Talking Point

Culture, Confidence and Choice: Nathalie McGloin

On May 24th in Bristol we are holding our inaugural conference Spring Forward, exploring the issues of culture, confidence and choice and how they affect women’s ability to progress in the work place.

The final line up of speakers is going to be announced over the coming days.  Look out for the full updates.  You can book here:

One of our key not speakers is Nathalie McGloin.

Nathalie is a female racing driver, paralysed from the chest down, who races a hand-controlled Cayman S in the Porsche Club Championship, competing against able-bodied men. The car is the ultimate symbol for Nathalie’s success story as it was in a car crash at the age of 16 that left Nathalie paralysed, but also the car that now allows Nathalie to give freedom to other people who drive using hand controls, with her charity Spinal Track. Spinal Track offers disabled drivers the opportunity to experience track driving in specially adapted cars. It is with this charity that Nathalie hopes to set a positive example, and help people to push the boundaries and be inspired to break the mould.

Nathalie is also an inspirational speaker, who delivers keynotes around the world to share her unique story, encourage women and people with disabilities into Motorsports, and help audiences believe that anything is possible. “I’m so looking forward to being involved with an event like Spring Forward. I’m excited to be surrounded by other women who have achieved truly incredible things. Having a group of powerful people in one space is quite incredible, and I feel like it’s events like these that leave you feeling so inspired and ready to take on anything.”

Nathalie hopes that doing motorsports as a female, paralysed from the chest down, proves that it’s okay to push yourself past your limits. “I try to promote the idea that anything is possible. This is a key message of mine and I hope to promote this through my racing.”

Spring Forward will look at the three C words that can affect women moving towards those more senior roles, boardroom positions and places on the governing boards. Those three words are; culture, confidence and choice, and attendees will be given the opportunity to inform a white paper discussing these factors.

We spoke with Nathalie about how the three factors culture, confidence and choice have affected her and her experiences throughout her life and her career. “Confidence comes into it, and it’s vital to believe in yourself. If you want something badly enough, you can achieve it, and if you put up barriers you’ll only limit your own accomplishments. Everyone should have confidence and believe in themselves. If you’re confident then you can achieve anything you want to. This one is really important to me, it’s so crucial to tell yourself: you can achieve anything you want.”

Nathalie also explored how culture can mean something slightly different to everyone, “My culture is slightly different – for me it applies to breaking the mould in motorsports. It’s good to consider your culture, but if it’s not important to you and you want to break out of the norm – you go for it! That would be my advice to anyone.”

Finally, we spoke with Nathalie about her views on the factor of choice, “I think everyone in life has a choice. I think often people feel they don’t and they’re governed by other people’s choices. This is where two of these points link together: confidence and choice. You must use confidence to make your own choices, then you’re much more likely to achieve happiness.”

Another important principle that Nathalie looks forward to promoting is that both men and women have an important part to play in this. “I think events like these are really useful to both men and women. I always encourage people to try something different, and I think listening to other inspiring individuals talk can motivate this change. It’s important for men to support women in their choices too. Women have had to fight to get where they are in many industries and it’s so important for men to support this progress.”

To hear more from Nathalie and our other fantastic speakers, make sure to buy your tickets for Spring Forward on 24th May. You can buy tickets here:

We hope to see you there!

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