International Women's Day: Meet our Team Sally Bratley
Why do you think it is important to celebrate IWD and what does it mean to you?
I think it is important to reflect on how far women have come and celebrate our achievements. It's also important to look to the future and see what we can do to equal the balance going forward.
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman and how did you overcome them?
I’ve been lucky. I really don’t feel that I have faced any barriers in my career. I have worked in very gender-neutral industries and I don’t feel that being a woman has ever put me at a disadvantage.
What changes would you like to see for the next generation?
I would like to see a change in mindset and women not to limit themselves. I have a daughter and I don’t want her to feel there are any stereotypes or barriers to anything she wants to do in life.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Take some risks, be true to yourself, don’t hold yourself back and grab every opportunity you can.
Share an empowerment moment that inspired you
I remember running a workshop with a large group of senior stakeholders from the NHS and although I had taken the time to thoroughly prepare, it was daunting to be stood in front of a large group and challenge some of their views. There was a huge part of me feeling the whole imposter syndrome. However, I received some really positive feedback after the event which made me believe in my ability and empowered me to carry this forward in other aspects of my job.
Can you tell me about a female role model who has inspired you over your career?
I wouldn’t say I have a role model as such, but in different women I know I have tried to emulate traits that I admire such as their work ethic and being true to themselves. Some people adapt their personality to the situation they find themselves in, but I admire people who show integrity, challenge the norm and are open about their strengths and weaknesses.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m proud of the jump my career has taken, especially after having my children. I was made redundant while I was on maternity leave with my daughter, and I lost a lot of my confidence. When I joined NHS Supply Chain I went in as an administrator, but they saw something in me. A lot of the skills I had gained working in the financial sector I was able to transfer into procurement. I also studied for my CIPS alongside a full-time job and being a single parent to two young children. I am particularly proud of my involvement with the National Healthcare Uniforms project, where every day there is a fresh challenge.
What was your dream career when you were a child?
I had a few! I started off wanting to be a hairdresser like my mum, and I seriously considered becoming a physiotherapist, but I wasn’t that great at science.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
I think having women in the workplace is important as we have the ability to switch our roles and that rounded view that we bring is needed.