Advice, news, debate
and discussion
all in one place

How to be a Successful Leader – Ladies that UX November 2016

I was lucky to nab myself a ticket to the highly coveted Ladies that UX Finding Your Leadership Style event last night at the Digitas LBi offices off Brick Lane.



With a full-house, Sophie Mitchell (@smitchio) kicked off the night, thanking Foolproof for organising the event and Digitas LBi for hosting.

The panel included Caroline Austen, Head of Digital Experience at Aldermore Bank (@caz841), Rakhi Rajani, Global Director, Customer Experience and Design at Travelex (@rakhi) and Hayley Sudbury, Founder & CEO of WERKIN (@hayleysudbury).

Amy Shore, UX Consultant at Foolproof (@ishoream) was a fantastic panel organiser, asking really interesting and considered questions to delve into the ladies’ leadership journeys so far.


Here are the top tips shared by Caroline, Rakhi and Hayley on their experience of being a leader.


  • You have to fundamentally believe in what you’re designing / working on.
  • To be a good leader you need to find strengths in people that should be nurtured.
  • Listen to people in the team to better understand their motivations.
  • There will always be times of uncertainty, but if you can absorb that feeling of uncertainty on to provide structure for the team it will make you a better leader.
  • It’s as much about the physical space you create to help people develop in the team.
  • Deal with ambiguity and influence people.
  • It’s ok to say ‘I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know’.
  • Be in a work environment that is healthy for you; surround yourself with mentors and work to your passion.
  • Know when you can change a situation, and when you are better off leaving it.
  • Know you have the power to leave the situation.
  • Nothing is ever perfect.
  • Surround yourself with a network of entrepreneurs and business advisors, take on their feedback and keep the network alive.
  • Pressure keeps you alive.
  • Your should never lose your sense of responsibility.
  • You need to be up for the challenge of being a leader.
  • Treat people how you would like to be treated.
  • The way you approach and handle difficult situations says a lot about you.
  • You don’t have to be in charge of people to be a leader.
  • A leader is not necessarily the person who shouts the loudest in the room.
  • Find the right way to tell your story to get people onboard.
  • It’s all about relationships and connecting with people.
  • How to deal with challenges? Stand yourself up, dust yourself off and learn from them.
  • Focus on creating the right environment, culture and relationships before you start delivering anything.
  • Be clear and confident in who you are.
  • Have difficult conversations and learn to give feedback more regularly.
  • It is so important to build rapport in first 90 days of a new role.
  • Listen, learn and absorb.


Thanks again to all of those involved in the organisation of another thoroughly enjoyable Ladies that UX event. We will be collaborating with the group to run the annual January careers event – look forward to seeing you all there!

If you want to get ahead of the curve and start your job search before the rush in January – feel free to get in touch for advice or to discuss our current opportunities –

Leave a reply

Leave a Reply

Latest views

Landed an interview? Great! Are you excited? Nervous? Whatever you are feeling, the company clearly saw something they like in your application and want to meet you. All you need to do now is nail the interview with the help of our tried and tested top tips.   1.      Do Your Research First things first – […]

Image Source So, you have decided that transitioning to a flexible working schedule would be a good fit for you. Maybe this is because your family circumstances have changed, and you need time in the morning to drop off your kids at school. Or perhaps your optimum hours of inspiration and productivity don’t coincide with your current […]

Remote working used to be an option offered only by a minority of workplaces. However, ever since the pandemic changed the way businesses must operate, pivoting to a remote working model has become a necessary adaption for companies across industries to attract and retain talent. In changing to a hybrid or completely remote working model, […]

Image source As you are probably aware, several changes to IR35 legislation came into effect in April this year (2021) that impacted the private and public sectors. These changes for many contractors placed the responsibility of deciding if contracts were inside IR35 on the shoulders of the end client, rather than the contractor themselves. Consequently, […]

Maybe this is your first UX interview ever, or you haven’t interviewed in a few years and you want to get a better idea of what to expect…

If you want the best UXers then provide the best CX (Customer Experience) within your hiring process, else you risk ending up with who’s leftover rather than the best person for the job. Not to mention damaging your brand presence within the market. UX as we all know, has boomed and with that boom has […]

As an ex-freelance art director, that moved into freelance (and permanent) creative recruitment, I like to think I have a good understanding of how ad agencies, design agencies and production houses recruit for creative freelance positions, but (unfortunately) I made many mistakes along the way. Based on my experience both as a freelance creative and […]

So it’s time… You’ve decided it’s your time to move on which can be both daunting and liberating, I know. This process, however subjective to your situation, if dealt with properly can make a huge impact to not only your exit but the businesses and ex-colleagues perception of you afterwards. Below I’ve put together some simple […]