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Video clip: Irene has two brilliant female mentors, who have guided her in her career. They have also been role models for her leadership position.

So I’ve been extraordinarily lucky that I had the opportunity to have two really brilliant women as mentors. Still are mentors. Still extremely, you know, valuable people. I really prize my connections with them.

Mm.

And certainly in contact, you know, with the one from my UL [university lectureship] days, very much so. And have been just valuable guides in many aspects really of, you know, choices, career choices and again coping and balancing different things; done in a very sort of subtle, quiet way but in a very effective way. And I think just even knowing that you’ve got that is a tremendous comfort, and resource. And so I think I was very lucky. It’s not to say that they were better than the men, I’ve had wonderful male Heads of Department but it is different and it was noticeably different. The style of management was different, the committees were different and it was really I think helpful and empowering to learn, you know and to watch that different style of management and leadership and to sort of draw on that and make comparisons between, and I think about that myself as I’m going into more leadership positions, which I then subsequently did.

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