The Short Cut:

A quick fire chat about working life with Dr Diahanne Rhiney 

Dr Diahanne Rhiney, Founder of S.W.I.M domestic violence charity and The Baton Awards

The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Dr Diahanne Rhiney, CEO. Author. Podcaster. PR Expert and Founder at S.W.I.M

At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. And as part of our inaugural Lean In, Lift Up event we are bringing you a series of conversations with our speakers, supporters and allies. They will share insights about their breakthrough career moments, to best ever advice, how to deal with stress and the women that inspire them.

Tell us about your breakthrough career moment? 

To be honest, there have been a few. I’ve found that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can really fly.

I remember when I was starting my business, nobody seemed interested. It was a really horrible time. I had an office rent to pay, plus my mortgage. I called my mum and said: “If I don’t pay my mortgage for one month, will they take my house?”

I remember a difficult situation with a potential client. My company did the best pitch but didn’t get hired.  This amounted to racism.

Shortly after, I received a call from another company for me to come along and present. We won the contract. I was in disbelief.  No one had heard of diversity, inclusion or equity – Naked Truth’s specialism. We were the first in the country to champion social impact, but now it’s relatively mainstream.

That first client paid their fees that week, and I could pay my mortgage. It showed me that sometimes, we have to dig deep and draw upon our resilience reserves. I had to show up for myself, which I did.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

It’s a simple one and an adage I live by. Treat people as you would like to be treated. It’s so important. Building relationships is at the core of business life. Treating people well is how I live my life. As my mum used to say: “You never know where somebody’s going to end up.”

I have many relationships with employees and clients that span 15 years and longer.

I have found that people sometimes need to remember where they came from as they move up the ladder.

Humility is everything, and integrity is so important.

How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?  

Initially, I wasn’t the best at doing so. When starting out, you work long hours because it is just you. As you get older and you have additional responsibilities like family, exhaustion hits. You learn to listen to your body. These days, I don’t work Fridays. Those are the days for me to go for a massage, read a book or to sit in silence.

I’m huge on meditation and just being still. People don’t appreciate the power of stillness.  I like to have an early night and let my body heal because we heal best when sleeping. It’s okay to put yourself first. It’s about being true to yourself. Because if you’re not whole, you’re no good to anyone else.

The woman who empowers me is…

…my mother was amazing, and she’s still a power within me. I go back to notes and letters she wrote when I was living in the US. She was so humble, and at the core of her was community.

She has empowered me to do better. If service is beneath you, leadership is above you. You need to learn to serve and give back – that’s what she taught me and continues to do, even though she’s no longer with us.  And that’s why we have set up the Baton Awards.

I feel empowered when… 

…my family is happy. A happy family makes me shine and smile. It also empowers me to do more and to do bigger and better. When I’m happy, they’re so glad. When they’re happy, I’m happy.

Do you have any hobbies…

I’m a great drawer. I love to draw. Another of my passions is black and white photography. I love photography because a picture says so much. Reading. I love knowledge. I also like to travel and swim.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read? 

There are so many. One of my favourite books is Black Box. And another, Friend-holic by Elizabeth Gray…

The world would be a better place when…

…we all love and accept each other for who we are.

For more information about about the Nurture Network contact us here

The Baton Awards shines a spotlight on women from a diverse racial group. Founded by Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe encourages women from a diverse racial group to overcome barriers to success in industries and professions where women from a diverse racial group struggle to be recognised.

This year’s event takes place at the British Medical Association.

All proceeds go to registered DV charity, Strength With In Me  (S.W.I.M). Book tickets now: The Baton Awards – Celebrating women from diverse racial groups from the past, present and future

Dr Diahanne Rhiney will be speaking at the Nurture Network Live our inaurgural annual conference on Tuesday 14th November.  For more information and tickets click here

'I feel empowered when my family is happy ' says Diahanne, when asked about being empowered.