Lead 5050: Jennie Reed

Lead 5050 is a global professional network that aims to raise the profile of women in the international education industry. As part of BSC’s commitment to elevating the voices of women in our business, we are providing colleagues with the opportunity to become part of Lead 5050.

As members, BSC staff will have access to mentorship schemes as well as having the chance to attend networking events. We spoke to Jennie Reed, a teacher at our school in Edinburgh, about why joining Lead 5050 was important to her.

What made you want to join Lead 5050?

I would like to be a member of Lead5050 because I think it is incredibly important that women and men work together and support each other to create a motivating working environment.  I think this is only possible by allowing women as well as men equal opportunities in the work place.

This being said women are still at a disadvantage, whether this be through companies’ behaviour or through our own self-doubt.  Having a supportive network of women and men to help us work together and create a better future would be advantageous for everyone.  Being part of a community like this can make us stronger, improve our working atmosphere and boost confidence within our schools.

What’s the most exciting BSC project you’ve worked on so far?

I’ve enjoyed lots of different projects at BSC, including being part of the festival course in Edinburgh, encouraging students to talk during conversation club and helping students make Edinburgh their home by reading through CVs and cover letters as part of job club. All these experiences allowed me to meet the students and encourage them to experience something new and push themselves outside of their comfort zone to make their time in Edinburgh a little bit special.

What do you most enjoy about working at BSC?

I really enjoy the fact that the school encourages social activities for the students to take part in during the afternoons and evenings, it helps the students to create lasting friendships and encourages a more open atmosphere at the school. The social programme in Edinburgh changes each week and the students really enjoy taking part in the different activities, they especially talk about ceilidh dancing!

What’s been your biggest career success so far?

My biggest career success so far has been feeling confident and validated in my role after completing my DipTESOL earlier this year in June 2019.

What drives you in your career?

My memories of having been in a similar situation to the students who come to our school, when I lived abroad in Austria, Italy and Germany, encourage me to be the best teacher I can be. I especially remember my Italian classes in Udine, my teacher Marina made us all feel so welcome and made the classes so much fun.  It can be a daunting experience staying in a foreign country and having a place where you feel welcomed and comfortable can make such a big difference.

Is there a particular woman in business that inspires you?

Miisa Mink the founder of Driven Woman is a businesswoman who inspires me every day. She set up her own company to inspire women around the world to be the people they want to be.  Her mantra is that every dream is equal, which is something we should all think about when others tell us what they are doing – Miisa fully believes that we can achieve great things when we support, uplift and encourage one another.  This is something that I’m aspiring to emulate in my every day encounters.

What innovations do you see in the future for BSC?

BSC is moving forwards and continually striving to improve, which can only be a positive. One innovative step to work towards could be becoming a paperless company, this would also allow students to take materials home with them in a digital format, which would be more easily accessible than lots of loose photocopies.  Another innovation could be implementing a mentoring scheme for all new employees, possibly in different departments, so they have someone to turn to in order to discuss any issues (not directly job related) and to encourage greater communication between departments.

If you had one wish for the future, what would it be?

A wish for the future would be that we can help create a better world by showing kindness, creating meaningful relationships, being curious and conscientious of our actions, whilst encouraging independence and individuality from those we meet.


Would you like to learn more about the work Lead 5050 are doing in the International Education industry? Find out more about Lead 5050.

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