Clare Hammersley, Head of Sales, Leyton UK
What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?
“Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!” For me, challenging the natural order of things is my default setting. I choose to ask why. I choose to listen and I choose to learn. I talk a lot about the fact that you learn more from your mistakes than your successes. We only get to live through those lessons if we are challenging ourselves to do something new, or different – no matter how hard or scary it may be – and we should choose to do this. It helps us grow, become better, more compassionate and more accomplished. I choose to challenge not because I’m a woman but because I can. I’m incredibly proud to be a strong woman and a role model for my daughter, the world is more inclusive now than it ever has been, and we must continue to challenge until we are all truly equal.
What advice would you give to women who are about to embark on their career?
Be open. Don’t pre-define yourself, your worth or your options. There is a huge and interesting world of work out there, and there are some truly amazing careers to be had. So, try not to think about what you should do, think about what you could do! Don’t select your career based on what is normal or usual, remind yourself that there is nothing usual about you, you are exceptional, we all are. Choose what makes you excited and challenge yourself to achieve greatness.
Do you have a role model who has inspired you during your career?
As the youngest of four siblings, my drive to succeed came from wanting to be heard and be the best. Fighting for anything and everything for an entire childhood makes you pretty competitive! I have been incredibly lucky to have been mentored by two phenomenal leaders in my career, when I was at CityFleet and now at Leyton. I can honestly say I am inspired by my personal experiences of great leaders, and I hope that I have captured even a fraction of that so that I can inspire those around me, as they have me.
What do you enjoy most about working at Leyton?
The culture. Hands down. Leyton has an incredible culture which encourages collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit. The firm also believes in building people up, not knocking them down. We hold fairness at our heart, and we have created a place to work where everyone is truly equal and opportunities are open to all. How many people can honestly say that they work for a fair, progressive, fun, interesting and successful company that they truly feel part of? I can.
Finally, how do you feel that Leyton supports women – both in their roles and their career growth?
I realise that there is an expectation to answer this question along the lines of “the team is great, very supportive of women”, and they really are. BUT they are supportive to ALL and not just women. It truly is a privilege to work for a company which doesn’t see race or gender when selecting the right person for a job or project. Leyton embraces peoples’ differences. When we don’t understand, we ask why. This isn’t because we are ignorant, but because we are curious and want to support and better understand what makes our people who they are, and are people are brilliant. Our company is a very successful one, and the diverse nature of our workforce has a lot to do with that success. The support we all receive in hitting our own goals and career path is why we stay so long!