Clare is a communications specialist, with broad experience in marketing, internal and external communications, business development and strategy, brand development and personal brand and change. She has worked in corporate, SME and entrepreneurial environments and has been involved in diversity programmes and women’s development for over a decade.
Clare now runs her own communications consultancy, CLA Communications. I work on a contract basis with individuals and businesses of all size and scale, either alone or alongside a select group of specialist associates. I focus on writing, facilitation, brand development, personal and team development, networking and stakeholder engagement and management.
- How did you first become involved in business
? Having done a degree in English, I had planned to do a PhD in gender and literature, but having applied for one job in the 1991 recession, I got it and so decided to join the Bank of Scotland’s Graduate Training Scheme. And never (yet) made it back into academia. One thing led to another and I have enjoyed a fabulously varied career so far and have also achieved banking and marketing qualifications along the way.
- What advice would you give to women starting in business?
Build a strong, supportive, trusted network. Never be afraid to ask for support and advice. Try not to take it personally when people let you down. Just focus on being as good as you can be and keep bouncing back.
- Have you had any issues specific to you being a woman in business?
In corporate environments I do believe sexism (and I use the word advisedly and as a very broad brush) is still prevalent – whether it is overt, covert or unconscious. It’s not necessarily debilitating unless you allow it to be, but it does require effective coping strategies and support.
- How do you see things changing for women in business in the next (3-5) years?
Not all that much in that space of time, if I’m honest. I think it’s a slow and gradual process of improvement that still demands passionate dedication and clever interventions to ensure sensible, incisive, effective strategies that can make a positive, sustainable improvement to business performance, talent management and genuine equality of opportunity.
- Are you involved in any initiatives to support women?
Always, though often fairly generally these days. I am very involved in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Breakthrough 100, I am a member of numerous networking groups, I often (informally) mentor other women and I work with companies to help develop their female talent. I love being around excellent women.