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Lauren Radford

Lauren Radford

Lauren is the Head of Member Services at Level 20 a not-for-profit organisation in the private equity space

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Head of Member Services 

  • Company name: Level 20 Sector: Non-for-profit in Private Equity 

  • University degree: Economics at Durham University and Law at BPP

How does your usual day look like?

I usually get up at 6:15am; I start my work day probably at a networking event at 8am, going to a venue and meeting our members and helping organise the event with my team. If no event, I try to walk to work to get that sunshine and movement in my day. In the office, I start my day catching up on emails. Then a mix of external, 1-to-1 and team meetings. Writing member updates and communications, reviewing data and board papers for upcoming mentoring programmes. Then of course, planning events - all of that while I listen to a good playlist (I recommend The BOLD Sounds playlist link).

I am pretty bad at getting away from my desk, so might pop out sometime for a cup of coffee or grabbing lunch at my desk. In the evenings, it could be at another event or I will try to get the bus/walk home so I have a bit of time to decompress before getting home.

Home is about chilling out with cooking dinner, doing my skincare and reading a book before bed. I usually turn lights off at 10:30pm.

What are the things you like the most about your job?

Meeting and supporting amazing women. This starts from my great young team, and working with them to develop each day and share a laugh. To our members and supporters, and getting to directly see the impact my team’s work has on changing an industry I love.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

  • People management, trying to get the most out of people and making all the interaction with you as easy as possible.

  • Strategic thinking, being the person who can ensure the day-to-day of the work ties into the bigger picture and being the person who ensures you are continuing enhancing, improving and optimising the work.

What was one of your happiest day in your career and why?

I often found the happiest day comes straight after the hardest days. I think it is the day when after all the internal politics, negotiations, preparation and pushing the envelope lead to winning the largest clients for my old firm. Showcasing that grit, determination and people skills can mean even without support you can achieve more if you push for it.

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

Oddly, I would say the toughest and worst was actually not making a decision. I should have pushed myself and made a move and didn’t as I put the team I love working with above my own career objectives and capability.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Learning when feedback is personal and when it isn’t. There are times you need to take it, own it, and improve. Other times, just leave it If it does not serve you. Figuring out what is achievable and managing your own expectations against those of your firm, your team, and industry.

If you could give a younger woman one piece of advice (it can be anything) - what would you say to them?

Think bigger for yourself and believe your own hype more often. Don’t let your own ambition or the words of others or that inner critic hold you back.

Professional networking for women matters, because….

....sometimes you need the support of others to move you forward, whether that is being your cheerleader, connector or reality check.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

Being curious and asking questions. Being happy to champion others or issues when everyone else is quiet. Learning each day that being me is enough, if not better than yesterday’s me.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

You will find me at the theatre, I love getting lost in a story and live theatre there is nothing better.

Beyond that is time with family and friends whether it is a nice hike or just sitting around a table with food and wine speaking loudly.

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

Writing feeling down - journaling in hard times help. Writing down what you can control and what you can’t. Reminding myself that been through worse before. Then getting lost in music and doing anything to make myself laugh.

What would have been your alternative career path or University degree?

Well obviously one would be a lawyer, have the law degree for it but decided didn’t like clients could ignore advice and got all the upside of the advice I would give. Beyond that, actor, and fashion designer would be other areas I looked at whilst younger.

What are you currently learning or what’s one of the last things you learnt?

I seem to be continuously working on purpose and drive, so reading lots on that.

Who is a (female) professional that inspired you along your career journey?

I don’t think I have a single person. A great piece of advice I received at one point was, to 'frankenstein your role model' and to break it down into qualities and attributes that resonate with you, so you can become that ideal role model for yourself.

For me some of the attributes are:

Being badass like my sister and mother when it comes to career matters,

The 'never give up'-attitude from Hillary Clinton,

Alison Rose for taking action and impacting change with The Rose Review, similar to the 15 female founders of Level 20 who had the vision for this leading organisation to support women in PE,

The grace and emotional intelligence of Michelle Obama,

Brene Brown for showcasing professional vulnerability

I could go on….

What would you do if you were not afraid?

Stop and think for a while. Ignore expectations, responsibility and commitments and reflect more deeply about who I am.

The previous interviewee left a question for you...

  • Question: Who are the famous people you’d invite to an imaginary dinner party, and what would you cook / serve?

  • Answer: Dinner Party Guests (Alive - Female Forum dream): Michelle Obama, Janet Yellen, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Adele, Anna Wintour, Serena Williams, Angela Hartnett OBE (Michelin star chef), Anne Boden (founder of Starling bank), Marcia Kilgore (founder of FlipFlop and Beauty Pie), Anna Hathaway, Sara Blakely (founder of SPANX), and of course Nora.

Starter: Oysters followed by a selection of small Italian dishes like courgette flowers, burrata, focaccia, meat, fritto misto.

Main: That is hard. If keeping Italian would be maybe lovely good fish with lemon with a pasta course of cacio di pepe and gnocchi sorrento.

Dessert: Digestif cocktail with either Chocolate mousse or Lemon Parfait (dinner party dessert always need to made well in advance).

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: Seeing people and speaking to them like humans wherever, whenever.

  • Favourite beauty product: Lisa Eldridge lipstick - makes me feel powerful.

  • Favourite perfume: Sana Jardin, Eye of the Tiger - smells great, sustainable and supports female growers.

  • Book recommendation: I still adore Pride and Prejudice.

  • Favourite mantra: "This too shall pass" - time is short but also you been worse - power through.

  • Tea or Coffee: Coffee

  • Red wine or White wine: hard, as give me a Champagne/Sparkling any day but then a pinot noir or chablis and both happy.

  • Morning bird or Night owl: Morning bird

  • Cat person or Dog person: Cat and Harriet

Thank you Lauren for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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