Helen is a Modern Linguist by academic background and believes the joy she finds in communication and establishing happy and high-performing teams has been the bedrock of her career to date. Helen has worked in Life Sciences for 14 years, leading teams specialising in clinical trial translations. For five years, Helen led People & Culture at a company that scaled from start up to become a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) winning business. She has led remote teams through organisational changes and a global pandemic and loves nothing more than helping people to develop their careers and their confidence along the way.
A mum of three children of preschool and primary school age, Helen is constantly learning how to navigate motherhood and career ambitions herself and knows the value of a sounding board. She has worked as a C-Suite network ambassador for Tech Nation and is on several steering committees for organisations working in health outcomes research and global patient initiatives. Helen took the plunge and launched her own Oxfordshire-based language agency in 2023, The Word Desk.
One key piece of advice for parents progressing their careers:
In a world filled with constant external influences – from social media to well-meaning friends and colleagues – it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters for your family. This external chatter can make you question your choices. But here’s the truth: what works for others might not work for you. Don’t let guilt or societal pressures dictate your family’s journey or your career path. As parents of three, my husband and I discovered that our social life was making us feel pressured on top of work and family time. Our priorities have shifted towards cherishing time just us and this has meant declining some invitations. Hard for me as I am naturally very sociable, but it won’t be forever! We’ve chosen to prioritise sleep, shared meals, walks and valuable downtime. This has helped us feel less fraught at work, too. Your family has its own needs and that’s perfectly okay. Silence the noise, define what you really want and go for it, unapologetically.