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Harriet Fear MBE

Empowering Leadership Insights from Harriet Fear at the Rising Festival

career gender equality leadership self care the rising festival 2024 Jul 04, 2024


Gain insights from Harriet Fear MBE, Founder & Director of Harriet Fear Associates Ltd, as she shares her journey and wisdom on leadership, gender equality, and personal growth.

Welcome to our exclusive Q&A with Harriet Fear, Rising Festival Steering Committee Member, a pivotal figure in the Rising Festival community and beyond. Harriet Fear's distinguished career spans over two decades as a career Diplomat for the Foreign Office, where she served in 17 countries and held significant roles in international trade, particularly in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. As the former CEO of One Nucleus, Europe's largest life sciences and healthcare membership body, Harriet Fear has been instrumental in fostering innovation and collaboration within the industry. Her dedication to gender equality and empowerment in the workplace has earned her international recognition, including an MBE. Join us as Harriet Fear shares her insights on leadership, self-care, and the importance of diversity in achieving success.

What inspired you to join the Rising Festival Steering Committee?

I had been to a previous Festival and hugely enjoyed it. It was very educational, uplifting, and different from other events I’d attended. I very much liked the intent and was delighted to agree to help shape future Festivals.

Can you share a personal or professional achievement that you are particularly proud of?

Taking One Nucleus, the life sciences, and healthcare membership organisation from a regional group to having an international focus, reputation, and partnerships was a big deal for me. I rebranded the organisation to One Nucleus, carved out a focused international strategy, and built the company with the team to become the biggest in Europe winning an award for being the best life sciences and healthcare membership organisation in the world. It was very fulfilling and a great testament to all the team’s hard work over the years.

What advice would you give to women who aspire to leadership roles in their careers?

Understand why you want it. As the very first thought to grapple with! Leadership in all its shapes and forms is not easy, and it shouldn’t be aspired to if you don’t fully understand what your drive for it is or the difference you want to make. Brilliant leaders can help create the best environments and bring out the best in people. Dreadful ‘leaders’ can do the opposite.

How do you prioritise self-care and well-being in your busy schedule?

I use the Power of No fairly regularly. Saying yes or maybe to roles and opportunities where I believe or know I can help or make a difference. And not being afraid to say ‘no’ where it’s not clear, or where I know I won’t be able to see and feel the difference I’m making. And regular Thai massage in Newmarket!

Is there a book, podcast, or resource that has had a significant impact on your personal or professional development?

Everyone should listen to a bit of Elizabeth Gilbert at some point. She is particularly insightful and powerful to listen to in relation to the management of difficult situations (e.g., COVID) and grief.

What motivates you to support gender equality and empowerment in the workplace?

That’s simple. The best teams, the best experiences, and the best outcomes in the workplace come from a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, views, and approaches. ‘You never learn anything from those who agree with you’ – someone once said 😊, and I love that.

Can you share a memorable experience from past Rising Festivals that left a lasting impression on you?

A keynote speaker who talked candidly about her experiences of being an entrepreneur and a mother, and an alcoholic. Her humor and good grace, and raw descriptions were very powerful to the whole room, I think. Certainly, all our body language suggested that! 

We hope you found this Q&A with Harriet Fear insightful and inspiring. Her journey and commitment to leadership, gender equality, and personal growth exemplify the spirit of the Rising Festival. Join us on September 21st for an empowering event celebrating diversity and empowerment. Stay tuned for more updates and prepare to rise together at the Rising Festival 2024!
Book your ticket and learn more about the Rising Festival 2024 HERE.

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