Twelve female bosses reveal the best career advice they have ever received

THERE are still not enough women leading British businesses.

Despite some progress over the years, there are just 12 women running the top 350 listed companies, which does not reflect well.

GettyThere are just 12 women running the top 350 listed companies[/caption]

These female bosses have all had to climb the career ladder to get to the top.

And it requires a pool of new talent in senior jobs to ensure that more will get there in the future.

So Sun Business asked some for “the best career advice they have ever received”.

Here’s what they had to say.

Katie Bickerstaffe, Co-CEO Marks & Spencer

FIRSTLY, listening is a dangerously underrated leadership skill.

You can fall into the trap of thinking “the boss” has to do all the talking but what’s the point of building a great team or being out with customers if you don’t absorb what they have to say?

Katie Bickerstaffe says: ‘Listening is a dangerously underrated leadership skill’Reuters

Secondly, don’t believe your own hype. Every career will have highs and lows.

No one is the finished article — stay curious, ask questions and keep learning.

Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK

TAKE every opportunity you can to learn and grow, even if it looks daunting at first.

Do not ever let others make you feel “less” or pressured to apologise for being different.

GettyEmma Walmsley says: ‘Take every opportunity you can to learn and grow’[/caption]

Your unique capabilities, experience and style are, in fact, your greatest strengths.

So take pride in them, demand inclusion and equal treatment and, give these things to others as teams with differences are often the most successful.

Sharon White, Chairman, John Lewis

HAVE fun in your work and do what you believe in.

It can be the simple things like getting out and meeting people across the business.

John Lewis PartnershipSharon White says: ‘Have fun in your work and do what you believe in’[/caption]

It can be working together to help solve problems.

Or celebrating success by letting a colleague know they’ve done a brilliant job.

It’s these moments that we should appreciate when we’re at work.

If you believe in what you do and feel you’re making a difference, that’s just as rewarding.

Jennie Daly, CEO Taylor Wimpey

DON’T let the fear of failure stop you.

When faced with these moments, I would think what’s the worst that could happen?

Times Newspapers LtdJennie Daly says: ‘Don’t let the fear of failure stop you’[/caption]

Go back, regroup and try again.

I know this takes confidence.

I also know the importance of role models in instilling confidence.

Do not stop at the first hurdle.

It’s okay to be afraid, to sometimes fail, and then be ready to try again.

Alison Rose, CEO NatWest

ADOPTING a learning mindset, where personal development and collaboration are second nature, empowers us to be courageous and innovative.

It is about being open to new experiences, views and ways of working — and to take risks, try new things and not be fearful of failure.

GettyAlison Rose says: ‘We learn from our failures as well as our successes’[/caption]

We learn from our failures as well as our successes.

We are always stronger when working together.

Liv Garfield, CEO Severn Trent

BE yourself every day. There is only one you — there should be no separate work you and home you.

It’s important to stick to your values and what you believe in.

Hand outLiv Garfield says: ‘There is only one you — there should be no separate work you and home you’[/caption]

If you find a job where you can be yourself, then working hard and showing genuine enthusiasm will both come naturally.

Find something you love doing and give it your all because through hard work and enthusiasm, everything will work out.

Roisin Currie, CEO Greggs

NEVER underestimate the people around you — because success lies in the power of the team.

Building a network of people you trust, and who will challenge your thinking, will push you to new heights.

Roisin Currie says: ‘Success lies in the power of the team’

You should look to develop others too.

If a door opens to your next opportunity, be brave and walk through it.

Success will follow you if you love what you do, but crucially, always remember to be you.

Lyssa McGowan, CEO Pets at Home

THE best advice I have ever received, and which I live by every day, is to be your authentic self.

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, it’s people that have the ability to make businesses exceptional.

Lyssa McGowan says: ‘Be your authentic self’

It’s essential to be authentic and to foster a culture that enables people to bring their whole selves to work.

Maya Angelou said it best: “People will never forget how you made them feel.”

Sarah Bentley, CEO Thames Water

WHEN you have a job that you love and has purpose, you’ll do it brilliantly.

You’re prepared to put in a proper shift and produce your best work.

Thames WaterSarah Bentley says: ‘When you have a job that you love and has purpose, you’ll do it brilliantly’[/caption]

For ages, I thought I would never have children of my own but have been blessed with a large family.

Being a working parent involves many compromises.

When my children ask why I missed the swimming gala, I am able to look them in the eye and know that I’m making a difference.

Paula MacKenzie, CEO Pizza Express

FIRST, decide who you are in life — not just work — and what your moral code looks like.

Write it down. Stick to it, and be true to yourself.

Paula MacKenzie says: ‘First decide who you are in life — not just work — and what your moral code looks like’

Second, if you ever dread walking into a meeting and having to talk, speak the moment you walk in.

After that it gets easier — and keep going.

Third, SHED: Sleep, Hydrate, Exercise and Diet.

Some days you will need the strength of an ox and the hide of a rhino.

Cassandra Stavrou, Founder PROPER Snacks

RICHARD Reed — co-founder of Innocent — once said to me: “Keep the main thing, the main thing.”

What I’ve learned is never to lose sight of what you’re selling.

GettyCassandra Stavrou says: ‘Never lose sight of what you’re selling’[/caption]

A great product always sells itself.

You either create something the world wants, or you’re going to spend your time trying to convince the world they want it.

That second option is brutal and expensive.

Give the people what they want.

Romi Savova, Founder PensionBee

THE best career advice I received was to “just do it”.

It is, of course, always sensible to carry out substantial amounts of planning and testing, indeed those are the keys to many of the successes we see in business.

Romi Savova says: ‘Just do it’

Sometimes you just need self-belief — belief that things can be different, that YOU can do it.

It’s tempting to wait for the “right time” but sometimes the most important thing is to just get going.

Cull at Frankie & Benny

AROUND 35 Frankie & Benny restaurants will shut as owner The Restaurant Group battles to cut costs.

The dining chain, which has 410 restaurants, said it was shutting the loss-making sites and reducing its estate by around 30 per cent.

ReutersAround 35 Frankie & Benny restaurants will shut as owner The Restaurant Group battles to cut costs[/caption]

However, the company still plans to open more of its popular Wagamama and Barberitos restaurants instead.

Losses have swelled to £86.8million from £35.2million a year earlier — despite sales rising by 38 per cent to £883million as it recovered from Covid closures.

Boss Andy Hornby is fighting for his job after coming under pressure from an investor.

Mr Hornby said he had a “clear three-year plan” to deliver value — and that the company’s brands had “genuine appeal”.

He said that it was reviewing its longer term options amid recent reports that it could offload its Brunning & Price pub chain to soothe shareholders.

Pension appeal

THE boss of Legal & General has called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to make it easier for pension funds to invest in the UK.

Sir Nigel Wilson said the UK had a “low wage, low growth, low productivity economy”.

Funds, he said, had “drifted” away from investing in the stock market and infrastructure projects because of difficult regulation.

A number of UK firms have chosen to list in New York or are selling out to US buyers.