The Short Cut:
A quick fire chat about working life with Kate McGuire
The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Kate McGuire, founder and coach at Fenner McGuire Ltd.
At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences.
From 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
I have three.
One was moving from a secretarial role into a relatively senior job in Equal Opportunities (as we then called it). It was the point I started to believe I could have a professional career.
Then I “found” Organisational Development/Change, which made sense of all the jobs I’d done after the Equal Opportunities job – bringing about change, influencing people without power, trying to change the workplace for the better.
Then I discovered 1-1 coaching and found my passion – supporting individuals, particularly women, to have the life and work they really wanted, and to enable them to bring about systemic change that will make the world a better place for everyone.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
You can only change yourself, so work out what you’re contributing to a situation you don’t like and work out what to change in yourself to make it better. Pick your battles. It doesn’t serve you to fight absolutely everything – choose where you want to put your energy.
Have you ever felt held back as a women? How do you respond?
Yes! Young, blonde, pretty, secretary. I got rid of secretary reasonably quickly, and young eventually took care of itself, but I’m pretty sure the other things held me back, plus I’d learnt from a young age to blend in, keep quiet, stay small, not to make a fuss or argue back.
I had to learn to stand up for myself and others, to be visible, to care a lot less about what other people thought, and to stand up for what I felt was right. I had a lot of coaching and therapy which helped me let go of the past and learn how to be different.
How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?
Yoga. A good talk with my husband or my best friend. Sleep. Keep my negative self-talk under control and deliberately remembering what’s good about life and what’s good about me.
The woman who empowers me is…
…there are so many! All women who stand up for themselves and for the greater good.
I feel empowered when…
… I’ve had enough sleep! Or I’m really riled about something.
The world would be a better place when…
… people are accepted for who they are, in all its variety, and when we start treating each other with respect.
I’d like the human race to stop hurting each other and to find a better way than fighting to resolve our differences.
The woman who everyone should know about it…
… there are so many! I just listened to an episode of the Liz Earle Wellbeing podcast (she’s a force for good in her own right) with Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, an Australian psychiatrist who treats patients with mental health issues as holistic beings with a social, emotional and physical history, all of which is relevant to their present-day health. She is big on how female hormones at all life stages influence our mental health and wellbeing, and that hormone therapy is often more appropriate than anti-depressants. My current hero!
Do you have any hobbies to keep you busy in your spare time?
Yoga, reading, singing (in very amateur choirs), theatre, country walks.
Where is your favorite place in the world?