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TGt Meets... Laura James - IWD Special
We've been speaking to local inspirational business women to celebrate International Women's Day this year. In this interview, we speak to Marketing and Sales Manager for Swindon Theatres, Laura James.
Name: Laura James
Occupation: Marketing and Sales Manager for Swindon Theatres
Which woman would you compare yourself to?
My Mum. At least I hope I can compare myself to her. She has always inspired me and always provided a great role model through her hard work and her complete dedication to family and caring for and putting others before herself.
What would you say is your most valuable skill and why?
Probably my empathy, I hope it enables me to show care and respect to those in all areas of my life and to be able to connect with and show kindness to others.
Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?
I think it’s important to recognise the value that Women bring all over the world (as it is to recognise the value of all individuals) and also to remember the struggles of women who have helped bring us to where we are today.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I’m lucky that I don’t often have to work out of office hours. When I do, I know it’s important for the job and the business, which I care a great deal about, but the rest of the time I make sure I switch off and focus on the important things. My little boy helps massively with this as time with him is so precious so I don’t let work interfere unless it’s really necessary.
Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?
I guess I have given up being with my son full time but I always knew I wanted to return to work and I think it’s important for both of our futures that I continue with my career. I also want to show him the value of hard work, just as my parents have done for me.
Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?
I can thankfully say that I haven’t. Working in theatre has always been a diverse and inclusive experience and I have always felt fully supported and able to do everything I want to.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
Don’t worry or be held back if you’re not certain about that you want to do. I only knew that I wanted to work in the theatre, and gradually worked my way up while working in a variety of roles in different departments. Show enthusiasm, commitment and willingness to learn and experience as much as possible so that you can be sure about what interests you and what your strengths are. Don’t be afraid of your expectations changing.
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
My two Grandmothers who are no longer with us, Dame Judi Dench, Stevie Nicks, Florence Welch and J.K. Rowling.
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I hope I am still working in theatre and enjoying my job, perhaps with slightly more time for myself and my (by then) teenage son! Most of all I hope I’ll have done the best by him and ensured his happiness above everything else.