicki on LinkedIn: Twitter:
Oct 21, 2021
Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa - on the power of imagination, and teen entrepreneurship
To open Season 4, I’ve got two guests with me with this week, and if you’re looking for inspiring women in your life, then these two are it.  Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa are sisters from Northampton, England and they’re 13 and 12 years old respectively. Nothing unusual there. What is unusual is that both Kirsten and Aiyven are published authors and business owners. Their love of reading has driven everything they’ve done so far, and you’ll hear in this chat the effect on their lives that they both attribute to books. Their company, Mbawa Books, produces monthly subscription boxes for teens containing diverse titles with relatable, representative heroes from a wide range of authors, as well as stories written by Kirsten and Aiyven themselves. Their output is prolific, and having tasted success with their first books, which they self-published but subsequently got onto the shelves of Waterstones through their hard work and tenacity, they are well on their way with their next novels.  Kirsten and Aiyven are the face of their brand. They have help from their mum, Ndah, but have themselves appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 and in various local and national press. Kirsten confidently told me she wants to be prime minister, and I just wouldn’t put anything past these two. Useful Links Mbawa Books Website: Subscribe to Kirsten and Aiyven's YouTube channel: Follow Mbawa Books on Instagram: Twitter: Facebook:
Oct 07, 2021
Tigz Rice - on burlesque, boudoir and her unique photography career
To many people, the world of burlesque may seem distant, mysterious and unknown. You might have heard of (Dita von Teese), but how much do you know about the art of it, the glamour, and the people, who are, by all accounts, a brilliant bunch of welcoming human beings? My guest today is (Tigz Rice), who combines her career as a burlesque and boudoir photographer with an ambition to leave her mark on the world creatively. She has shot for Cosmopolitan, and produced work that the HuffPost described as the 'most diverse lingerie shoot of its time'. But like many of my guests, she didn't expect to end up where she is. Tigz harboured a strong desire to be a forensic pathologist, and it was circumstances that led her to art college, then into photography. She's an amazing advocate for people celebrating their bodies, taking pride and joy in what society may view as physical flaws, but often actually are a sign of strength and resilience. She is storyteller of the highest order, and I hope you enjoy this conversation about her life and career. Useful Links Tigz's websites: and Follow Tigz on Instagram at (@tigzrice) and (@brandingbytigz) Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - ( Follow us on Instagram - (
Aug 19, 2021
Hannah Roper - on life as a country musician, teacher, policeman and survivor
54:19 (Hannah Roper) is an incredible woman with a varied career forged out of a combination of inspiration and necessity. Not many people can say that they've worked as a teacher, a policeman, a country music singer and an entrepreneur. Hannah has worked in both primary and secondary education, founded a country music festival, been on the beat and with suspects, and released several successful albums. In the midst of all of that, she's also survived domestic abuse and harassment at the hands of her ex-husband, also a police officer. Her life and career are quite extraordinary. It has certainly not always been an easy ride for Hannah, and as a survivor of domestic abuse there was a time where confidence and self-esteem were not the norm. She spent many years rediscovering herself, in the process finding her love for entrepreneurship and developing skills in business, branding, marketing and web design. After launching her company The Female Creative in 2020, she was named in Yahoo Finance as one of their Top Ten Business Start up Coaches in 2021. Hannah also recently launched her podcast, (The Female Creative Talks) earlier this year, which is well worth a listen! Please note this podcast contains references to domestic abuse and coercive control. If you need further help or advice, (Women's Aid) and (Refuge) are always available. Useful Links The Female Creative website: Find Hannah on LinkedIn: Follow Hannah on Instagram: Listen to Hannah's podcast: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - ( Follow us on Instagram - (
Aug 06, 2021
Elizabeth Ogabi - on becoming a changemaker and progressing your side hustle
We hear so much about side hustles and entrepreneurship and it seems that every second person on social media is starting a successful new business and scaling it to 7 figures from their kitchen table. But if you've had an idea, how do you get started? How do you balance your day job and the need to earn a living with launching a new venture? What's the best way to go about that, and why does it seem so damn easy for other people when you're finding it pretty hard? If these questions have ever popped into your head, then this episode is for you. (Elizabeth Ogabi) has balanced life in the corporate world with founding and progressing multiple businesses, both in London and Lagos, Nigeria. She's worked in communications for some of the world's most successful companies, whilst also being an inspirational entrepreneur. Liz is a huge supporter of women in business, and always knew she wanted to make a positive change in the world. In 2016 she founded (For Working Ladies), a digital media platform focused on equipping women with the information and tools they need to start a successful business. Most recently, she co-founded a community network focused on accelerating women within organisations into leadership roles. Whether it’s starting a side hustle, breaking through the corporate glass ceiling or pursuing full-time entrepreneurship, her ultimate goal is focused on the advancement and economic empowerment of women. Her new book, (Side Hustle in Progress), is a brilliant practical guide to kickstarting your business, and is well worth a read if you're starting something new this year. She also has a successful podcast, (How I Made It Happen), and we chatted a little about podcasting later in the interview. This conversation is packed full of entrepreneurial and business wisdom. Enjoy. Useful Links Order Liz's book Side Hustle in Progress from Waterstones: For Working Ladies website: Find Liz on LinkedIn: Follow Liz on Instagram: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - ( Follow us on Instagram - (
Jul 22, 2021
Nikki Trott - on conscious business, the value of service and selling umbrellas
Have you ever had a moment when you met someone for the first time, but you felt like you'd known them your entire life? It's a weird and rare but wonderful thing. I had that feeling when I chatted to Nikki Trott prior to this interview, and I knew I had to have her on the show. Nikki is an entrepreneur, podcaster and coach on a mission with her company, Conscious Accelerator. That mission is to help entrepreneurs with a real purpose in their business to thrive. She believes that purpose and profit don't have to be mutually exclusive (something I wholeheartedly agree with) and that business can be ethical, meaningful and financially successful all at the same time. But she started her working life singing in a choir and working in Topshop during her teenage years, before beginning her career post-university at a tech startup. She's had huge experience in business development, branding and the tech sector, and has done a variety of different and roles that have led her to where she is today. We talked in this interview about how experience in retail and service early in Nikki's career shaped her attitudes going forwards, why 'success' isn't always what it seems, and how the realisation that her personal values and professional life were poles apart led to some pretty significant changes. Useful Links Nikki's website: Find Nikki on LinkedIn: Follow Nikki on Instagram: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - ( Follow us on Instagram - (
Jul 09, 2021
Victoria Jenkins - on life as an adaptive designer, disability advocate and unexpected entrepreneurship
My guest this week is an incredible woman, whose life and career were turned upside down by circumstances. We talk often on this podcast about how circumstances shape the careers of women, but in the case of Victoria Jenkins, the circumstances were becoming disabled in her mid twenties. Before becoming ill, Victoria was forging a successful career as a garment technologist, working for the likes of Sweaty Betty, Jack Wills and Victoria Beckham no less. She was doing well, and that’s an understatement. But at the age of 26, her life turned upside down - I’ll let her tell you her story in the podcast, but suffice to say, she ended up founding her own fashion company, Unhidden, to cater to people requiring adaptive clothing that’s stylish, beautifully made and affordable.  Victoria is now an entrepreneur, business owner, disability advocate and brand ambassador for Models of Disability. She’s a tour de force, and I’d urge you pop out and buy her book The Little Book of Ableism. We started, as ever, talking about her early life as one of six kids.   Useful Links Victoria's Instagram: Unhidden Clothing Instagram: Find Victoria on LinkedIn: Victoria's website: Unhidden Clothing website: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - ( Check us out on Instagram - (  
Jun 24, 2021
Mira Patel - on learning the value of hard work, and why teenagers need a helping hand
We've often talked on this podcast about how our upbringing shapes our attitudes to work, ambition and success. Mira Patel's parents ran a newsagent, and she started working in the shop at an early age, before forging a successful career in HR. She understands the value of hard work and determination in building a business. She stepped away the HR world to train in neurolinguistic programming, and she founded her company, Prana Coaching in 2019. She now specialises in coaching young people through their teenage years, equipping them with the tools and skills they need to navigate the modern world. Mira is one of the most accomplished women I know, seamlessly managing her business, motherhood, a house build, fundraising challenges galore and organising huge events for the Gujarati Cultural Society in Brighton. She's quite the tour de force, and one of the kindest people you could hope to meet. Useful Links Mira's Instagram: Mira's website:  Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -  
Jun 17, 2021
Imogen Tinkler - on foraging, fairytales and altered career aspirations
When you're in a box career-wise, it can be hard to get out of it. Sometimes it's pressure from others, or from society that keeps you in that box, or sometimes it's your own internal monologue telling you that you can't do anything else. Sometimes, life events send you on a different path. (Imogen Tinkler) is a total inspiration in this area. After an adventurous childhood in Pakistan, and studying Russian with politics at uni, Imogen thought she was going to be a lawyer. After losing her mother, she re-considered her priorities, and subsequently forged a successful career in the charities and non-for-profit sector, becoming a director at the age of 31 and working with David Cameron and Gordon Brown. After her dad became ill, Imogen re-invented herself again though, quitting her job and starting a food  business Bangers and Balls with her husband Duncan. Imogen and Duncan are aiming to start a revolution from your kitchen table. They began with pop-up restaurants, but now take foraging expeditions, telling the tales of food surrounding you in the natural world and have written a new book, Foraging Fairytales, which has just gone straight into the Amazon Top 10. As well as being a successful businesswoman and master marketeer, Imogen is also a keen (wild swimmer) with a love of the ocean and being in water, and she tells me about how swimming saved her after the loss of her 8 week old baby daughter in the midst of the pandemic last year. Her positivity and infectious enthusiasm despite everything she's encountered made me just want to be her friend and move to Kent immediately to join her gang of swimmers. As a trigger warning, we do discuss grief and loss in this podcast, but listen in if you can for warmth, energy and lots of great advice from Imogen.    Useful links: Bangers and Balls website:  Bangers and Balls Instagram:  Imogen's Girls Gone Wild swimming page: The Government's Kickstart Scheme that Imogen mentioned: ( 
Jun 11, 2021
Caroline Knight - on naked yoga, and the challenges of life in the jungle
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I love meeting women who’ve done something unexpected, who bucked the career trend and taken a path that others might not expect. Today's guest, (Caroline Knight), very much falls into that category. After a biochemistry degree and multiple different careers including being a (naked yoga instructor), and working in the wine industry, she went to Peru last year, fell in love and unexpectedly stayed to set up a business selling cacao direct from the Peruvian jungle into the UK.  Caroline is a fascinating woman. We talked in this chat about being in tune with your body, and why so many people aren’t, why it’s ok to have more than one job, even when the world tells you it isn’t, and why the power of curiosity in your career can be super beneficial. As a trigger warning, this podcast does contain a brief reference to eating disorders. Useful Links Sign up for Breaking The Bonds of Shame:  Jungle Cacao Peru Instagram:  Buy Jungle Cacao here:  Caroline's Instagram: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -  
Jun 03, 2021
Anita Whittaker - on sex positive parenting, and life as a pirate DJ
Here’s a question for you. Would you describe your mum as sex positive? My guest today, Anita Whittaker, garnered the term “the sex positive mum you all wish you had” after appearing in  Channel 4 show ‘Mums Make Porn’. This happened after a television company read her original blog, Only Boys and A Tomboy, describing her family life in Harlesden in London with her 4 sons and husband Johann.  Anita is an award-winning mentor, speaker, journalist and community liason. She’s run children’s nurseries, been a DJ on pirate radio, had a super successful blog and Instagram account, and worked in education for 17 years, including stints on the board of charities and other organisations. Anita is a raconteur in the truest sense of the word, and it’s no great surprise that she now has her own successful podcast, (Anita Whittaker and Friends). This podcast is all about women with unusual and interesting careers and lives, and she certainly fits that bill. This interview is full of rich stories, laughter and vivid descriptions of both London and the Caribbean, and I LOVED it. Useful Links Only Boys And A Tomboy Instagram:  Anita's Instagram:  Listen to 'Anita Whittaker and Friends' on Spotify:  Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -  
May 27, 2021
Monique Hodgson - on a glittering international career, and her mission to redefine motherhood
Sometimes you meet someone whose energy, creativity, and drive just blows you away, and Monique Hodgson is one of those people. Monique is a Latin American trailblazer, on a mission to redefine motherhood through her company, Mumble Forum. Monique established in 2019 as a platform to unite women through motherhood with the objective of creating social change, collectively and individually. She says that mothers are underestimated, undervalued and under-utilised, and that the world is suffering both metaphorically and economically because of this.  Monique is from Panama, and after moving alone to Milan at the age of 18 to study in the fashion capital of the world, she found herself in London working in the ambassadorial service at the Panamanian embassy. Her work has stretched from fashion, to international politics and commerce to luxury branding and events. We talked a lot in this interview about strong women - being them, raising them and inspiring them, and how Monique’s ambition to change the perception of motherhood drives everything she does at Mumble.  Useful Links Mumble Forum Instagram:  Monique's Instagram: (  Listen to 'Ladies of Mumble' on Spotify: v Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -  
May 20, 2021
Amanda Ogen - on making it in Hollywood, and why persistence pays off
If like me, you had a misspent youth watching as much Friends, Sex and the City and The O.C. as you could, you’ll probably love today’s guest, Amanda Ogen. Amanda was obsessed with film and TV from a young age and despite being from New Jersey, couldn’t wait to move to Hollywood. After interning at Nickelodeon, she is now a freelance casting agent, and has worked on shows with Netflix, Fox, Facebook and Buzzfeed.  Amanda also hosts a hit podcast, ‘How Did I Get This Far?’, which takes a lighthearted look at some of basic life skills that you might regret never acquiring. Her show charted on the Apple podcast charts earlier this year, and has featured guests talking about everything from changing a tyre, to doing your taxes, to defending yourself with MMA skills. Amanda is, quite frankly, hilarious. In this conversation we talked about sororities in American university, the phrase ‘the dog’s bollocks’, why it pays to be persistent, and the value of speaking up, even if you’re not sure you really should.   Oh, and in case you're wondering, here's a video of the cha cha slide: Useful Links Amanda's Instagram: Listen to 'How Did I Get This Far?' on Spotify:  Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -  
May 13, 2021
Iffat Gill - on creating meaningful social change through digital entrepreneurship
Some people take half a lifetime to discover their passion, but others know their calling from an early age. Iffat Gill was only 25 when she was first invited to speak at a UN Conference, after founding her first not-for-profit in Pakistan at the age of 22.  Iffat grew up in Libya and received her education there with the strong encouragement of her family, but when she returned back to her home nation of Pakistan, she realised the need for community education in the effort to empower women. Iffat began with a local skills centre, teaching women the practical aspects of running a small business, but soon realised that her future lay in tech. She has gone on to found Code To Change, a diversity non-profit to upskill and re-skill under-represented groups, and Digital Starling, a new AI enabled female talent marketplace supporting digital freelancers and founders. In 2020, Iffat was nominated for the UNESCO Prize for her work in women and girls’ education, and she is world-renowned for her expertise in digital skills advocacy and internet governance.  Useful Links Iffat's Instagram: Connect with Iffat on LinkedIn:  Medium article about Digital Starling: Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -
May 06, 2021
Kristine Kilty - on a life in fashion, and receiving career advice from Gwen Stefani
They say you should never meet your heroes, but what if you do, and it turns out to be amazing? In the case of Kristine Kilty, she met her style icon, Gwen Stefani, whilst working at Vivienne Westwood in London, and her career trajectory altered irrevocably from there.  Kristine is a fashion stylist and creative director, co-ordinating shoots for some of the world's biggest fashion magazines. She trained at Central St. Martins College before working for the likes of Alexander McQueen during her illustrious career to this point. Her fashion consultancy business, The Fierce Group, was founded in 2020 in the height of the pandemic, and she was featured in Vogue last year discussing novel ways of working in the fashion industry during Covid.  If you're into fashion, or you know anyone that is, this is the episode for you! Useful links  Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram -
Apr 29, 2021
Veronica Bolton Smith - on why Africa has always been her inspiration
We are BACK! Season 3 is here, and my first guest this season is Veronica Bolton Smith who, spoiler alert, is a dear friend and a total inspiration. Ronnie is a powerhouse, and her career has been so varied and interesting that I can’t wait for you to hear her story. She started work in the House of Commons at the age of 22, working for various MPs including Theresa May and John Bercow, before heading out to Kenya to become the managing director of a company of 300 people at the age of 25. She has subsequently worked in both the public and private sectors, and has huge experience in international development, investment and renewable energy. She is now the COO of Invest Africa, and sits on the board of Akojo Marketplace, a fashion and homewares company. Most of all, Ronnie is fantastic fun and really knows how to tell a story. She’s also a fabulous singer but I couldn’t quite work that into the podcast recording this time around. Next time! Useful links Our website, with details of the International Women's Podcast Awards - Check us out on Instagram - Find Ronnie on LinkedIn -  Akojo Marketplace -   
Apr 22, 2021
Season 3 Trailer
We've been away for a while, but we are back! This week marks the start of Season 3! We’ve been on a long hiatus since Season 2 as I moved house (again), contemplated what I was doing with my life (again) and well, there was a global pandemic.  Who would have thought that was going to happen. I was furloughed for a while last year and had a long time then to think about where I wanted to take the podcast and my career, and since we last spoke, I’ve founded a new business, the Skylark Collective, to champion women in podcasting. But if I’ve got a podcasting-focused business, I also need a podcast right? And I’m so fortunate to have had such lovely feedback about our previous guests and the stories we’ve told here on Smashing The Ceiling that I just felt there’s a lot of life in this show. A lot of podcast don’t continue after one or two seasons - they call it pod fade apparently - but that’s not us. We’re going to be bringing you the stories of more amazing women over the next few months and I can’t wait. I've got some fantastic guests lined up and we are starting this week with Veronica Bolton Smith, one of my favourite people in the world right now, and an absolutely business inspiration. Episode drops on Thursday! 
Apr 22, 2021
A little update...
Hello hello hello! I realise it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, so I thought I’d slide into your ears with a little update. First things first. If you’re from the vet world and you’ve been listening to Borborygmi here - good news! It turns out mixing your genres isn’t a smart idea, so Borborygmi has now moved to its ( very own channel) and we’ve got a new season starting next week. Just search ( Borborygmi: Noises From The Veterinary World) wherever you get your podcasts, and you’ll find us.  And what of Smashing The Ceiling I hear you ask? When do we get to hear the stories of more amazing women with inspiring and unusual careers? Well, Season 3 will be back in 2021 - yes, I know that’s aaaaages since Season 2 finished but despite the global circumstances, it’s been a busy year with exciting consequences. Drumroll please... I’m on the verge of launching a new venture for women in podcasting, which is called (The Skylark Collective). The Collective will be a membership organisation for all women in the podcasting industry, whether you’re a host, producer, editor, writer or anything in between. We’re aiming to lift the voices of our members through connection, collaboration and celebration. We’ll have monthly events based around the themes of Success, featuring conversations with women who’ve been there, done it and got the millions of downloads, Skills, allowing your to uplevel your offering and take your podcast to the next level, and Social, because if there’s one thing we’ve realised in 2020, it’s that we all need each other more than we thought. Community is queen. There’ll also be a bursary fund offered to women with great ideas that need a hand to get going, and an annual awards ceremony kicking off in September 2021 to celebrate the achievements of women in podcasting worldwide. Our website is in progress, but the socials are up and running on (Insta) and (Twitter) so do give us a follow and look out for content there! Smashing The Ceiling will now become the official podcast of The Skylark Collective, and we’ll be showcasing more amazing women with fabulous careers...and a podcast too. So watch this space - we’ll let you know when we’re ready to roll!
Nov 27, 2020
Kerrie Hedley on women in veterinary leadership
Today’s episode is a special collaboration for Smashing The Ceiling, as I’ve produced this conversation in partnership with (Veterinary Woman,) a platform to help and inspire women to develop the confidence to overcome challenges and follow their passions. They want to encourage women to be at the forefront of clinical practice, specialisation, professional bodies, corporates, education, research, industry, government - to have female leaders in every area of veterinary influence. And so my special guest today is a women who embodies all the qualities that both Veterinary Woman and Smashing The Ceiling love to share with others. ( Kerrie Hedley) is now the chief operating officer of (XL Vets), reaching executive level after only 4 years at the company. Kerrie graduated from the (RVC) in 2011 and started in equine practice in the North East. As you’ll hear, she developed a love of business quite early and has since completed both a certificate in (Veterinary Business Management) and an ( MBA) during her career so far. Her MBA dissertation was on women in veterinary leadership, and we talk quite a lot about this later in the episode, particularly the facilitators and barriers to women progressing in the profession. It was such a joy to talk to Kerrie - she is very humble about her progress but the reality she is that she has a big job and she is now using her position to lift up others women in the profession, which is really what it’s all about. 
Jul 03, 2020
Emma Mosey - from writing novels to donning her wellies
Today is our 50th episode! I am also SO pleased that for this milestone I’m joined by a woman that I am honoured to call a friend, someone that I’ve known for a very long time and whose career has taken a number of twists and turns, with huge success along the way. Emma Mosey grew up in Cheshire and considered herself a country girl, although as she herself would tell you, that might be slightly open to debate. After studying English at the University of Edinburgh and a Masters in creative writing at Royal Holloway in London, her first novel, How To Be A Good Wife, was published in 2013 to significant critical acclaim, including from Dame Hilary Mantel who regarded it as “an accomplished debut from a writer who shows insight and emotional power”. But since the publication of her second novel, The Last Photograph, in 2016, Emma's career has taken a very distinct swerve. Having never been a what she refers to as a ‘real’ farm before meeting her in-laws, and unused to the vagaries of a life in the agricultural sector, Em has now - for the time being at least - put down her pen and donned her wellies. She is now the co-owner of a free range poultry farm, where her 6,000 hens lay eggs to be sold in the farm shop, Minskip, she runs with Ben, and will soon be cooked into dishes in the first egg-centred restaurant on an egg-producing farm. It's been quite the fortnight for her too - last week she and her team won three awards, including Best Rural Retail Business and Best Farm Shop, and this week she spoke at the Women in Farming Conference on her transition to farming life.  Where to find Emma: Website - ( Instagram - (  Facebook - (  Emma writes under her maiden name, Emma Chapman, and you can find her work here: (  Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( Facebook: (  LinkedIn: (     
Oct 22, 2019
Kelly Pollock - on action, activism and politics
Imagine if your Instagram bio read, "First of her name, smasher of the patriarchy, mother of sons, leader of committees, warrior for social justice, dweller by the water, knitter of hats, Master of Religious Studies". WHAT AN INTRO!  Today we're talking to Kelly Pollock, she of the amazing bio, and we'll be discussing her work in politics, what made her take action and get involved (spoiler: It was Trump) and plenty about the upcoming American presidential election. Kelly is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Chicago in the Division of Social Sciences, but on top of that, is a Democratic Party activist and host of Two Broads Talking Politics, a massively influential podcast which aims to discuss the current state of US politics, champion women in all aspects of politics and shine a light on what others can do to help. Kelly started out by knitting pussy hats for the Women's March, and she's now got nearly 30,000 Twitter followers, so she knows a thing or two about growing a following. We also talked about anxiety, pressure, fashion in politics and loads more - she's a fascinating woman! Where to find Kelly: Website - (   Twitter - (  Facebook - (  YouTube - (  LinkedIn - (  Instagram - (  David Fleischer's TED Talk on Deep Canvassing - (    Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( Facebook: (  LinkedIn: (   
Oct 13, 2019
Career Skills - Networking
We're back on career skills this week, and today we are talking about NETWORKING.  Love it or loathe it, building your network is key to building your career. For most of us, the word networking brings to mind excruciating post-work events with people you don’t know standing around in ones and twos looking awkward. But fear not! This episode will have plenty of tips and advice to help you feel more confident in approaching others that can help you, and how to build strong rapport with those you meet.  Follow us for more: Instagram: (  Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (   
Sep 29, 2019
Lilach Saperstein - cardiology? radiology? No, audiology!
The sound of a child's laughter, the waves crashing on the shore, the birds in the trees in the morning - there are so many sounds in our every day lives that we take completely for granted.  We go to the dentist to have our teeth checked, and to the optician to have our eyes looked at, but when was the last time you thought about your ears? I'd hazard a guess you've never even thought about your hearing, as it's just...there. But what would it be like if you suddenly lost your hearing? Dr. Lilach Saperstein is an audiologist, whose role involves diagnosing and assisting those with hearing loss, whether that's babies in the ICU, older people, trauma patients or children in schools - the role of an audiologist is SO varied. We discussed Lilach's career so far, the future of technology in treating hearing loss, the role of empathetic communication in medicine and much more besides.    Where to find Lilach: Website - (   Instagram - (  LinkedIn - (   Facebook - (    Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: ( 
Sep 22, 2019
Gloria Mitchell - from homelessness to a Stanford MBA
Gloria Mitchell is an audacious woman. From bluntly telling the owner of a night school that she was homeless and needed help, to going on her first business trip in a limousine whilst living in her own car, Gloria’s story is one of twists and turns on her route to success.  Adopted as a little girl by an abusive and manipulative woman, Gloria eventually escaped, and after surviving homelessness twice, completed an MBA from Stanford, one of the most prestigious programmes in the world. Now, as a performance and crisis coach for entrepreneurs and public figures, she helps others to deal with the pressures and strains of life at the very top.    Where to find Gloria: Website - (  Instagram - ( Twitter - ( LinkedIn - (  Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (   
Sep 15, 2019
Josephine Anselin - on making your career an adventure
Josephine Anselin has a true spirit of adventure. After a childhood spent in multiple countries, her adult life has taken her from her home in Luxembourg to the oil rigs of the North Sea, the wilds of New Zealand and the islands of Indonesia. I chatted to her about her career as an engineer in oil and gas, quitting to follow her passion for adventure, completing an MBA in Spain from her home in Jakarta, and how she has now launched her new strategy consulting business, the Outventure Hub, to help others in the adventure world to succeed in pursuing their dreams.    Where to find Josephine: Website - ( ) Instagram - (  Facebook - ( Twitter - (  LinkedIn - (  Follow us for more: Instagram: (  Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (  
Sep 08, 2019
Starting a new chapter with some self-reflection
We are BACK for Season 2! Welcome to a new series of Smashing The Ceiling, where today we are looking forwards by looking back, and kicking off the season with an episode on self-reflection.  It's easy to scoff at the idea of sitting down and pondering your life, your mistakes and your epic successes, but increasing evidence shows that those that reflect on their performance at work are more likely to go further. Do you want success and happiness in your working life? Of course you do. So have a listen and let me know what you think. I mention in this episode about using the 'Wheel of Life' as part of self-reflection and you can find more info on this (here)
Sep 01, 2019
Season 2 - a sneaky little trailer...
The eagle-eared amongst you may have noticed that the podcast has been on a little summer holiday...but put it in your diaries, we will be back on Sunday 1st September! #podcast #shepodcasts #summerholiday #weareback #backinthegame
Aug 16, 2019
Jen Kneale - on saving lives at sea and kayaking with sharks
Jen Kneale has an affinity with the sea that stems from a lifetime spent on the ocean. It’s no exaggeration to say that a love of the sea runs in her veins: like her father and grandfather before her she is now a coxswain - or captain - of the lifeboat on the Isle of Man. Jen was the first female coxswain in the island - the original home of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - and only the 4th nationwide.  Jen is also a successful businesswoman, having set up her own sailing school at the age of 25, a coach and an international sailor, representing Great Britain in the Laser class. She runs an annual This Girl Can sailing weekend aimed at getting women and girls to try sailing, and is passionate about continuing to increase opportunities across the lifeboats and beyond.  In 2017, on her second crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, Jen taught herself celestial navigation, the art and science of navigating via the sun, the moon and the stars, as they did in the days of Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus. She is certainly a woman of many talents… Where to find Jen and the RNLI: Jen's website - (  Facebook - (  RNLI website - (  RNLI Twitter - (   RNLI YouTube - (  RNLI Instagram - (  Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (           
Jun 03, 2019
Madeleine Black - a survivor's story of a hopeful future
My guest today is Madeleine Black, a true survivor, whose story offers hope to those who have also suffered at the hands of others. We are not, she says, defined by what knocks us down - we are instead defined by how we get back up. After being gang-raped at the age of 13, and raped on three further occasions before her 18th birthday, she has gone on to become a successful psychotherapist, writer, speaker, wife and mother. Her powerful memoir, Unbroken, tells of her recovery from adversity, her desire to choose forgiveness and actively seek redemption. Her desire to understand why the young men who raped her had chosen that path, what affected their lives and their decisions has led her to be part of the Forgiveness Project, a unique worldwide project that collates the powerful stories of those whose lives have been affected by violence, terrorism and trauma, but who have learned how to forgive in order to move on in their own lives. Since giving her first public talk in 2015, Madeleine has appeared on Radio 4 with Trevor MacDonald, BBC Radio 5 and BBC Radio Scotland. She appeared in Dispatches on Channel 4 and most recently, has been selected to do a TEDx talk in Glasgow later this year. You can buy Madeleine's book ( here)! Where to find Madeleine: Website - ( Facebook - ( Twitter - (  Linkedin - ( Instagram - ( Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (     
May 26, 2019
Ash Fox - on being a part of 1,500 marriage proposals
Ash Fox is someone with a rare joie de vivre and enthusiasm for life, whose joy is infectious and whose presence makes you feel good. She is also a grafter, and today tells me the story of how she became New York's first and most successful proposal planner and photographer. Ash herself admits she is not a 'wedding gal', but the thrill of fulfilling people's dreams for their proposal has meant she has now witnessed over 1500 couples saying 'Yes'...and there hasn't been a 'no' yet! But Ash has built her business through sheer hard work, and we discussed in detail what it was like graduating college as an art major immediately after the crash, how taking every opportunity that came her way led her to become first a nightclub dancer, then a photographer, and how her lowest ebb inspired her to start her current business. Where to find Ash: Website: ( YouTube: ( Twitter: ( Instagram: ( Facebook: ( Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (   
May 19, 2019
Career Skills - Listening
Today we’re kicking on with the third episode of our series on career skills for the workplace, which are being slotted around our fabulous guests in 2019. I thought it would be useful to look at a few different areas that might help you at work this year, and explore a little about why they’re important and how you can develop these skills.  We’ve looked at negotiation and conflict resolution so far and those episodes are still available if you want to go back and download them, but today we are talking about LISTENING. Listening is one of the most under-rated workplace skills, but also one of the most essential. Everyone wants to feel heard, that their ideas are being considered, and that their input is valuable, but if everyone is talking and nobody is listening then as a team, you’re going nowhere fast. Want to be be a better listener? Listen in for more! Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (     
May 12, 2019
Jane Green - on how looking up at the stars brought her new opportunities
Jane Green is someone with many a story to tell, from being head-hunted to the Foreign Office aged 18, to spending years on the high seas in the merchant Navy, to becoming one of the UK’s most successful and prominent female astronomers. Jane is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, who worked previously with the late great Sir Patrick Moore, and was invited be the inaugural speaker for the Sir Patrick Moore memorial lecture. She has written a bestselling book, appeared on BBC Two’s Stargazing Live, and recently co-hosted a phenomenally successful theatre show entitled Tour of the Universe, with the presenters of the BBC’s The Sky At Night. Jane’s passion is making astronomy your passion, from getting outside to look at the night sky, to explaining complex scientific theories about the planets, our solar system and the universe. The scale of it all may seem a little overwhelming, but Jane delights in simplifying the mind-blowing concepts of the earth and beyond for everyone’s enjoyment.  “Look up, live it, love it”, she says - listen to our conversation to hear more about her work!    Where to find Jane: - Website: (  - LinkedIn: (      - Twitter: (  - Facebook: (    Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (     
May 05, 2019
Goli Kalkhoran - on leaving the law for life as an entrepreneur
My guest this week, Goli Kalkhoran, was one of those people with what looked like the 'perfect' career path: excellent grades at school and university, a smooth path to law school, a great first job in a corporate law firm and a steady progression to be a public prosecutor. But what happens when your dream job isn't your dream job? And how easy is it to quit a 'successful' professional career to chase your dream of doing something more fulfilling? Goli talked to Naomi about the pressure of student debt in the US, her career, the difficult decision she made to leave the law, and how she built a new business as an entrepreneur from a standing start. Goli is also the host and producer of Lessons From A Quitter, a podcast that tells the stories of others who have left the corporate world to pursue their dreams. She shares some of the lessons she's learned from that project in this episode - if you want to check out her podcast, the links are below! Where to find Goli: - Website: (     - Podcast: ( - Instagram: (  - LinkedIn: (     - Twitter: (  - Facebook: (   Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: ( 
Apr 28, 2019
Freda Yuan - on how coffee changed her life
Freda Yuan lives for coffee: the aroma, the taste, the experience and the benefits it brings in life. Her job title is 'Head of Coffee' at Origin Coffee Roasters, day-to-day she oversees procurement of coffee - including green coffee - from a variety of countries, and holds responsibility for product development and quality control. This involves tasting a LOT of coffee, and as a result, Freda is also an award-winning coffee taster. In 2017 she placed 3rd in the World Cup Taster Championship, and women the British title in 2018. Wondering how you win a coffee tasting competition? Listen in the hear more.... But coffee has done more for Freda than merely provide her with a very successful career and the opportunity to travel to some of the world's most beautiful places. It has also helped her recover and rehabilitate herself from a dark place of depression, anxiety and disordered eating. She tells this story as well today, and offers hope to others through her recovery. Where to find Freda: - Website: (   - Instagram: (   - LinkedIn: (      - Facebook: (  For more information and support on eating disorders and depression, try these websites, or consider talking to your doctor: Beat - ( NHS - (  Mind - ( Sane - (   Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (     
Apr 21, 2019
Jerri Williams - on life in the FBI
For most of us, our experience of FBI agents comes only through box sets and movies, and we have no idea what life is really like on the inside of one of the world's most famous government agencies. One person who does is Jerri Williams, who served for 26 years as a special agent in the in the FBI. During most of her Bureau career Jerri worked on major economic fraud investigations, but also worked robbery and drugs cases during her career. At the time she joined the FBI, there were few women at the organisation, and even fewer women of colour. We discuss the ups and downs of a career in the investigative services, her second career as an author and podcaster, and the clichés and misconceptions about the FBI propagated in film and television! Where to find Jerri: - Website: (    - Podcast: (  - Instagram: (  - LinkedIn: (     - Twitter: (  - Facebook: (    Follow us for more: Instagram: ( Twitter: ( LinkedIn: (           
Apr 14, 2019
35. Bonus - The 5 D's of Achieving Your 'Thing'
This week's episode is about taking on adventures in life, whether personal or professional, & how to achieve your goals. It doesn't really matter what your 'Thing' is, but if there's a goal you want to achieve or a challenge you want to complete in 2019, then this is the podcast for you. Naomi discusses the 5 D's of achieving your 'Thing' following her recent completion of a big personal challenge, incorporating advice from others who've achieved their goals and hints & tips to help you on your journey.  Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: LinkedIn:   
Apr 09, 2019
34. Sarah Swan - on healing the disordered mind
Imagine trying to live your life with the person you dislike the most standing at your shoulder the whole time. Imagine the cruellest things they ever said to you, the way it made you feel, and how the stress associated with that impacted your happiness, your productivity and your life. What if you could never shake that voice off, or escape from the clutches of their control? Sarah Swan is a senior clinical psychologist that specialises in helping people suffering from psychosis and related mental health disorders. Her patients are often terrified, misunderstood and ostracised by those with little compassion or understanding about the symptoms involved and before talking to her, I would freely admit that this was an area I knew little about. Sarah’s research has previously focused on schizophrenia, the links between post-traumatic stress and psychosis  and the impact of chronic use of cannabis on mental health.  Sarah also works to try and improve diversity within psychology - as a mixed race woman herself she is keen to encourage others to enter the field, and visits schools to promote psychology as a career. What a woman! Useful links: British Psychological Society - If you're interested in a career in psychology then check out their website here:  National Careers Service - Loads of useful information here:   Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: LinkedIn:   
Mar 31, 2019
33. Career Skills - Conflict Resolution
Today we’re into the second episode of our new series on career skills to help you in the workplace. These podcasts are here to help you progress your career, and will be periodically slotted in between our fantastic guests over the next few months. This series was inspired by discussions with a friend about pay, hence the first episode was on negotiation. Today's podcast follows a conversation with another friend who has had a tricky time at work with a colleague of late: this month we are discussing CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Conflict is inevitable in every workplace, but it's how you deal with it that marks you out both as a leader or a team member. I'll be talking about strategies to manage conflict within a team that you manage, and what to do if you find yourself in a conflict situation. I mention Mike Myatt in this episode and his writings on conflict can be found here:  Other useful resources can be found here:   Good luck! Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: LinkedIn:     
Mar 17, 2019
32. Kate Healy - on the psychology and practicality of money
Kate Healy has, she says, always been interested in money: how people use it, why some people squander it, why others are obsessed with it and how some use a little to produce a lot. Money still carries a stigma, a taboo around it that she would love to help break down, and to encourage more women to take responsibility for their finances, to understand money and what they can do with it, and to promote a career in finance as being a worthwhile and interesting one.  Kate's day job is as the Managing Director, Generation Next, focused on advocacy for sustainability issues facing the RIA industry. Healy leads TD Ameritrade Institutional’s NextGen and Women's Leadership Initiatives, which support the future of the profession through programs designed to raise visibility, provide support and resources to guide professional development of the next generation of advisors. She is a member of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion committee. In 2016, Investment Advisor magazine named Healy as one of the industry’s 25 most influential people. She is passionate about diversity, and also recognises the need to recruit millennials into the sector. If you've never thought about a career in the financial services industry, this is a good introduction - there are many upsides that aren't often talked about!  Where to find Kate: - Website:  - LinkedIn:     - Twitter:  Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: LinkedIn:   
Mar 10, 2019
31. Jaclyn Whittal - storm chaser, meteorologist and musician
Jaclyn Whittal is the kind of woman we love on this podcast: she is brave, fearless and she says 'Yes' to almost every opportunity that comes her way in life. This approach has led her down a winding career path involving Shania Twain and a role as Sandy in the German version of Grease, to her current work in television, where she can be found daily on the Weather Network in North America as a meteorologist, and on Amazon Prime as part of the team presenting Storm Hunters, a show telling the stories of storm chasers in North America. Yes, you read that right - like Helen Hunt in Twister (iconic 90's movie) - Jaclyn is a storm chaser, and spends her time following tornados, hurricanes and other severe weather systems.  But Jaclyn started her professional life as a singer and musician, performing in large musical theatre productions, writing music and releasing two rock albums, but when nearing the age of 30, decided there was something more out there for her. As a self-confessed "weather nerd" who was keen on a career in the media, she enrolled in a part-time Masters in meteorology and her career has sky-rocketed from there. Jaclyn believes, she says, that everyone has three good careers in them. First musician, then storm chaser...listen in to see what she thinks could be next!
Mar 03, 2019
30. Gabby Edlin - on the fight against period poverty
The word ‘powerhouse’ is much overused these days, but it certainly applies to Gabby Edlin in the context of periods. She is a tour de force in the fight against period poverty as founder and CEO of Bloody Good Period, an enterprise that provides menstrual products for asylum seekers in the UK, and campaigns to change the conversation around women’s health and menstruation. Gabby’s career trajectory to date is an interesting and inspiring one, and if we’re talking about forcing opening a door where only a chink of light shows, then she is the boss. Brought up in Manchester in a Jewish family, Gabby’s passion for social justice and women’s issues began early. In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably say that Gabby and I went to school together - I’m a couple of years older than her, and she is MUCH more creative than me, but we were both inspired by our favourite English teacher and share a deep love of our home city. In this episode we discuss:  - Gabby's early desire to be a fashion designer, her love of photography and how she pursued this via a Fine Art foundation course - Realising that photography was not for her, and switching to an academic degree in English Literature, History of Art and Fine Art despite not possessing the qualifications she needed  - Working in museums and galleries, applying for her Masters degree and crowd-funding her studies before being awarded a scholarship - The idea for Bloody Good Period, working with asylum seekers at drop-in centres and what she has learned so far - The future of women's health, political policy around periods and education in the sphere Where to find Gabby and Bloody Good Period: - Website:   - Instagram:  - LinkedIn:    - Twitter:  - Facebook:  - Gabby's Masters:   Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: LinkedIn:   
Feb 24, 2019
29. Shereen Kassam - the corporate/comedy combination
Shereen Kassam defines herself as a corporate America addict, stand-up comedy lover, speaker of all things fun, podcasting enthusiast, improv teacher and shoe junkie. What a list! Shereen's dad wanted her to be a doctor, but she couldn't cope with the blood so instead, after her degree at Brown University, she became a strategy consultant, and now works in-house for Disney in Florida, where she grew up. Shereen was a shy child, but tried stand-up for the first time after reluctantly escorting her drunk housemate to a comedy club. It's fair to say she's progressed quickly, winning multiple awards with her show, Funny Brown Girl, and performing worldwide from New York to Saigon. Shereen draws on her relationship with her South Asian Muslim parents, and is not afraid to mine material that others might be nervous of tackling. She is an honest, hilarious podcast guest and it was such a pleasure to chat to her! In this episode we discuss:  - Shereen's early life and how her career choices were shaped by conversations with her parents - Her career in strategy consulting and how her corporate life offers an unexpected degree of creativity - How she unexpectedly found stand up comedy and discovered the joy of being on stage - Her podcast, Creative Breakthrough, and the pleasure and satisfaction she draws from that - Her future aspirations for her career, succeeding in her goals and her aims in comedy  Where to find Shereen: - The Funny Brown Girl website:   - The Creative Breakthrough podcast:  - Instagram:  - LinkedIn:    - Twitter:  - Facebook:  - YouTube:    Follow us for more: - Instagram: - Twitter: - Facebook:  - LinkedIn:     
Feb 09, 2019
28. Kathryn Nicolai - yoga, sleep and bedtime stories
This week’s guest, Kathryn Nicolai, has a voice that soothes the soul, and since her podcast, Nothing Much Happens, launched in April 2018, she has gently encouraged more than two million people to snuggle into their duvet and fall asleep. When we were little, if you were lucky, I bet someone read to you to see you off to sleep, but remarkably, at some point we forget the pleasure that used to bring us, meaning that bedtime stories for adults are just not a ‘thing’, or they weren’t until now.  There clearly is a need though, as Kathryn’s podcast has become an international sensation. But before Nothing Much Happens, Kathryn was - and still is - a yoga instructor, and owns her own studio in Michigan. So today’s episode covers two areas really - firstly, how Kathryn found solace in yoga at a difficult time in her life, and how she started her own business at a relatively young age; secondly how the simple, perfect idea of bedtime stories for adults took shape in the form of Nothing Much Happens, and how trusting your gut can lead you down paths you never expected.    In this episode we discuss: - Kathryn's early life and her desire to be a writer from a young age - Studying Italian and Spanish at school and university, and never using either of them in her professional life! - How she found yoga as a respite from injury, exhaustion, anxiety and an eating disorder - Her early yoga teachers and the mentors she had in her yoga career - The growth of the yoga industry and how Kathryn has kept her business constant in a time of shifting trends - Starting a business at 25, and why a lack of fear means starting a business at a young age can be a positive move  - How a good idea comes from having a lot of ideas, and moving forward with them if you think that's the right thing to do - Goat yoga! - The rise of women in yoga, including as teachers, from an ancient tradition of male leaders, and building a feminist angle into her yoga business - Where the idea for Nothing Much Happens came from and she went about launching the podcast - Finding a need, and filling it with something quality to build a successful business - Her evening pre-sleep routine - Whether the stories are autobiographical and where the ideas come from - The science of sleep - What's next for her - the book deal is on the horizon!   Where to find Kathryn: - The Nothing Much Happens website: - Nothing Much Happens podcast:  - Facebook:  - Instagram:    Follow us for more: - Instagram: - Twitter: - Facebook:  
Feb 03, 2019
27. Anna Lundberg - on quitting "success" to pursue your passions
Here at Smashing the Ceiling we love to showcase the careers of women who have taken the road less travelled, and there's so much to discuss on that front with today's guest, Anna Lundberg, a woman who has always forged her own path. She freely admits that she has always been one to keep her options open, choosing the International Baccalaureat instead of 'A' levels, Philosphy, Politics and Economics at uni, and a Masters in Political Science, International Law and International Economics. Her quest to work for the UN didn't quite pan out, and she started her career with Proctor and Gamble, where she spent 7 years, initially in brand management and then the brave new world of digital marketing. Digital marketing was barely a thing when Anna started at the company in 2007 but taking a leap into a new world led her to places she wouldn't have expected. However, whilst on sabbatical in 2013, she decided there was more out there with her name on. She established her own digital marketing agency in 2014, and whilst freelancing between international jaunts, she took a coaching course in 6 months that was meant to take 2 years. She now runs One Step Outside, a personal coaching and training companies for ambitious individuals and teams who want to make a difference without sacrificing their health and relationships to do so - so tune in to hear more!      In this episode we discuss: What Anna wanted to be when she grew up   The various jobs she tried at school, none of which contributed to her future career!   Her undergraduate studies at Oxford, taking a Masters in Geneva and her unsuccessful attempt to work at the UN   Starting work at Proctor and Gamble, and breaking into the new sphere of digital marketing   Realising the disconnect between where she was professionally and where she thought she should be, and starting to think about other options for her career   Being bold and stepping outside your comfort zone, shrugging off her “Good Girl” mentality   Quitting your job without another one to go to    Starting her new business on her return from her travels, and getting that off the ground   The ins and outs of running a small business, including lone working from home and the financial insecurity of self-employment    Being patient when you’ve started a new venture, and having realistic expectations   Anna’s “hippy period” (her words, not mine!) and how she ventured into the coaching world   The concept of One Step Outside and what Anna does now, challenging people to move from ‘comfort’ to ‘growth’   Why everyone needs a coach!     Her new podcast, “Reimagining Success” and thinking about what you really want from life Where to find Anna: The OneStepOutside website: The Reimagining Success podcast:  LinkedIn:   Twitter:    Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: 
Jan 27, 2019
26. Career Skills - Negotiation
Today we’re starting a new series on career skills to help you in the workplace which will be periodically slotted in amongst our fantastic guests over the next few months. This series was inspired when a friend revealed to me not so long ago that she had just negotiated a sizeable pay rise after discovering that as the only female in her team, she was being paid significantly less than her male counterparts. As ever, we discussed the HOW of it all (clearly my real life reflects my podcast life) - how she prepared, how the meeting went and how she drove a successful outcome. After a few drinks, said friend suggested that I do a podcast about negotiation, and that got me thinking about all the other work place dilemmas that crop up so regularly, whatever industry you’re in. So today we will be talking about money, and about NEGOTIATION. During this episode we'll discuss the 4 P's of negotiation: preparation, practice, positivity and persistence. I'll suggest some things you need to consider, and how to break down a negotiation into manageable chunks to make it a little more bearable, because whatever anyone may say, most of us will find a negotiation quite a stressful experience.  I mention some advice on negotiation from Sheryl Sandberg's team at Lean In and you can find the videos here: Other useful resources can be found here:   Good luck!
Jan 20, 2019
25. Bec Fisher - 40 new jobs at the age of 40
The chances are that aged 15 or 16 you went to do one week of school work experience, and have never given it a second thought since (although my brother ended up with an excellent full-time job from his one week, lucky sod). The chances are also that at least some of you will have day dreamed about careers you'd wished you'd had, or jobs you wished you'd had an opportunity to try out. But what if you had the option to try 40 different jobs in 40 weeks? This was the opportunity that Bec Fisher curated for herself last year, to coincide with her 40th birthday. Bec had been a primary teacher for nearly 20 years, but since the birth of her two children had been working as a supply and relief teacher on a part time basis. Needing to make the decision about whether to update her qualifications and return to full time teaching, or to consider a complete career change, Bec decided that doing some work experience would be a good option. This idea then...snowballed, shall we say, and the idea for the 4040 Experience was born. Camel farmer, florist, firefighter, occupational therapist, weaver, photographer, children's entertainer....the list of jobs that Bec teed up for herself goes on! She chats to us about her experiences, including what she learned, how she did it and what the future now holds for her. Where to find Bec: Website: Instagram: Facebook:  Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook:     
Jan 13, 2019
24. Jamie Coleman - on saving lives and fixing bullet holes
Jamie Jones Coleman is a trauma surgeon. As she puts it, most of what she does is "fixing holes in people", but that massively down-plays the complexity, skill and adrenaline of her job. The bleep goes, the team swings into action, and all hands are on deck to save a life. It sounds thrilling, but Jamie juggles this with being a wife to a former NFL player turned lawyer, a mother to two little boys, an international public speaker, and a writer. She has a successful blog with a readership of over 2 million, and has contributed to the HuffPost and US News. She is open on the challenges a female surgeon faces, the joys and challenges of motherhood and how writing allows her to bring a more creative aspect to her work.  In this episode we discuss: - Jamie's upbringing and how her grandmother and other women in her family shaped her education and her goals - Being a "glorified plumber" (her words, not mine!) and why she enjoys the practical challenge of surgery - Being a mother and a surgeon, and the struggle of the juggle! - Why Jamie thinks being a mother makes her a better surgeon  - The media's pitching of women with children and those without against one another, and why defining women as a stay-at-home-mother or a working mother or a childless woman is potentially harmful - How she keeps her career fresh and avoids burnout in a job that is incredibly stressful - Dealing with failure and learning from mistakes - Women supporting other women in work and beyond - Her writing, and how that took off initially   Where to find Jamie: Website: LinkedIn:  Twitter:    Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: 
Jan 06, 2019
23. Bonus - Under-The-Radar Women of Influence in 2018
Time flies doesn't it?! We've nearly reached the end of 2018, and the usual lists of people that have influenced the year are being published in every newspaper and magazine, along with predictions of the movers and shakers for 2019. We'll be returning with a guest next week, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a few thoughts on women that have influenced the spheres of business, politics, culture and sport this year that you may or may not have heard of, but who are definitely shaping our society one way or another.  They are.... Sacha Romanovich -  a powerhouse in the City of London who became the first female CEO of a top British accountancy firm when taking the helm at Grant Thornton in 2015. In September an anonymous employee sent a lengthy memo to the press attacking Romanovich's leadership and disclosing details of Sacha’s confidential performance review in a bid to undermine, humiliate and embarrass her. She subsequently resigned in October, and is included here as a symbol of the tenacity, determination and grit required for a woman not just to get to the top but also to stay there. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - the monumental rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has caught the eye of many people this year, and she is being tipped to be a major force in American politics in the future. Alexandria was born in the Bronx in New York to Puerto Rican parents, and when she takes office on January 3rd 2019 will be the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives as a Congresswoman at the age of just 29. In winning the Democratic nomination she defeated a seasoned politician in Joe Crowley, whose campaign budget was 18 times that of Ocasio-Cortez. She is a community organiser and grassroots politician in a similar vein to Barack Obama and is already being mooted as a future Democratic presidential candidate. Farrah Storr - Since taking the helm at Cosmopolitan magazine n 2015, Storr has increased circulation by a whopping 59%. She inherited a massive heritage and a massive team who were very loyal to her predecessor, and nearly 80% of whom resigned within 3 months of her arrival as editor-in-chief. She has shown her resilience though and in addition to the continuing success of the magazine, has made 2018 her year through the publication of her book The Discomfort Zone: How To Get What You Want By Living Fearlessly, which has gone on to huge commercial success. Farrah talks about the loneliness of being a boss, and the pressure created by the myth that women can "have it all", ironically a concept developed and perpetuated by the magazine she now edits. Storr and her husband have made a positive choice not to have children, and speaks eloquently about the peace she feels with their decision, no longer needing to justify herself constantly to others she meets. I love that she talks so openly about this, and that by getting on the front foot she has avoided some of the flak that other powerful and influential women have endured on this. Ester Ledecka - Just before Christmas we had our first Olympian on the podcast, and I’ve chosen another Olympic athlete - one from the Winter Olympics this time - as my under-the-radar sporting icon of the year. At the Winter Olympics in South Korea this year, Ester Ledecka caused an enormous sporting upset by winning gold in the Super G skiing. She was...
Dec 30, 2018
22. Donna Fraser - our first Olympic athlete!
Those of you who listen regularly will know that I am really passionate about sport and that the theme of running (yes, I am one of those annoying people that loves to run) featured in earlier interviews with Nicola Miller, who founded the charity a Mile in her Shoes, and (Alexandra Heminsley), whose memoir Running Like A Girl told the story of her first forays into marathon running as a non-sporty woman.  So much of what I think it is important to encourage is women taking any sort of exercise that they enjoy, increasing participation in varied forms, be that yoga, dance, weight lifting, cycling or anything else in between. But like many others, I am captivated by the Olympics and, particularly following London 2012 which was such a highlight for us here in the UK (people actually made eye contact on the Tube), look forward to the 4 yearly cycle with excitement. I find myself watching and listening - and getting really into - niche sports that I’ve never watched before, like synchronised swimming, archery or judo.  So I goes without saying that I am REALLY excited to feature our first Olympian on the show today. Donna Fraser was born in Croydon in south west London, competed in the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000, and was a professional athlete for over 20 years. She won Gold in the European Junior Championships, and Bronze at the both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, competing in the 400m, and ran a sensational 4th at the Olympics against all expectations, knocking over a second off her personal best in the process.  Donna's career was not all plain sailing though. Following the highs of Sydney she suffered an Achilles tendon injury that forced her out of training and competition for over three years at the peak of her powers, and she has gone on to say that in her heart of hearts, she is convinced she could have been World Champion in 2001 were it not for injury. But it was not to be, and in a further cruel twist, she was subsequently then diagnosed with breast cancer, aged only 36. Donna's positive nature and extreme focus are evident when she talks about her approach to her illness, and I'm pleased to say that she's made a full recovery. She's an ambassador for Breast Cancer Now, and works to educate and support other women going through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. But unless you're Jess Ennis or Allyson Felix, or another huge name that receives big sponsorship deals it's hard to make a decent living as an athlete, and remarkably, Donna worked throughout her athletic career. She is now the Vice President of UK Athletics, as well as their Equality, Diversity and Engagement Lead, taking a forward-looking approach and driving change within sport to increase accessibility and participation.  In this episode we discuss: - Donna's early life and when she knew athletics was a viable career option for her - Progressing through her career from a junior gold medal at the European Championships to the Olympics in Sydney 2000 - Training with Cathy Freeman and how you prepare for an Olympic Games - Juggling a job with full time training as a professional athlete  - Transferable skills that she learned as an athlete that have stood her in good stead in the working world - The emotional effect of injury on an athlete - Mental health and retirement of professional sportspeople  - Her current role with UK Athletics and her role in diversity and inclusion - Her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and the work she has subsequently done to raise awareness Where to find Donna: LinkedIn: Twitter: Instagram:   Follow us for more: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: 
Dec 16, 2018
21. Ninorah Fernandes-Brookshire - a varied and eventful life
There’s so much to talk about with this week’s guest, Ninorah Fernandes-Brookshire and I’m delighted to have her on the show. Nino is the co-founder of NRI Women, a platform supporting non-resident Indian women across the world. It has now grown to be a community of over 3,000 women living in a multitude of countries. You’ll hear Nino talking in this episode about how Indians traditionally "do not like to air their dirty laundry in public" as she puts it, but moving internationally away from strong family and community connections is HARD, and the organisation aims to support and nurture women through the transition and challenges they may face. Earlier this year Nino and her co-founder and friend Bettina started the NRI Woman podcast, showcasing the stories of Indian women abroad and telling their stories to a wider audience.  Nino also co-founded the Naya Jeevan foundation with her husband Edward, an NGO that partners and supports the work of the Rescue Foundation, a multi-award winning charity based in Mumbai that fights human trafficking of girls into prostitution. The Rescue Foundation, led by an engaging and determined woman named Mrs. Triveni, a former investigative journalist, has so far rescued over 5,000 girls from prostitution all over India, pursuing prosecution for their pimps and captors, and rehabilitating these girls through education, healthcare and counselling. Numbers are hard to gather accurately but NGOs estimate that somewhere between 20 and 65 million Indians are trafficked year. Men, women and children are trafficked for diverse reasons but the abduction of girls and their brutal forcing into prostitution is a major problem.  NinO has lived around the world and has a wealth of stories about her fundraising by walking a frozen river in -25C conditions, running a marathon in someone else's shoes (literally), her business, Nindi Bindis and her passion for tribal belly dancing. This is a varied and ranging conversation that I really enjoyed so have a listen now!  Links NRI Woman  Website:  Instagram:  Twitter:  Facebook: Naya Jeevan Foundation Facebook: Nindi Bindis Instagram:  Facebook:   
Dec 09, 2018
20. Laura Bartlett - defying the odds and daring to succeed
Laura Bartlett is a one-woman entrepreneurial whirlwind. In a world that said print journalism is dead, Laura stuck two fingers up to the status quo and founded House Of Coco, a luxury travel and fashion magazine for the "nomadic adventure seeker", of which she is also editor-in-chief. It is, quite simply, beautiful, and there's a reason it's now stocked in Harrods and Selfridges. When you see the stunning photos of places she travels, Laura's life looks pretty great from the outside, but her career has by no means always been plain sailing. By her mid-twenties Laura had started two successful businesses and taken one to the Dragons' Den (of which more in this episode), but she then made what she thought at the time was a smart business decision that unfortunately led to the subsequent failure of her first magazine, Urban Coco which went into liquidation. Laura was, as she says, pretty broke at this point. Surely starting another magazine wasn't a good idea? Think again.  Laura's infectious enthusiasm, can-do attitude and overwhelming positivity were really striking to me in this interview. She is not one to lie down or be crushed, even after humiliation on national television. I for one was really inspired by her and was delighted to learn that this week she has been nominated for the 'Outstanding Entrepreneur' award at the Northern Power Women Awards. Good luck Laura!  Show notes In this episode we discuss: What Laura wanted to be when she grew up Applying for her first job with no experience and landing a role as a media sales executive Developing her skills in sales and advertising and getting through the ‘no’s’ to get to the ‘yes’ Her first business selling handbags via Facebook, and her establishment of a pop-up shop in Birmingham The founding of Urban Coco, a fashion magazine distributed in Leeds, and her her subsequent appearance on Dragon’s Den Resilience, coming back from a bruising experience on television and picking herself up to launch the magazine internationally on news stands the same weekend that the show aired (it was a sell-out by the way!) Going to the Clothes Show Live as a media partner, investing all her money and energy into the event and losing everything on one big gamble.  Starting from a point of bankruptcy to launch House Of Coco, utilising existing content and having the audacity to start a new magazine Running a business without any external investment, and how to generate a profit without having to pitch to investors The practicalities of running a team of 30 people remotely and Laura manages and mentors her team Finding their niche in the industry as a high-end brand that is fearless, brave and honest, but being cautious in the  What’s next for House of Coco, and launching the magazine in Leeds and New York in addition to London Developing #TeamCoco and the #TeamCocoGang, and Laura’s aims for the future in growing a community of brand ambassadors and supporting them in their side hustles The challenges of being a freelancer in the travel industry Being a female leader and developing her career as a young woman in the publishing and magazine industry New trends for destinations in 2019 and the team Laura has on board with different interests which give complementary views on the world Self care in a world of ‘busy fools’, and having ‘Me dates’ such as a solo trip to the cinema or a massage as a reward to herself Links Website:  Instagram: (  Twitter: ( Facebook:  LinkedIn: 
Dec 03, 2018
19. Lisa Cox - on writing, surviving, modelling and campaigning
Lisa Cox is, quite honestly, an amazing human being. As a young woman she played national level volleyball, flew through two degrees in media and communications and was rapidly forging a hugely successful career as a copywriter in the advertising industry in Australia, travelling extensively and enjoying the high-life in her early twenties.  That is until, in 2005, Lisa suffered a brain haemorrhage in Melbourne Airport which changed her life irrevocably. After a year in hospital, during which she lost her left leg, 9 of her finger tips and the toes of her right foot, Lisa spent months in rehab learning to walk, speak and live independently, before finally beginning to rebuild her career. This she has done incredibly successfully, writing for the HuffPost, the Sydney Morning Herald and many others, publishing two books, and making regular appearances both on television and as a public speaker. My favourite quote from Lisa, which I think sums things up was when she said “Yeah, I’ve for some stuff going on, but I’m pretty grateful to be kicking around. There are far worse things going on in the world. I don’t see myself as a victim, and I certainly don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me.”  I don’t feel sorry for Lisa, I am amazed by her. I really loved this conversation, and what I took from it was really not to sweat the small stuff. It’s not worth it. Bad things happen to people on a spectrum, but life is what you make of it, and Lisa is SUCH a prime example of that.  In this interview we discuss: * Lisa’s work as a Customer Representative, advocating for patients on committees with doctors and hospital management * Her illness in 2005 and both the physical and mental consequences of that * Her original career as a copywriter in the advertising industry, and getting back into writing from her hospital bed despite her brain damage, the amputation of her fingertips and the loss of 25% of her sight  * How ‘Queer Eye For A Straight Guy’ emphasised to Lisa that 70% of women don’t like their body, and her desire to explore that after leaving hospital  * The conflict between aspirational advertising and false images of perfection on social media, and how that plays into the body image narrative * The lack of disability diversity in the media, and the role of Lisa’s #VisibilityForDisability campaign along with other Instagram accounts such as Models of Diversity * How Lisa began to climb new mountains in rehab, including by setting goals for herself * Lisa’s continuing exercise and gym routines, the growth of disability sport both in the UK and Australia and increasing representation of people with disability in the sport and exercise sphere * The frequent lack of disabled access in spaces within the community, which hampers equality in the work setting. Read Lisa’s experiences on this here: * How and why disability is missing from the diversity narrative, which tends to focus on gender and ethnicity * Lisa’s wish that one day it won’t be a big deal for her to appear as a model in a runway show, and her side-career in modelling both before and after her illness. * Her current project on the language used in the media surrounding disability, including educating both print and broadcast journalists on best practice in this area * Lisa’s morning routine, how she practices positivity and gratitude in her life and the support her family have given her throughout her life Links Website: ( Instagram: Twitter: Facebook:  LinkedIn: 
Nov 18, 2018
18. Bonus - The voice behind the microphone
Hi team. We’re taking a little departure from the normal format of the show today, as a friend recently pointed out to me that I’d never really introduced myself as part of this show and that it might be a good idea to record a brief episode about my own career experiences and motivations as part of the podcast series. Normal service will be resumed next week, don’t worry! I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago that I am still adjusting to putting myself out there as part of the process of building this podcast - I hate having my photo taken and I hate talking about myself, which means I adore listening to the stories of others, but it’s something I really need to get over, and I've got to get out there a little more. So, on that note, here's a flavour of - Who I am and what I do - The trajectory my career has taken, including having strong goals early in life, and re-setting my career goals recently - The pressures of being a vet and recognition of compassion fatigue in the caring professions - Learning to manage a portfolio career, including running my own business, freelancing and entering the corporate world - Planning for the future - The motivations behind starting this podcast Enjoy folks, and feel free to drop me an email if you have any comments, suggestions or other feedback. We're at Follow us on Instagram Twitter   LinkedIn 
Nov 11, 2018
17. Hayley Leibson - leading the ladies in Silicon Valley
In the very first episode of this podcast I spoke about my motivations behind starting this project, one of which was providing insight into employment worlds that you, as a listener, may never have considered before, or know very little about. One of those areas for me is tech: it interests me, but the world of Silicon Valley seems a distant impenetrable world of people with a much higher intellect than me talking about things I don’t understand. I am absolutely certain this is probably a massive misconception, so I was really delighted to talk to today’s guest, Hayley Leibson, to iron out my ignorance on this topic. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an innately curious person, so I was fascinated to hear about Hayley’s career - she’s too modest to say it herself but she is really making waves in San Francisco.   Hayley is the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning tech and lifestyle platform for next-generation female tech leaders and entrepreneurs, and a contributor at Forbes, for whom she writes a weekly column on a variety of tech topics aimed at inspiring women into the tech industry. Hayley’s accolades and awards are numerous and impressive: she was named a Top Tech Influencer by IVY Magazine this year, and included alongside Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Lean In fame as one of the year’s Most Influential Women in Tech. She has featured in the BBC’s 100 Women, and on ABC News, and is the co-founder of Female Founders Community, the largest online community of female founders. All this, and she’s only in her mid-20’s. Hayley’s drive and energy, her enthusiasm and work ethic are staggering, so listen in for inspiration! In this interview we discuss: - How Hayley became interested in tech, and what sparked her desire to follow a career in that sphere - How she cultivated those interests at college and subsequently   - The state of the tech world both in Silicon Valley and elsewhere with regard to gender and diversity before and since she founded Lady in Tech   - The start of Lady in Tech, how Hayley came up with the idea and launched the platform   - Monetising an idea as an entrepreneur and taking that idea from the drawing board to a successful business   - The challenges Hayley has faced since founding the platform, including discussion of #MeToo and the problems faced by female founders in Silicon Valley   - Mentors she's had in the tech industry, and the benefit of paying it forward for the next generation   - Hayley's side interests, including that she's a qualified yoga instructor!  
Nov 04, 2018
16. Jessa Zimmerman - sex, shame and sexual games
By the time I was in my early twenties, Carrie Bradshaw and the women in Sex and the City seemed to have revolutionised the way sex was discussed amongst groups of girl friends - my peer group certainly had a lot of very open discussions, and suffice to say that there was a time when I had a pretty in depth knowledge about the sex lives of my closest friends. I was reflecting on this since speaking to today’s guest however, and realised that those conversations are rare now that we're ten years older, and mostly married or in settled relationships. A lot of my friends have small kids and busy jobs, and the heady days of dating, sex and excitement seem to have disappeared somewhat. That doesn’t mean that we’re not happy, it’s just that our conversations have changed. A few friends have mentioned a lack of sex post-children, but what happens when intimacy and sex in a relationship starts to disappear altogether? Whatever your orientation or preferences, is it necessary to be having sex or being intimate in a couple to be happy? And how do you come back from a place where passion seems to have disappeared altogether? My guest today, Jessa Zimmerman, answers these questions and a whole lot more in her clinical practice as a certified sex therapist in Seattle, Washington. In addition to seeing couples for treatment, she has also written a book, Sex Without Stress, and produces her own podcast, Better Sex. If we’re talking unusual careers, this one certainly ticks that box, and I was so interested to hear from Jessa about what her job entails and her thoughts on sex in the 21st century. It goes without saying that this episode contains a fair amount of sexual content and some pretty frank discussions on a variety of aspects of sex, but Jessa is an amazing guest so sit down and have a listen! Useful links: Website: ( Podcast: (  Twitter: ( Instagram: ( Facebook: (  LinkedIn: ( 
Oct 28, 2018
15. Sarah Williams - from the deserts of Morocco to inspiring women back home
My guest today, Sarah Williams, started her career in the reasonably conventional manner of a successful woman: high class university education, graduate training programme and a career in the City, with the work-hard, play-hard London high life of a twenty-something hitting their goals and forging a lucrative successful career in finance. But after a few years, Sarah realised she was burning out, frustrated and overwhelmed by a lack of support in a male-dominated environment, over-worked on projects she wasn’t invested in, and struggling to maintain enthusiasm in a job she no longer enjoyed.  So she quit, did a ski season, travelled the world, and took the time she needed to appreciate what her passions and strengths were, namely inspiring women and girls through sport and exercise. In 2014 Sarah started her blog, Tough Girl, and subsequently completed the Marathon des Sables in 2016, one of the world’s most extreme endurance races. She has gone on to undertake a major expedition each year since: in 2017 she through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in the USA, which sounds casual, but only 20% of people complete this challenge in an average of 6-7 months. Sarah did it solo in half that - finishing in 100 days - which pushed her to her physical and mental limits. As we speak, Sarah is currently undertaking her 2018 challenge, namely cycling 4000km down the west coast of North and Central America, through to the Baha Divide in Mexico. Sarah combines these challenges with her ongoing media work under the Tough Girl brand. Her Tough Girl podcast has had over half a million downloads, and earlier this year won the Women’s Sports Trust #BeAGameChanger Media Initiative of the Year Award. She has been recognised by the Guardian and by Red Bull as one of the most inspiring contemporary female adventurers to follow, and the Tough Girl Blog has twice been nominated in the UK Blog Awards. Sarah is also a coach and mentor, and as someone who has benefitted from her wisdom and experience, I can vouch for her success in motivating and helping others. I posted on Instagram this week that I am currently in training for my first ultramarathon, and it is in part thanks to Sarah’s motivational skills that both this podcast and that challenge have got off the ground for me in 2018.  In this interview we discussed: - The Tough Girl brand, the different components of Sarah's business and how she would describe herself and her career to others - Her initial career in the corporate world, how she progressed rapidly but fell out of love with her job in the City - Stepping away from a lucrative career and the challenges she faced in leaving - Establishing Tough Girl, and training for her first big challenge, the Marathon des Sables - How her initial training regimen affected her health and the lessons she learned about how to train for endurance events without compromising your body - How others respond to the extreme nature of what Sarah does, particularly the physicality of her 2017 trip through-hiking the Appalachian Trail - The satisfaction she gains from having a goal and a purpose, and achieving that goal no matter how hard it is - Building a brand and the business behind Tough Girl, including marketing, monetisation, promotion and growth - Finishing her Masters in Women and Gender Studies, and the skills and knowledge she has acquired from the course, as well as her dissertation on Adventure, Women and Fear. - Her latest expedition cycling the Pacific Coast Highway down the West Coast of North America, a journey of around 4000km, documenting her journey and the planning of the trip - The future of Tough Girl, her dreams for the brand, a life of freedom as a digital nomad - The sacrifices Sarah has made to follow her passion, including living with her parents for four years to allow her to financially survive and build Tough Girl - The monetisation of adventure, and the 'fake it til you make it' mentality of social...
Oct 21, 2018
14. Cal Major - from Land's End to John O'Groats on a paddleboard
If you've ever tried stand up paddle boarding, you'll know it requires co-ordination, patience and a whole lot of ab strength. Now imagine paddling 1000 miles whilst balancing large volumes of plastic waste that you’ve painstakingly collected from the water on your board...  Enter Cal Major, environmentalist, stand-up paddle boarder, campaigner, adventurer and vet, who did just that a set a new World Record whilst paddling solo from Land's End to John O'Groats earlier this year - what a journey! In 2016, whilst working as a vet, she was unable to stand the amount of plastic washing up on her favourite surfing beaches any more without doing something about it, so founded Paddle Against Plastic, an organisation that uses epic stand up paddle boarding adventures to capture peoples’ imagination, highlight the issue of plastic pollution so close to home, and to promote positive change by proposing simple solutions. Cal's first adventure was around the coastline of Cornwall in 2016, then in 2017 she circumnavigated the Isle of Skye, and the subsequent film of her trip, 'Skye's The Limit' won numerous awards at film festivals around the world and has been screened around the world including in China, Canada and several African countries. Cal set a new World Record as the first person to travel from Land's End to John O'Groats by stand up paddle board, a journey of over 1000 miles taken by sea, canal and river, encountering huge swells off the Cornish coast, dangerous tides round Scotland, fog and hypothermia en route. Cal completed this in 59 days, collecting plastic en route and documenting her trip with both film and photographs. Read her blog about the trip here.  Cal is a modest, humble, kind person (she dropped into conversation that prior to SUP-ing the length of the British Isles she'd 'just' trekked across a desert for 2 weeks...), whose passion for reducing plastic waste is really discernible. We can all help in our own way - have a look at her website for simple, constructive ideas.  In this episode we discuss: - Cal's childhood and her dream of being a vet - How her path as a vet was shaped by her passion, injury and opportunity - Starting campaigning with Surfers Against Sewage and her journey out of veterinary and into full-time campaigning - Learning to campaign, making it personal, putting yourself out there and building a brand - Her solo expedition around the Isle of Skye on a standup paddle board and the subsequent film produced of her trip, Skye's The Limit - Planning for her BIG trip paddleboarding from Land's End to John O'Groats  - Plotting a route for the challenge, including travelling the inland waterways of the UK via the canal system and what Cal found there when she paddled away from the coast - Getting fit to paddle nearly 1000 miles and the challenges Cal faced in her physical prep for the trip - What's next for her, both in the aftermath of the LEJOG adventure, and future plans for Paddle Against Plastic  - Leaving a professional career, the judgement and criticism that can come with that, both personally and from others. - Following your passions to feel fulfilled in life - How Cal's coach, Penny Barker, helped her identify her unlock her own ideas and potential, and how she has built a team around her whilst growing Paddle Against Plastic - Her work now, including public speaking, corporate events and adventure expos Links Paddle Against Plastic -  Surfers Against Sewage - Cal is on Twitter @PaddleVsPlastic, Instagram @cal_major and Facebook @Cal Major - Paddle Against Plastic  
Oct 14, 2018
13. Elaine Miller - fannies, fart jokes and the serious business of women's health
1 in 3 women in this country are incontinent, and that's probably an underestimation, according to pelvic health physiotherapist Elaine Miller. She is making it her mission to get women talking about this, post-childbirth and otherwise. Physiotherapy is a straightforward cure for a lot of issues concerning incontinence and the pelvic floor, and Elaine wants people to know that help is out there. How she gets the message out is slightly unusual though - her side job is as a stand-up comedian, and her show, Gusset Grippers, won Weirdest Show of the Fringe at the very first Edinburgh Festival she ever attended (that is a big deal by the way). Elaine is hilarious, there is no two ways about it - she had me in stitches during this interview - but she clearly is passionate about her role in improving female health, and preventing women from suffering in silence. As she says, there are too many women out there counting the miles between service stations, and once awareness increases, this problem should be a thing of the past. As a plus point, improved pelvic health = improved orgasms, so it's win win! In this interview we discuss (in between laughs): - Elaine's early career as a sports physio    - How she became interested in becoming a pelvic floor physio after the birth of her three children - Her early forays into comedy and the realisation that she could use her platform as a comedian to raise issues around incontinence and childbirth - The time her toddler accidentally ate a dog poo (yes, really) - The barriers to women seeking help for incontinence, and the research behind people's embarrassment at their bowel and bladder dysfunction - Exercising post pregnancy and use of physiotherapy to increase your capacity - Combining the two to win 'Weirdest Show of the Fringe' at the first Edinburgh festival she attended and how she has developed her show to be comedy with a serious message, as well as a source of continuing professional development for healthcare professionals - The future of her comedy show: men's health, sex ed, potty training - The terminology of women's bodies, and the misuse of language surrounding gynaecological structures - How an average week works out for her - What the Baby Box Scheme constitutes in Scotland, and how Elaine wants to use it to inform women about pelvic health - The links between post-natal incontinence and post-natal depression - Her ambition to start a podcast, and conduct research via the podcast about the prevalence of women with incontinence - Elaine's work with Pelvic Roar and what that organisation does - Her upcoming gig dates, and a final plug for women to get help if they need it! You can find Elaine on social media: Twitter: @gussiegrips Instagram: @gussetgrippers Website: 
Oct 07, 2018
12. Abby Ehler - sailing, surviving and thriving in round-the-world yacht racing
If you think about sailing a yacht round the world, what image comes into your mind? Fantastic sunsets, calm seas, whales and dolphins appearing intermittently, and balmy days in a bikini? Yep, me too. The reality of round-the-world ocean racing is somewhat different: I’m sure the wildlife encounters can be pretty special and there are no doubt some spectacular sunsets, but yachts sail 24/7 during their legs at sea and the Volvo Ocean Race is well-known to be one of the toughest sporting events in the world. It is certainly the longest, and involving 9 months at sea, enormous physical and mental human challenge and a daily battle against the elements. Yacht racing is also one of the few sports where men and women compete alongside one another, although it has traditionally been a male-only domain, and for centuries it was considered bad luck to take a woman to sea on your boat.  Times are fortunately changing, and my guest this week is Abby Ehler, now veteran of 3 Volvo Ocean Races, including this year’s voyage, where she was part of Team Brunel that placed third overall after a gruelling 9 months of sailing. Abby was previously the boat captain for Team SCA, the first all-female team to compete for 12 years when they took part in the Volvo Ocean Race in the 2014-15 competition. Over 250 women applied for 15 spots on that boat, so clearly there is an appetite for women to compete at the very highest levels within the sport. Off the back of Team SCA, the Magenta Project was founded to promote and encourage women at the top end of sailing. Abby is now their Director of Media and Events. in addition to being a mum to her son and racing regularly both at home and abroad.  In this interview we disuss: -How Abby got into sailing - What the Volvo Ocean Race entails - Her hairiest and scariest adventures - How changes to the rules of sailing this year helped more women to be involved at the highest levels - The establishment of the Magenta Project and their support of women in elite sailing - The future of the sport, including the Volvo Ocean Race and Abby's hopes for women in sailing in the years to come Abby is on Twitter @trimore and Instagram @abbyehler and you can find the Magenta Project on social media @themagentaproj. Their website is More info on the Volvo Ocean Race can be found at and if you're interested in getting started in sailing then the best place to go is the RYA website  Enjoy!
Sep 30, 2018
11. Anna Smith - films, feminism and being President (of the Critics' Circle)
In the era of Weinstein, #MeToo and Oscars So White, there have been a lot of discussions and much written about diversity in Hollywood. Although there’s a long way to go to achieve parity of pay and representation, it feels like a conversation has started around this. But what about those who watch films, review them and influence us, the general public, on what’s worth watching? There are painfully few successful female film critics and this is still an incredibly male-dominated area. Meryl Streep was asked about this, and commented that this discrepancy is "not disheartening, it’s infuriating.”  My guest today however, has been breaking the mould on film criticism for more than 20 years. She is Anna Smith, one of the most successful film critics of her generation, and the current president of the Critics' Circle. Anna writes for the Guardian, Time Out, Empire and a host of other publications, and appears frequently on Sky News and the BBC amongst others to review films, discuss breaking film news and comment on awards contenders. She is a professional, unflappable and engaging host, and can often be found moderating Q&As, press conferences and on-stage conversations with some of the world’s biggest stars. What a job! She is also in the midst of judging Under Her Eye, a competition run by Stylist magazine to encourage and recruit more female film critics. There’s no bad language in this podcast but just to warn you, there is some discussion of sex scenes in films, particularly lesbian sex.  Anna's website is, she's on Twitter and Instagram @annasmithjourno - feel free to contact her on her work, she loves feedback from fellow film lovers! In this interview we covered: - When Anna realised that film criticism was for her and how she got into it - What an average week as a critic looks like and how she reviews films that just aren't great... - How Anna prioritises films by female film-makers and those focusing on LGBTQ storylines  - How the male gaze of a director affects the depiction of sex and sexuality on screen, and her recent writing on the portrayal of lesbian sex scenes - Gender imbalance in film criticism and her experiences as a female critic - Her role as President of the Critics' Circle and their work in the arts - The future of film criticism and journalism in general  - 'Under Her Eye' - the new competition from Stylist magazine and Anna's role as a judge finding new female film critics - Routes into film criticism and how you could be the new Anna!  - New films to look out for this Autumn. Enjoy everyone!  
Sep 23, 2018
10. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz - from ward rounds to walruses via a New York Times bestseller
Most doctors never consider that a whale might get breast cancer, or a marmoset might get heart disease, or that common conditions seen in human athletes might also be seen a cheetah, a greyhound or an antelope.  Barbara Natterson Horowitz is first and foremost a doctor but agter 25 years as a cardiology specialist the the UCLA Medical Centre, an unexpected turn of events took her via L.A. Zoo to a New York Times best-selling book, Zoobiquity, a TED talk watched by over 300,000 people and now to Harvard, where she is on a year-long tenure as Professor of Evolutionary Medicine. Barbara is interested in the links between human and veterinary medicine, and how what we know about one species can affect our diagnosis and treatment of others. This knowledge, this says, has radically changed the way she looks at her human patients and thinks about their care. In this interview we discussed: - How Barbara frames the questions she wants answered by comparing the human and animal kingdoms - Her work as a cardiologist and how her new-found experiences as a consultant at the L.A. Zoo shaped the way she viewed and treated her human patients - How it came about that she wrote a best-selling book on the subject - Women in medicine in the USA and the pressures on family life that a busy medical career brings - The future of the Zoobiquity movement and her new book! 
Sep 16, 2018
9. Amelia Viney and Saba Shafi - unleashing the power of young people
Amelia Viney describes herself as a kid who sought to be involved in "some kind of liberation", but found herself working in the corridors of power of Westminster and Capitol Hill. Saba Shafi was a Liberian refugee who came to the UK, succeeding in pursuing the neoliberal dream of a top university and a swift rise up the corporate ladder before realising this path was unlikely to sufficiently fulfil her in the long term. Having quit their careers, these two women now run The Advocacy Academy, a transformative Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. It has grown from a week-long summer camp in 2014 to a 300 hour programme supported by some of the most powerful movers and shakers in London. During the Fellowship, participants work with top campaigners, creatives, academics and coaches to help them develop the skills to lead a grassroots campaign in their community, deliver a speech to their Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, and so much more. The Academy's founders and participants believe that a better world is possible, that there is nothing inevitable about injustice and inequality, and that the lives of ordinary people matter. Campaigns run so far by the programme's participants include Legally Black, a viral campaign for better black representation in our media.  I talked to Amelia and Saba about the Academy, the young people they admit to the programme, and how they ended up where they are. They are fantastic women. You can check out the Academy here: Twitter:  Instragram: YouTube: 
Sep 09, 2018
8. Athene Donald - a physicist of many passions
My guest this week is a woman who has smashed through many a glass ceiling in the world of science with grace, endeavour and success. She is Dame Athene Donald, professor of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge and the first ever female professor of physics at one of the most historic universities in the world.  Her mind is undoubtedly brilliant, and her capacity to unpick complex theories and principles that most of us wouldn’t have a hope in hell of understanding is legendary in her field, but she is more than just an academic working away on scientific research in a lab.  Athene is a massive advocate of increasing equality in science - in addition to her busy day job, she regularly gives talks and lectures to encourage girls into physics and, from 2010 to 2014 was the University of Cambridge’s very first Gender Equality Champion. She also writes a successful blog on the politics and economics of science, recently discussing everyday sexism, toxic environments in the workplace, and the impact of Brexit on diversity in academia to name a few. Athene is a fellow of the Royal Society, and has been awarded the Faraday Medal and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. She has appeared on Desert Island Discs and was herself an accomplished viola player who performed extensively.  She joined me to discuss physics and feminism, amongst other topics!
Sep 02, 2018
7. Alexandra Heminsley - wobbly bits, wetsuits and writing
Alexandra Heminsley is a writer, broadcaster and journalist, whose books 'Running Like A Girl' and 'Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves And The Will To Swim' chronicle her journey into, firstly, marathon running and subsequently the unknown world of open water sea swimming. She talks of conquered fears, putting one foot in front of another and the joy of succeeding against the odds. 'Leap In' was written against the backdrop of Alexandra's journey through IVF, and is heart-wrenching and hauntingly beautiful in equal measure. Her writing is frank, funny and relatable, and it is this honesty that stands her out from the crowd. Alex's most recent project has been as co-writer of Knowing The Score, Judy Murray's autobiography. She also writes for The Pool and frequently appears on both television and radio.  She chatted to us about role models, working with Judy, getting into writing and publishing, and what's next for her.  
Aug 26, 2018
6. Manon Bradley - powerlifting, politics and major projects
If you cut Manon Bradley down the middle, she jokes, it would say 'powerlifting' running through her core like a stick of rock. Her entry into the sport came via a throwaway comment that she had "great legs for weightlifting", and she found that not only did she love it, she was also naturally very talented. At her first competition, she qualified for the European Championships, and has since held 6 World Records, been World Champion 13 times, European Champion 9 times and won more British titles than you can count. She is a passionate drug-free lifter an is a past-president of the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association. Her success is not just limited to sport though. Manon is a director of the Major Projects Association and leads their Gender Balance Initiative which aims to increase diversity in the engineering, construction and other companies running some of the world's largest infrastructure projects. She is also the co-leader of the Oxford branch of the Women's Equality Party, and a vocal advocate of improving women's rights at work, in politics, in healthcare and in wider society. Tune in to hear more!
Aug 19, 2018
5. Nicola Miller - running a mile in others' shoes
Those of us who love running just put on our running shoes and go. But what if you didn't have access to a sports bra and trainers, or didn't have the confidence to start? Nicola Miller is the founder and chairman of A Mile In Her Shoes, an award-winning charity that she set up in 2012 to share the physical and mental benefits of running with homeless and vulnerable women in London. In 2016, she was recognised as one of the Prime Minister's 'Points of Light', an accolade that acknowledge those making an outstanding difference in their community. As a mum with a full-on job, Nicola, along with the charity's other trustees, runs the organisation in her 'spare' time...She chatted to Naomi about what gave her the idea for A Mile In Her Shoes, how she went about implementing her idea, and the work of the charity now.   
Aug 12, 2018
4. Uta Frith - exploring the mind
Dame Professor Uta Frith is a developmental psychologist. Her capacity to break down barriers began at school, where she attended the local boys' school in Germany to pursue her interests in science and maths - the start of a long and illustrious career. Uta arrived in London in the 1960's at a time of liberation and exploration, and her subsequent work at University College London changed the way both the scientific community and wider society view those with autism and dyslexia, leading to significant changes in education and health policy. Uta was the first scientist to really listen to those with autism and dyslexia and their families, and their input impacted the theories she chose to test in subsequent rigorous scientific experiments. Uta's work has been published in every major journal and she is one of the most highly regarded scientists of the last 50 years. As a woman in a field dominated by men when she commenced her career, she is also passionate about improving the lot of women in science, launching a network for female scientists in London several years ago and encouraging women as much as she can. Uta's warmth, humour and enthusiasm for her subject is tangible, so listen on!
Aug 05, 2018
3. Sally Snow - uncovering the secrets of the underwater world
Sally Snow is a zoologist, documentary maker and shark chaser - what an awesome job description!  Born and raised in West Wales, Sally spent her childhood sharing the bathroom with otters, living in the sea and trying to avoid accidentally eating the random insects that occupied some of the family fridge. Whilst studying Zoology and Psychology at Bristol University, Sally spent her time on student radio and subsequently worked as both a researcher and associate producer on programmes for the BBC, National Geographic and S4C and designed a wildlife App for children. In 2012, she quit her job in production, bought a camera and embarked on a new adventure of her own. Initially working with WWF-Philippines, she began work as a shark researcher, and after meeting the President of Physalus, a non-governmental organisation specialising in marine vertebrates, further opportunity came her way. Sally is now Executive Director of the Large Marine Vertebrates Project in the Philippines (LAMAVE). She divides her time between her production work, developing her own film projects, working with rural communities to help them develop sustainably, conducting conservation research and holding her breath underwater for as long as possible to identify Whale Sharks and the occasional Manta Ray. In 2016, Sally travelled around Canada and the US on the hunt for black bears, and more recently she filmed Undercover Tourist for BBC3, a self shot film exploring the dolphin circuses of Indonesia. Sally joins us to chat free diving, filming, and following your passions.
Jul 29, 2018
2. Iona Bain - de-mystifying finance for the younger generation
Iona Bain started her career as a professional musician but strayed down the path of financial journalism after losing all her hard-earned cash in a robbery - listen in to hear the story of her stolen piggy bank! As the founder of the Young Money Blog, the first and only British blog dedicated to young people's finances, Iona is now the go-to voice on finance for a younger generation, and is frequently seen and heard on both television and radio. She is one of only a few female financial journalists under 30, and is unafraid to be outspoken on issues she considers important. Her book, Spare Change, was named one of the Independent's top five feminist books of 2016 and she was recently named 2018 Freelancer of the Year by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (congratulations Iona!) Iona gives a fresh and accessible take on money and finance, and speaks candidly about the challenges women face in these areas. She is engaging and warm, so if you want to hear about making money, saving money and making your money work for you, then dig in... 
Jul 16, 2018
1. Jamie Chadwick - the fastest female talent in motorsport
Jamie Chadwick is a prodigious talent in the field of motorsport. Aged 14 she was racing an Aston Martin with the best of the boys, and is currently competing at Formula 3 level, with the aim of entering Formula 1 in the not-too-distant future. Dedicated, determined and hard-working, Jamie has progressed rapidly through the ranks in motorsport and is certainly one to watch for the future! In the first episode of Smashing The Ceiling, Jamie talks to Naomi about her life and career so far. 
Jul 16, 2018