International Women’s Day 2021 - Matilda Hayward, R&D Technical Consultant


Matilda Hayward, R&D Technical Consultant, Leyton UK

What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

For me, it’s about reminding everyone to be aware of their own unconscious bias. We all hold biases, which affect the way we interact with our peers, and we all need to be willing to challenge ourselves to question them.

What advice would you give to women who are about to embark on their career?

Learn how to promote your own skillsets and capabilities, and don’t turn down opportunities just because you don’t think you’ve had enough experience. You’ll learn along the way.

I’d also recommend the book ‘Lean In’ – I found it really helpful and very relatable in my early career.

Do you have a role model who has inspired you during your career?

As a woman in academia, I have previously found it difficult to find a senior mentor who I could easily relate to. I’ve relied on my friendship group for inspiration, support and advice. I have found that, despite working in different industries, we all have similar ambitions and similar experiences, and have a lot to offer one another.

What do you enjoy most about working at Leyton?

Definitely the people. I’ve always felt very supported by both management and my peers. Despite working from home when I first started, I was quickly integrated into the team which helped me gain confidence in my role.

Finally, how do you feel that Leyton supports women – both in their roles and their career growth?

I think it’s great that Leyton have  clear pathways for progression, and a very clear competency checklist to complete when going for a promotion. This helps to ensure that pay rises and promotions are not only given to those that ask, or to the more extroverted individuals – but are open and easily accessible to everyone.