Women in Learning: Get to know our panelists

We rallied the L&D industry's best to share ideas and practical advice for how to challenge gender inequality in the workplace.

Nicole L'ecuyer US Head of Marketing

Women In Learning Panel

Women are pushing boundaries, kicking down doors, and reshaping the learning landscape. But that doesn’t mean gender inequality in the workplace has ceased to exist. Far from it, in fact.

Now, with momentum building, the onus is on us to continue the conversation. So, on Thursday 7 October, we did just that; welcoming some of L&D’s brightest minds to our Women in Learning Power Panel discussion on Linkedin Live.

In a space that was totally inclusive to, but not exclusively for women, we shared stories, advice, and ideas on how to continually challenge and uproot gender inequality in the workplace. 

If you joined us on the day, you’ll already know how brilliant, fast-paced and fruitful the discussion was. If you didn’t, no sweat, you can watch the whole thing back

Before the event, we asked our panelists a series of questions to find out what makes them tick. From their motivation to enter L&D and the best piece of advice they’ve received to their dream dinner guest and binge-worthy shows, you’ll find all the answers below. Enjoy!

  • What made you decide to get into L&D?

“It was all an accident! I initially pursued my degree in marketing and happened to get a role at a little training company called QA. The rest, as they say, is history!”

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Never miss the opportunity to meet people and make a good impression - you never know when you’ll bump into people again.”

  • If you could have dinner with one woman, who would it be? And why?

“Ooh, great question. At present, I’m on a Michelle Obama tip but Maya Angelou would have been the dream.”

  • What’s your go-to hot drink?

“Yorkshire tea, white without.”

  • What’s the last show you binge-watched?

“Succession.”

  • What made you decide to get into L&D?

“Simply put: I love helping people on their development path. My career path into an L&D role has not been "traditional" - through studying investigative medicine at university whilst working in technical training, the learning space was ALWAYS more fun and gave me a sense of fulfilment.”

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Always start with the question "what is the lasting impact you want to have on your audience?", THEN get creative!”

  • If you could have dinner with one woman, who would it be? And why?

“My great grandmother - her ability to analyse people's body language, ask probing questions and facilitate discussions amongst people who may not usually get along with each other was remarkable. She was a woman known and well respected in her community, filled with wisdom. I wish I could go back to ask her questions and watch her mastery in managing people through the lens of my experience as an adult.”

  • What’s your go-to hot drink?

“Cortado.”

  • What’s the last show you binge-watched?

“Explained on Netflix.”

  • What made you decide to get into L&D?

“Teaching is something that I always wanted to do when I left school. After 11 years in retail banking, a training opportunity arose and I’ve never looked back since.”

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Know your ‘why’; your purpose.”

  • If you could have dinner with one woman, who would it be? And why?

“My great grandmother. To meet her, to share with her how the world has changed and the legacy she created.”

  • What’s your go-to hot drink?

“English breakfast tea - the best drink of the day!”

  • What’s the last show you binge-watched?

“Line of Duty - it was excellent. I was hooked.”

  • What made you decide to get into L&D?

“I was working at Virgin Atlantic as a contact centre team leader, with around 10 people reporting into me. I learnt that I loved developing people and supporting them to be the best they can be. That was when I made my move to an L&D role at Virgin Atlantic.”

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Never be afraid of being YOU.”

  • If you could have dinner with one woman, who would it be? And why?

“My mum - she is my inspiration every day. She has faced challenges in life and she is stronger than she realises. She has held the same job for over 35 years in a school. Now, we can’t go anywhere without parents and kids stopping her. She makes a difference to everyone she comes into contact with and that is because she is kind, caring and always authentically her. That is MY mum!”

  • What’s your go-to hot drink?

“I am a decaf kinda person - decaf latte.”

  • What’s the last show you binge-watched?

“Click Bait on Netflix.”

  • What made you decide to get into L&D?

“I spent 20 years in fashion retail, managing various size stores and teams, and although I've always been passionate about product and service, developing others has always been the driver in my career. I have had the opportunity to work with many talented young people, and I’m grateful that I have been able to be a positive influence on their development, whatever their career path.”

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“This was a tricky one. I've received so many words of wisdom, but one piece of advice that sticks in my mind is 4 letters: JFDI (just effing do it). It helps me if I'm procrastinating, it helps me if I'm nervous, it helps me realise that 'creative waste' is ok. You just need to start.”

  • If you could have dinner with one woman, who would it be? And why?

“My Grandmother. I didn't get the chance to meet her, but my mum says that creativity skipped a generation to me. She was definitely a powerhouse and a lady I would have loved to learn from.”

  • What’s your go-to hot drink?

“I’d like to say green tea, but if I’m honest, it’s a latte and caramel syrup!”

  • What’s the last show you binge-watched?

“Masterchef Australia - I’m hooked! I started at Season 10 so plenty to work back from. There’s a 19-year-old contestant called Jess in this season. I just love her confidence and bravery.”

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