Sue Harris – Kindness is Key!

Early years were tricky, I missed the last year of school leaving early, I had issues with taking in information and retaining it, which caused me to feel stupid, my self-worth plummeted, embarrassed that I had no qualifications, I decided to set up my own business.

As an only child I desperately wanted friends and support, selfishly I created a job that enabled me to have all this!  

I became a group fitness instructor however was heavily criticized for being overweight which hurt, I used my learnt skill of hiding my embarrassment by joking and playing the fool which attracted attention and people then came because they enjoyed having a fun time.

During the 24 years within the sporting world managing many teams I also had the pleasure of coaching the England Water Polo teams who competed at the 2012 London Olympics, secured over 100k of funding, presented with an award for helping create inclusive sporting / well-being environments.

After a major house fire in 2014, which coincided with family challenges, knowing that there were super people able to manage and develop further the sporting projects. I decided to take a change of career. Entering into the engineering arena was interesting, helping people / companies prosper was a fabulous idea!  

Keeping up to date with industry knowledge, innovation, and trends. Speaking to companies / people, understanding what they are looking to achieve, helping them achieve their desired outcome.

It is important everyone has the ability to grow, be happy, be the best they can be, this gives me drive and determination to succeed, for myself and for others.

A mantra I live my life by is kindness is key, care about how you make others feel, share and learn from each other. 

My biggest achievement in life would be collaborative ventures which have helped others. 

The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt along the way would be to swim with the tide and not against it. 

Outside of work I am a fan of tv box sets! When not sitting on the couch I love taking my two bulldogs for a walk, and visiting my children and grandchildren. My son is a Submariner in the Navy and my daughter is happily working for an engineering company. Proud!!

My three tips I would give to young females starting their careers would be:

  • Be you, and love who you are.
  • Ask questions, be inquisitive.
  • Keep educating yourself, keep up to date with topics, and have fun. 

My advice for women aiming for leadership positions… Persevere 

What I would say to my 16-year-old self… you are ok, enjoy life and keep learning.

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