The Short Cut:
A quick fire chat about working life with Marie-Claire Frederick.
At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. From breakthrough career moments, to best ever advice, how to deal with stress and the women that inspire them.
Tell us about your breakthrough career moment
I had just come off a plane, having spent two and a half years teaching English and Economics in Tokyo, teaching Japanese children and teens. I had no idea of what I wanted to do. But in that moment when I arrived back in the UK, I thought to myself, ‘what is it that I want from this working environment?’
‘What does that look like?’ ‘What does the company do?’ ‘What does that actual employer look like or need to be?’ More importantly, I had statements like, ‘where is the company located’ and ‘what does the culture feel like’
I was in my early twenties, so these were the most important factors to me at the time. I used this formula to land my first ever marketing/PR entry at mid-level in a PR company and I’ve never looked back since, as I continue to use this formula to this very day.
It’s something that’s super important to understand your level of control earlier on in your career. The questions and requirements do change overtime, but you find that you are in the driver’s seat: it’s your choice, your options, and your opportunities.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
There is no such word as can’t… learnt from my primary school teacher.
Have you ever felt held back as a women?
For me at the time – (as now I co run Content Agency, Lemon Quarters, and the Nurture Network initiative) it can often be a double whammy looking at the intersectionality of race and gender and having to challenge the status quo from that perspective. I feel that I’ve have a lot of strong female and male mentors within my immediate family and network, that have always encouraged me to look beyond the issues and to seek wider allies.
In my working careers I’ve utilised this advice, so when dealing with challenges especially within usually middle management, I’ve mostly had the support of senior stakeholders – which holds well especially in my industry.
But sometimes you just have to hold your ground and leave… understand that you always have options and where one door closes … another one opens.
How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?
I’m a keen walker and love the freedom that cycling brings me. (It would have been horse riding if I hadn’t been knocked of a horse when I was younger), but I also run, and I’ve started signing up for 10k runs or half marathons on a quarterly basis, so I don’t slack off.
Do you have any hobbies to keep you busy in your spare time?
I mentioned some of the things I do above, but a few of these are centred around my now 9-year-old boy who swims for a local swimming club – so my hobby at present is karting him around to these swimming sessions four times a week, trampolining classes once a week, running sessions once a week and let’s not forget football – which is every day… plus tennis.
Gosh, I’m already exhausted now from reciting the above list – but while he is doing those things, I tend to run or cycle or watch him.
I feel empowered when…
…I’ve worked super hard on an idea and can see the successful outcome of that project or idea. Now I’m really loving the Nurture Network that co-founder Kelly Baynes and myself built back in August 2021. The women we meet and the stories we hear are so empowering. Its so wonderful to provide a platform to share these amazing journeys.
The world would be a better place when…
… collectively we can all strive to do something DAILY that helps others. Whether its about being more intentional in our sustainable efforts and or more conscious helping others to gain access to more positive opportunities in life.
The woman everyone should know about is…
Dr Altheia Jones-Lecointe, a Trinidadian physician and research scientist, she was at the forefront of the Black power movement in Britain in the 1960s and 70s – one of a group who took on and defeated the police in court in a ground-breaking victory as one of the Mangrove Nine (recently dramatised by Steve McQueen in Mangrove).
Also, Isabel de Olvera, an explorer, in the 1600s, she was a young, unmarried, free, of mixed-heritage background. She sought permission and protection from the mayor of Querétaro to join an upcoming expedition to New Spain (or present-day New Mexico, Arizona and Florida). Her story is amazing and the petition she made is well documented online. I don’t think you can quite imagine what it would be like to be an explorer as a young, mixed-race woman in those times.
The woman who empowers me the most is…
…My grandmother – she recently turned 92 and has just recovered from covid. She was awesome – with very little symptoms. I’ve learnt so much about resilience and strength from her.
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Several at the moment – 5 second rule by Mel Robbins, it helps with those procrastinating habits or and in my case the perfectionism within me to keep moving forward. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. But just finished reading Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills and love cross checking the facts and other sources within this book.