Professor Dr Jane Turner, is a formidable woman and we mean that in the most complimentary way, as our guest speaker for the March business lunch event at Wynyard Hall she left our guests in awe.
Jane addressed the room as if she was chatting to friends, totally comfortable with 30 odd pairs of eyes looking her way and absorbing every word of this open and honest conversation.
Many of those in the room and those reading this post, know Jane and are up to speed with her successful careers in the private sector, working globally with Orange and then the motor industry. In this sector Jane transformed the male dominated culture of a major car dealership into one of inclusion and in so doing increased sales.
When Jane moved into the public sector she used her experience, drive and determination to bring about change, especially in her role at Teesside University. Jane’s determination to grow graduate employment in the region and retain the talent created in the region is inspiring.
In 2018 Jane was awarded an OBE for her services, a recognition of how much she has done to drive change, typically she did not mention this recognition in her talk.
What Jane revealed during her talk was how the personal challenges that she has faced throughout her life make her achievements all the more impressive.
Leaving school at a time when careers advice for girls was still largely focussed around secretarial college, for Jane this was never an option. Jane became a Mum for the first time at only 19 years of age, this did not hold her back and she pursued further and higher education goals that led to those prestigious appointments, whenever negative judgement was dispensed it seems it only acted as a spur to achieve more.
It is no surprise that Jane is now an ardent supporter of the gender agenda; she herself has proved that gender, situation and circumstances are not a barrier to success for women.
With so many goals still to deliver Jane is absolutely not giving in to her most aggressive adversary, Cancer, she is battling this to the best of her ability and through it all retaining a positive approach and gritty determination.
Reading the previous sentence you will understand why everyone in the room was in awe of Jane and absolutely in her corner for this fight. Thank you Jane for sharing your story and leaving us all inspired and humbled.
Our best wishes go with you.
Professor Dr Jane Turner – Jane is responsible for enterprise, knowledge transfer and business engagement. She leads on student and graduate start-ups, strategic partnerships and the employability agenda.
Next Tees Valley event Monday 1st April with Dean Benson, CEO of Visual Soft – click here to book
Next Newcastle event Monday 25th March with Dr Joanna Berry – click here to book
Jesmond Dene House
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