Hillier Hopkins – Inspiring women leaders: Neela Bettridge

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International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. This year’s theme, #breakthebias, looks to raise awareness of bias and take action to forge women’s equality.

#BreakingtheBias – Neela Bettridge – world-class coach

This year, we want to inspire and encourage women across our profession and in our client organisations.

We will, under our Inspiring women leaders series, interview and profile some of our clients, celebrating their achievements, sharing their stories, and inspiring others to achieve the very best they can in the workplace.

Whilst these interviews will focus on International Women’s Day (8 March) they will continue throughout 2022. Do please share these stories and do get in touch if you would like to share your own experiences.

Neela Bettridge is a world-class coach. She helps men and women in senior leadership roles unlock their potential to bring about long-lasting behavioural change. Remarkably, it is her third career.

She talks to Hillier Hopkins and explains how women can break the bias and find a career that brings them the most joy.

On graduating from university, Neela joined the world-famous advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. She quickly rose through the ranks to account director, advising businesses and their boards around the world. After 12 years it was time for a change.

She left the advertising world to join an environmental charity, leading on policy and change. And it was there that the genesis of her third career was born – executive coaching.

“I have had an eclectic career,” explains Neela, “and one that has enabled me to assimilate a lot of information and quickly transfer that into strategy and action. Each time, it has meant a return to school, an endless learning journey.

“I understand the pressures and the potential for conflict senior execs and board members face – I have been there in the room. And it is this background that enables me to connect to very senior people, to coach them and their teams.”

Neela Bettridge now works alongside highflying men and women in leadership positions delivering leadership coaching, facilitation and team coaching.

“It is my third and final career, and one I enjoy tremendously.”

Find what gives you joy

Women – and men – are in their careers encouraged to follow a set path, yet that path is not always set in stone.

“We should not think of a change of career as a disaster, but as an exciting new phase,” explains Neela. “It is not about giving up on a career, more letting go to explore a new one.”

She offers this advice for women looking to change their careers.

“Put yourself in a position where you can shine and be your most productive. That may be in roles that are completely and utterly different to what you thought they might be. Stay open and curious and do not put yourself in a box.

“Explore too what working with purpose looks like for you. The person you are at 18 is going to be very different to the person at 50.

“It is a challenge, but perhaps two three times in your career, stop and look back. Explore what makes you tick, what gives you joy, and what gets you up in the morning. You need to purposeful to sustain a career over many decades.”

Learn more at https://neelabettridge.com/.