Vicky Dawe

Deputy Director - BEIS

A few years ago I noticed some  women working around me were visibly more confident and assertive, clearer on what they wanted and their future career. Some were getting promoted. The reason? They’d been on Crossing Thresholds.

When I applied to Crossing Thresholds I was at a crossroads. I had just had baby No 2 and was worried about whether a move to senior management was what I wanted, if I was capable enough, and whether it was compatible with my part-time working pattern. Thresholds seemed like a good way of working through the issues.

And it really was!. I was in a peer group with some truly amazing women.  We would talk through the issues and challenges we were facing in the office and in our lives, work through job applications and reflect on what we had learned.

Being around many different women who brought their own experiences and perspectives to lively and challenging discussions, in a safe, warm and encouraging atmosphere, was incredibly empowering. I had the time, space and tools to think about what I wanted, how to get the work/life balance right, and to focus on what made me unique and valuable.  I set myself goals, updated my CV, developed my interview technique and decided that childcare shouldn’t stand in the way of my personal development and ambitions.

The self-reflection and renewed focus was invaluable when I successfully applied to the Future Leaders Scheme, and more recently when I secured a 6 month temporary promotion to Deputy Director still working part-time.  I put the techniques I had learned to good use, but more importantly I was able to articulate clearly who I was, where I wanted to be and why.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Crossing Thresholds to anyone who is struggling to define what they want, is worried about work/life balance, juggling ambition and parenting, or wants to reflect on the best way to achieve their goals.  It’s head and shoulders above any other course I’ve been on.