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Swindon Lives - International Women's Day Special - Lis Mcdermott

Local photographer, Lis Mcdermott spoke to us about juggling work and her personal life in another of our Swindon Lives -International Women's Day Specials.

What would you say is your most valuable skill?

Being able to interact well with all types of people and put them at their ease.

Do you have family (and/or children)?

No children, and not much family, but a fab husband and friends.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Sometimes I don’t, but I love my whole life, including my job, which as a photographer is brilliant and a passion rather than a drudge (which sadly some peoples’ jobs are).I love watching films, and listening tomusic and spending time with my husband.

Are there any strong female figures who you would cite as your idols?

No, sorry – I’ve never really had idols – I don’t want to be like someone else, I want to be myself, and always have done.

Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?

Not really, no. I think I’ve been very lucky – I made a decision when I was younger not to have children, and it was my decision I didn’t feel a need for them, so I certainly didn’t give up that chance for my career.  However, I did love my previous career as much as my present one, so I have been very fortunate in my life to have always enjoyed my career.

Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?

Have belief in what you want to do rather than what other people ‘think’ you should do.  Don’t spend too much time trying to follow trends and be like others’ if they are not anything like your style – it’s important to keep learning and developing your skills, but in the arts you need to have your own style and be comfortable with it. Be yourself and listen to your clients who keep coming back to you.

Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?

No I never have in this or my previous career.  As a photographer, it is often a huge advantage being a women, as it is mostly women who choose a photographer, and they don’t always feel comfortable being photographed by a man.

Do men ever feel intimidated by your success?

Not that I’ve noticed!

As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

70!! Still loving doing my photography, and enjoying life and having fun.

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