Sarah Boddy “Make the exceptional be the norm!”

Project Director at a City Financial Institution, Sarah Boddy talks to us about being a woman in her role and staying motivated no matter what barriers she is faced with.


I am currently a Project Director at a City Financial Institution and have a two-year contract delivering workplace and change to city high flyers. Before I set up Boddy Associates 16 years ago I was working as an associate director in a very large swanky London architects’ practice. I left this role because I knew that I could deliver a better product to the client that was better tailored, better priced and with a high level of personal service. It was a big risk!


A typical day for me usually starts at 5 am with a rude awakening, the 06.33 train from Grantham to London, a 10-minute walk through one of the most inspiring cities in the world, past St Paul’s Cathedral and into my office. Depending on the stage of the project, I will hold an all-hands briefing which is planning what the day will hold. What the deadlines are, identifying the resources and weighing up the good and bad. I make sure to catch up with my team individually as well as connecting with them personally makes the team stronger. I’ll then go to the site and discuss the week’s requirements against the programme with the construction team. The rest if the day is really about managing, from finance to noise issues to planning regulations and networking, a great tip from me is to never forget to keep your network in place!


Getting into the position I’m in now took quite a bit of hard work; I moved companies and departments often to gain a wider range of experience, I made sure to learn new things every day, remain curious and staying positive! I stay motivated by doing the best I can every day and making the exceptional be the norm, it’s always important to set goals for yourself. It’s also always good to keep a balance between work and life so when I’m with my family, I’ll be with them in mind and body and the same when I’m at- work-focus is key. My success hasn’t come without struggles, I wasn’t allowed to go to university and early on in my career I faced a lot of sexism, there was an assumption that as a woman you will have a baby and leave so you are sometimes overlooked for promotions. However, my continual focus on being independent and being able to support my children on my own have been motivators to keep me going and this is something I believe all females should have, as self-belief and self-worth are often missing in females which is why #YesSheCan is so important to me.


If I could speak to my 16-year-old self now I would say stop stressing over the small stuff, you are beautiful, follow your dreams and you don’t need anyone else to make you feel good-do it for yourself. And for other girls who are early in their careers I would say be confident, but not arrogant, look for role models and see what they do in different situations such as how they cope under pressure and how they manage a team, I think you can be inspired from a range of people but the best thing to do is cherry-pick- don’t try to be like a single person, be yourself but get the best traits from those that give you courage. And finally, dress for your next promotion!


As well as Sarah, we have many inspiring women who are also bringing us amazing content. You can find more here, also check out our jobs here.


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