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graduate jobs + careers advice + sector news + case studies + employer profiles +

» The fairer sex Whose doing things your way? P10

» The interview Tips and tricks P14

2011 make a life not just a


just say yes

the women that aren’t taking no as an answer


» Superwoman P5

Being the one who values what really matters

Helping create value through: Assurance Consulting Tax Financial Advisory Actuarial PwC Legal

You need a 2:1 or above in any degree discipline. From 300 UCAS tariff or equivalent. We value diversity in our people

Nationwide Opportunities, Spring and Autumn 2011 We help people create the value they want. We work with clients to measure, protect and enhance what matters most to them. We help our own people learn, discover and make a difference throughout their working life. If you’re serious about a career in business, we don’t think anyone else could give you a better start. Students agree: we’re proud they’ve voted us number one in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers survey for the last seven years. If you want to make a lasting impact on your career and in the wider world, contact us. Visit Text ‘pwc’ to 85792 to find your nearest PwC event.*

© 2010 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. “PwC” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (the limited liability partnership registered in the United Kingdom), PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP (“PwC Legal”, the limited liability partnership registered in the United Kingdom) or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate legal entity. *Texts charged at your standard network rate.



up front Editor’s Letter


Profile: Whitney Iles


features Women in male roles Who says I can’t


What does a good company look like?


Case studies


Interview tips How to show you at your best


Make a life, not just a living At Real World we believe you should have a job that you want to get out of bed for. You should be doing something that’s going to inspire you, reward you and challenge you for the next 50 years. We help you do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. We want to be the ones to tell you about the job opportunity that’ll change your life. And we want to help you to get that job and then succeed without limits. Real World is more than just a magazine. We’re leaders in graduate employment research. We train people how to raise their game. Everything we do is about helping you understand your career, kick-starting it and developing it. After all, apart from sleeping, you’ll spend more time working than doing anything else in your life. We want you to make a good living, but we also want you to make a good life in the process. No sugar-coating and no dry job jargon – Real World tells it like it is. Just the best facts, advice and opportunities.


Reporters: Maxwell Ward,


Sam Passmore, Tom Brookes

last year, not least of which is the

Editorial Publisher: Johnny Rich Editor: Jon Madge Consultant Editor: Whitney Iles

Graphic designer: Angela Wozniak Sales Andrea Moretti Marketing and Distribution Manager

s we hit the shelves, Diversity is the word on the street. There have been some big

changes to the world of work in the


James Munday

Equality Act is now full in force, hopefully putting an end to discrimination. With that in mind welcome to the Real World women’s special. Inside we’ve been talking to 23

Client Services Manager

year old social entrepreneur and

Marie Tasle

all round impressive woman FOUNDER

Whitney Iles, as well as meeting up

Darius Norell

with the women who are proving there’s no such thing as a ‘man’s

Real World 22-26 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ

job’. And if that wasn’t enough

Tel: 020 7735 4900

there are graduates keen to tell

you their stories from the frontline

of employment.


So what are you waiting for?

For job vacancies, careers advice and case


studies. Copyright © 2010 Cherry Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or for material lost or damaged in the post. The views in this publication or on our website are not necessarily those held by the publisher.

The leading careers magazine inspiring ambitious female students and graduates


Jon, Editor

With training and support as comprehensive as ours, it’s easy to start getting ahead of yourself. Enterprise Management Training Programme If you’ve got your sights set on becoming a big name in business, you should come and see us. After all, with a global turnover of more than $12 billion, plus 3,400 people in the UK and Ireland alone, we’ve plenty of tips and pointers to help get you off to a flying start. Upon joining, you’ll be assigned to a branch to learn all about our business. We’ll make sure you’re given an excellent level of training and support as you develop management skills across all areas, from sales and marketing to customer service and finance. Throughout, we’ll give you plenty of opportunity to show your stuff as we evaluate your growing skills, and recognise and reward your development with pay increases and all sorts of opportunities for promotion. We won’t expect you to do it alone, either. You’ll be part of a team of like-minded people in the branch, each of whom will want to meet targets just as much as you. And while the challenges can be tough, we believe in having fun too. Because when you feel good, we know you learn more and progress faster. Start getting ahead of yourself by visiting or calling 0870 850 1232.

Photo by Susan


Whitney Iles Consultant editor on women in work Whitney Iles is CEO of NoSexWithoutLove, a new kind of organisation giving young women advice and a voice

‘ Invest in yourself. Continually work on your own personal and professional development. Make a detailed plan, decide where you would like to be in 2, 5 or 10 years time ‘


e asked a woman, who, at the age of 23, is exactly where she wants to be, about her secret to success “ I am a social entrepreneur, consultant and keynote speaker” explains Whitney Iles, pouring through the sort of CV most graduates would kill for. “Currently I sit on the board of directors for Equanomics UK, am co-founder of NoSexWithOutLove, founder of WSI Records and part of the management team for the Spirit of London Awards and Foundation.” The 23 year-old, with a background in youth and community development, is living proof that if you want something you can make it happen. “I have a deep passion and love for what I do, and on the odd days where that doesn’t motivate me the results of the work does. To know that we are making an actual positive difference in people’s lives and creating our own legacy leaves me with a feeling that is beyond words.” Not that she hasn’t met some opposition along the way with inevitable criticism to her doing so much at such a young age. But her advice is remarkably simple; don’t let criticism get to you. “There will always be skeptics in the world, so I tend to ignore them and stay focused on my goals.” “The way in which you choose to look at a situation has a great impact on how well you will cope with it,” she adds, an attitude which she explains how she

can see the triple whammy of recession, government cuts and rising unemployment as a good thing. “To me learning how to survive in the current climate is giving us a great deal of experience and allowing us to build a foundation that is potentially a lot more solid than it would have been in a more stable environment.” So what is the secret to Whitney’s success (and her positive attitude in the face of all things)? “Invest in yourself. Continually work on your own personal and professional development. Make a detailed plan, decide where you would like to be in 2, 5 or 10 years time and include all the steps you need to get there. Then make it happen.” Although she adds that once you’re where you want to be, it makes everything that much easier, “I wouldn’t really call what I do a job, this is my life, my purpose and I am grateful for everyday I am able to wake up and do what I love.” WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM RW 5



WOMEN IN MALE ROLES Even now, there are still some careers that most of us still think of as a job for the boys. We met some of the women demonstrating that there’s no such thing




Susie Webber Naval Architect Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) I’ve been with the RNLI for a year and a month. I design boats for a living and the Atlantic 85 boat is what I’m mainly working on at the moment, but all of us in the engineering department work on everything that comes our way. My parents taught me how to sail when I was very small and when it came to the time to choose what I wanted to do in life, I thought I’d chose something that

‘ I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen other female reporters in the press box ‘

reflected what I enjoyed. I studied marine sports technology at Plymouth University then did a masters in marine engineering at Southampton University. I’ve never really come up against any hurdles because I’m

Simone Corgan Senior Sports Reporter MK News

reporters in the press box. There are

a woman, although once I wasn’t

a growing number of women working

allowed to visit a Russian shipyard

within sport, but few report for local

because it wasn’t seen as a

media outlets. There have certainly

place for women there but that’s

I’ve always had an interest in sport, but

been testing times working in this

about it. All the men I work with

never quite had the same passion for

industry as a woman. Sometimes

are lovely.

school or university.

personalities I’ve met have made my

So I decided to leave sixth form

I enjoy what I do as the work

life slightly harder than it needs to be.

is so varied. No day is the same.

after completing my AS-levels and

Despite these (increasingly) rare

We go out on the water quite a

pursue a career in sports journalism.

incidents I have never felt the need to

lot, so I can be testing boats in

prove my worth because of my

the Solent one day and then doing

with a local newspaper in Milton

gender. In fact, sometimes it’s great

something completely different

Keynes - MK NEWS - when I was just

to be the only female turning up at a

the next.

17. I had no previous reporting

press conference because you stand

experience, however, I had just

out and are easier to remember.

a really nice place to work – and

embarked on a teach-yourself

Thankfully there are a lot of role

being a sailor, I suppose I might

journalism course and provided the

models for me to look up to like

have more of an appreciation

editor with examples of match reports

Gabby Logan, Georgie Thompson and

of what the volunteer crews

I had written from games on television.

Jacqui Oatley.

actually have to do.

Thankfully, an opportunity came up

I was thrown straight in to the deep

During my time at the paper I have

The RNLI is a charity so it’s

In terms of future ambitions,

end as I had to cover an MK Dons game

been part of an editorial team to win

because I’m a sailor at heart,

that evening.

a national award, and have been

I’d love to design sailing boats

I can count on one hand the amount

shortlisted for sports journalist of the

one day.

of times I have seen other female

year for a weekly title.



Leila Wilcox Founder of Sure Insurance Services

overcome that by being an expert in the subject matter, ensuring there was never a question I couldn’t answer.


Shelley Facius Company Director Juice PR Ltd

I can remember one meeting, early Launching the World’s first medical

on, in a room of four men who all failed

I’ve worked in PR for the hi-tech

travel insurance policy in 2008 with no

to address or acknowledge me – we

sector since the early 90s.When I

insurance background or expertise was

took the contract elsewhere.

arrived in the UK from California it

I love that as two female

was not long after ‘Black Monday’

a risky move, especially as a woman in a man’s world. However my partner

entrepreneurs making headway with

and I was looking for my first

Alison and I have made this as our USP

unique and innovative products – we

full-time job after completing my

and built a portfolio of products as

do business differently. Everyday we

BA in Politics. Times were tough

diverse as children’s health insurance

know we’re really helping people – for

and you had to be tenacious.

to cosmetic surgery insurance. I found

instance a life-saving airlift evacuation

I ended up working in a database

the biggest challenge was overcoming

for a person with one of our policies.

software house because a friend

my own lack of self-confidence and

of my partner heard about the job.

self-belief. At times I felt like a silly girl

I fell into the IT sector, I didn’t

in big board meetings but I learnt to

‘ I once wasn’t allowed to visit a Russian shipyard because it wasn’t a place for women ‘

choose it, but I enjoy its challenges so much that I’ve never left. When I worked in marketing, (before getting my job in PR, it was in a sales-driven software house. As a woman you had to try to act like one of the boys and having a sense of humour was crucial. At an off-site company meeting one year, two of the salesman started a vote over dinner on the merits of my skirts over my female colleague’s cycling shorts. I look back on it and am appalled that this was accepted as normal behaviour, but I recognise it now as a display of power. As a woman you had to have a thick skin. Over the years, I have encountered bad behaviour in both men and women but it does manifest itself in different ways. Men tend to be more territorial and aggressive and seem to be better at the ‘office politics’. I was able to navigate my way through to becoming a company director just after 30 because I believed in myself.


The fairer sex? Has the glass ceiling been smashed or is the new one just too pristine to see? Which organisations are striving for equality in the workplace



Vanessa Gough Professional Development Manager IT consulting corporation IBM UK


hile the gender wage gap is negligible in other European countries, in Britain a female working full time earns only 82% of her male colleague’s salary. It is a disparity which costs a woman with average qualifications about £250,000, during her lifetime. In predominantly female professions, like nursing, the average pay is 6% less than overall average male earnings in the UK. However, coinciding with the Equality Act 2010, some companies who have struggled to find gender equality in their workforce in the past, have renewed their efforts. E.ON is one such company, they can now refer to the case study of trainee Jessica Morgan, 21, who is on a four-year electrical apprenticeship, as a sign of changing times. Jessica started her apprenticeship in September 2008 and divides her time between the Central Networks base near her home in Gloucester and E.ON’s Engineering Academy at Tipton in the West Midlands.



“I’m really enjoying all the work I’ve been doing so far. I love being outside it’s work but it doesn’t feel like it to me,” says Jessica. Lawrence Wall, the manager of Central Networks’ Gloucester base, said: “We welcome Jessica and the other apprentices into our team; it’s great that more and more women like her are taking on roles and activities that have traditionally been seen as a male environment.” Meanwhile, Vanessa Gough, the Professional Development Manager at IT consulting corporation IBM UK spoke from her own experiences when she said, “What makes IBM’s commitment to Diversity unique is that it stands at the heart of its core values. IBM first hired women in 1899; its first employee with a disability in 1914; and wrote its first equal opportunity policy letter in 1953.” A spokesperson for IBM said they are “committed to creating a ‘smarter planet’, made possible by hiring, retaining and developing the very best people. Race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or numbers - this is not all that diversity is about. Diversity is about building a corporate culture that fosters diversity of thought and relationships and puts that leadership to good use.” Diversity is not an option. Employing people with varying backgrounds and lifestyles complements the workforce, it means that they challenge and energise each other and often deliver the most innovative ideas and strongest results.” So while there is still room for improvement, female graduates shouldn’t be deterred. With the rules implemented in the Equality Act 2010 protecting employees from gender based disparity, and with top employers implementing fairer recruitment policies and support networks, things are moving in the right direction.


New frontiers The world’s financial markets are under closer scrutiny than ever before. In the wake of the financial crisis, some governments have moved to restrict short selling – betting that prices are going to fall. As a lawyer at Allen & Overy, what will that and other changes mean for your clients? It will be down to you to help your clients negotiate the evolving regulatory environment – to structure products and transactions that continue to deliver commercial advantages within a legal framework that is itself changing. You will be their guide, providing ideas and solving problems at the frontiers of business and law. Careers at Allen & Overy are about providing clear, insightful legal advice, working collaboratively – with colleagues and clients – and striving to deliver outstanding results. Your role will be to bring clarity to complex issues and support decision-making at the highest level, enabling our clients – some of the most ambitious companies in the world – to address challenges that will define their futures. In today’s legal and business landscape, our clients expect intelligent commercial advice delivered consistently and globally. Join us and be part of our success. Start at the top.

A Career in Law Allen & Overy means Allen & Overy LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings



Penny Mallory is a successful broadcaster, recent author and mother of two. She’s also the first woman to compete in a World Rally Car. Penny is a patron of everywoman’s Modern Muse project, an initiative to encourage the next generation of businesswomen.

How did you get where you are today? I ran away from home at 14 and never went back. After spending nearly two years in homeless hostels I realised that to change my situation I would have to take control of my own life. I got various jobs, working my way to becoming a sound engineer and graphic artist then a chance event gave me the chance to realise my childhood dream of being a rally driver. I went on a one-day course in Enstone and was hooked after six gear changes on an airfield in a Mark 2 Escort. Despite being told that I was the wrong sex and too old to rally I put in the hours, got myself a car, badgered my way to finding a sponsor and a team and became the first woman to drive a world rally car. I’m now part of pgs-team and apart from broadcasting am a conference host and motivational speaker. What do you think when people say you can’t do something because you’re a woman? I am loath to put people in categories. Not even to categories if they are men or women. We are all individuals, we are all different and we all have a lot to offer.


After all that, how do you avoid thinking you’ve achieved enough? I’m driven by the adrenalin rush I get from taking on new challenges. Every year I set myself a goal, whether it’s learning to box or run a marathon. This year I conquered Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, via the remote north face. What advice would you give to graduates? I regularly work with students in schools and colleges up and down the country. My strongest advice is to know where you are going. If you don’t know what you want then how can you possibly achieve it? And don’t look back. We can learn from the past but we shouldn’t dwell on it. Concentrate on the road ahead and how you are going to drive towards achieving your goal.

‘ Every year I set myself a goal, whether it’s learning to box or run a marathon ’


CLAIRE GOODWIN For men, preparing for an interview is pretty easy. Wear a suit, have a nice firm handshake and you’re all set until the questions start flying. For women it isn’t always so clear cut. Recruitment expert Claire Goodwin gives her essential tips on avoiding potholes on the road to interview success. Claire Goodwin is Sales Director of womenintechnology Recruitment Services




1 Remember the basics – arrive on time, turn your phone off, don’t chew gum, give a firm handshake and smile. They sound obvious but you may be surprised how many people slip up before they even get to the interview room. With that in mind it’s worth entering ‘interview mode’ before you’re even in the building - you never know who the person you meet in the coffee shop next door or bump into in the lift might be.


Be co nfide nt It’s a generalisation but on the whole men are better than us women when it comes to confidence and ‘blowing their own trumpets’ however that doesn’t mean they are better candidates for the job. Believing in yourself and your ability to do the job will go a long way in an interview. Sell your achievements and talk about how you as an individual made an impact. Being confident will also allow your personality to come through, which is important as employers want to take on people that will fit in and get on well with both colleagues and customers.


Dress to impress Dressing correctly for an interview is key to make that positive first impression and to highlight your professionalism. A suit or smart outfit is usually the best choice, but women should avoid short skirts, low cut tops or clothing that’s too tight. The same goes for too much perfume or too much make up - you don’t want to catch the interviewer’s attention for the wrong reasons or for your appearance to overshadow your achievements.


Be prepared In order to be confident in an interview you have to be prepared, so make sure you do your research. Find out what the company does, what your role will involve, how that will link in to the rest of the organisation and so on. With resources like the internet available that shouldn’t be too hard. Before the interview, it also helps to write down a list of your key selling points and achievements and make sure you talk about them in the interview. Also come up with a few questions to ask the interviewer yourself to show your interest in the role and the company. You might be asked about a specific skill or experience you don’t have. Don’t panic. Instead turn this into a positive and talk about how you are keen to learn and see it as an opportunity for growth.




about my work and other people’s work.

Name: Chelsea Hughes Age: 24 Degree and university: Fine Art, University of Kent, Canterbury Job Title: Canvas Specialist

What is it you actually do? I work in a Covent Garden based store, stretching canvases for painting on, re-stretching artworks, advising on specific issues like fabrics and restoration. I also work in the office processing orders made online and over the phone. I pack boxes of items to be sent out for mail orders, and also work at the warehouse on large scale stretching jobs. How did you get into your job? For this specific job I replied to an ad on the arts council website. I had taken part in various different voluntary placements in the art sector to gain experience and the variety of experience seemed to impress in the interview. Why did you decide to go into this sector? Since studying art I developed a passion for it and wanted to be around art and other artists. Being in this kind of environment helps me to continue with my own work, stay motivated and keep a constant dialogue going


What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides? The people that I work with are fantastic, they have very similar interests to me and we can talk all day. They are also very knowledgeable and introduce me to new concepts and ideas. Sometimes it can be quite stressful, with tight deadlines and it is also a very manual job so it’s quite tiring but we still manage to keep it fun.

What advice would you give to other graduates? To not give up. I did a really terrible job for a year after graduating and then after leaving there I came very close to studying again for a job in something that interested me but was not something I was passionate about. After a pep talk from someone highly unlikely I was reminded not to give up on what I wanted and not to lose focus. Then I got the job that I wanted, and although it’s not where I want to be forever, there’s a lot I can learn from it and I’m enjoying it.

The NCYPE is the leading national charity providing specialist services for children and young people with epilepsy and related neurological conditions. Our inspiring campus in Lingfield, Surrey, provides a residential special school, FE college and a medical and assessment centre. In addition, we provide high quality information, training and support on childhood epilepsy for professionals, parents and young people across the UK.

Being part of the life of young people with epilepsy is not easy. It requires a special person with special qualities – are you one of them? NCYPE aims to provide stimulating and rewarding opportunities where you can contribute, develop and perform to your full potential. The work is challenging, but if you wish to develop a career in social care or use this valuable experience to springboard your career in working with children and young people, this is just the opportunity for you. What the staff say: “The atmosphere at NCYPE is amazing, everyone is really helpful.” “The organisation is very committed to staff development and all staff are very supportive of each other.” “Each day provides many worthwhile challenges.” For further information about our work and career opportunities, visit We welcome applications from all sections of the community and guarantee to interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. An enhanced police disclosure will be required.

Better futures for young lives with epilepsy

Charity No. 311877

it’s an interesting world

Get under the skin

of it.

IT, Internet, ICT Research, Information Assurance, Mathematics, Language and Culture specialists Cheltenham | c.£25,000 + benefits With its different languages and cultures, belief systems and viewpoints, the world is a diverse and interesting place. As one of the UK’s intelligence services, so is our world of work. From helping stamp out cyber-crime and the illegal drugs trade, through to helping prevent acts of terror, we’re here to help create a safer, more democratic world for everyone. But while we use the latest and most exciting technology to counter those threats, it’s our people who really make the difference. So it’s not just your skills and qualifications that count. We’re looking for people from a variety of backgrounds - people who think differently, and who can bring a range of new perspectives to our work. In return you’ll enjoy unique opportunities for development, tailored to your individual needs. Get under the skin of our work. Find out more and apply online:


Applicants must be British Citizens. GCHQ values diversity and welcomes applicants from all sections of the community.

sara richardson

rebecca white

vishal parmar

Jason arthur

tamsin robinson

jonathan sobczyk







Join in, stand out, Teach First.

Registered charity no:1098294

Question: A class in a challenging school has 32 pupils. 13 of them are eligible for free school meals. How many of them will go on to attend university? Answer: Just 2. Is that ok with you? It’s not with us – and we’re doing something about it. Over 2,500 outstanding graduates – people like you – have joined us and become exceptional teachers and leaders, and transformed the life chances of young people in challenging schools. Now it’s your turn.

Women Special Edition  

Real World Magazine Women Special Edition 2011