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Victoria McFadyen from Bright Signals is part of the 2019 Special Edition programme, aiming to redress the gender imbalance in the digital sector.

Even in 2019, women are still under-represented at board level within the digital sector. It’s something we’re working hard to address at Bright Signals, so we were thrilled to see our newly appointed Account Director Victoria scoop a coveted place on this year’s Special Edition programme.

Funded by Scottish Enterprise, BBC Nations and Regions, Channel 4 and Screen Scotland, Special Edition is a six-month professional development programme that aims to redress the gender imbalance. Through six monthly training sessions, this group of talented women will work through a series of workshops designed to provide a clear roadmap for realising their ambitions.

We caught up with Victoria after the first session to see how she’s feeling at the start of this journey:

Why did you apply?

Since graduating eight years ago, I’ve been so focused on building my experience that I haven’t necessarily stopped to think about where I ultimately want to go. You see, I’m an Obliger, so I struggle with the weight of others’ expectations. I have a tendency to focus on the needs of everyone else at the expense of meeting my own personal goals.

So, for me Special Edition is really about taking control of my personal development and setting achievable goals that chart a clear trajectory for the next phase of my career.

What do you hope to achieve from the programme?

One of the most appealing aspects of Special Edition was finding a network of like-minded women ready to collaborate. Whilst I’m thankful to be working with such an inspiring group for the 2019/20 programme, knowing there are 42 other women that have already experienced Special Edition offers a huge dose of optimism. No one woman can change this industry – we need to work together to remove the roadblocks currently in place.

Author Toni Morrison put it beautifully when she said “If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else”. The main aim of Special Edition for me to is to develop visible leadership skills that helps nurture new talent and makes everyone feel welcome in this industry.

What have you learnt from the first session?

I was so nervous before the first session as it seemed like everyone had already achieved so much! Yet we quickly opened up and realised we were all struggling with the same challenges – be that confidence, striving for perfection or knowing how to pitch our unique set of talents.

The first session was all about setting goals for the next six months which I found extremely useful. Using ‘Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life’, we rated how we felt in both our professional and personal lives, finding the two cross paths more than we may initially realise. From there we were able to set achievable goals, breaking each one down into manageable chunks of time e.g. the next 5 hours, 5 days etc.

Even after just one session, I already feel I’ve got more clarity on what I want from my career. I’m definitely excited to see what the future holds for us all!