International Women's Day: Q&A with Debbie Nathan

International Women's Day: Q&A with Debbie Nathan

Debbie Nathan International Women's Day, Career Advice

How do you define confidence, particularly in the workplace?
Confidence is self-belief that you can achieve something, whether it is within your comfort zone or not. It is eliminating doubt in other people’s belief’s about your ability to achieve it. Within the workplace, it is important to be strong minded and to speak up when you have an opinion.

How do you think the confidence gap affects women?
I think women are more self-critical and carry more self-doubt. Therefore, many struggle to believe in their own potential and don’t push themselves as far as they could, or perhaps as far as a man would. Additionally, a lot of the family or home responsibilities traditionally fall to women and women assume that role in addition to their career. It is often at the stage of life when women start families that their confidence reduces significantly in the workplace or in respect to their career ambitions.

How important have confidence and self-belief been in achieving your career goals? Please explain why.
Self belief has been a key to my entire career success. It started during school days….wanting to prove to the teachers I could excel at certain subjects that I was passionate about. Straight after university, I started out in finance and accountancy, then Investor Relations for 10 years. Throughout that period, I did further professional qualifications, I pushed myself in every academic capacity and climbed the ladder in large multinational corporates to try and stand out from the crowd. After 10 years in financial services, I made a huge career change into recruitment but I believed in what I was doing. I believed there was a market for it, I believed I could do it just as good, if not better than others, and I believed I would make a success of it. 5 years later and I can honestly say I haven’t looked back and am proud of what I have achieved because I had the belief and confidence that I could make it work. And make it work around family life too. And I look forward to what the future brings…