Last week marked International Women's Day, so we celebrated by getting to know just one of the many amazing women who are integral to the success of Fortius Clinic.
Meet Amber Taylor-Groves, Office Manager and PA to the Executive Team here at Fortius:
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
It reminds me of how lucky we are for how far our society has come, but equally it reminds me how far behind some other parts of the world are and how much work still needs to be done before this can truly be celebrated ‘Internationally’. I think it is an exciting time of change not only for women but men also, especially our future generations.
Why did you choose to become an Office Manager and PA to the Executive Team?
For quite a few years prior to working for Fortius, I had worked as a PA/EA and Office Manager so when the opportunity arose to join the company I jumped at the chance.
What's the best part of your role?
I really enjoy the fact that I get to interact and help anyone and everyone across the organisation. It means I get asked lots of weird and wonderful questions but being able to help and answer them gives me a great deal of satisfaction.
What do you love doing outside of your day job?
I love going on muddy cross country runs with my wife and son, paddle boarding, camping, skiing, basically doing anything fun outdoors.
On the flipside, I love and desperately miss performing on stage. I have been a professional singer for most of my life and have played to crowds of thousands. Hopefully this will be something that I will do again in the not too distant future.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
Thankfully being a woman has never been a barrier in my career. I feel that I have benefited greatly from the women that I have grown up with and surrounded myself with through life. I feel it has armed me with a confidence and belief that I do not need to allow myself to be judged on my gender.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in your field?
Buy some cheap plates and some poles. Then start spinning the plates, being able to multitask is a must! Also, be open, be approachable and be a good communicator.
Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you over your career?
Early on in my career I was PA to a fantastic woman, Professor Virginia Murry, she was the head of the Chemical Hazards and Poisons department at the HPA (Health Protection Agency). As an epidemiologist her role was to advise at COBRA meetings on incidents such as the ricin attacks and the London bombings and what the health implications of these would be on the general public.
She was excellent at her job and very passionate but also a lone woman in an ‘old boys club’. Despite being the most qualified person for this job, there were attempts to make her feel inferior due to her gender and she was often branded ‘too eccentric’ and ‘too emotional’. She always walked away from these situations with grace and a great sense of humour, she refused to take these things personally or let it affect the work that she was doing.
It was awe-inspiring to witness someone carry on with such resilience, I learnt a great deal from this wonderful woman.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
This is one of my all-time favourite quotes; “Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world that it was crooked”. It says it all!
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Believe that you are good enough, prove that you are good enough.