Who are you?
My name is David Steenson. Director and Marketing Manager at Generation Women. I have a background in people management and business reporting.
What brought you to join the Generation Women Team?
As you might have guessed I’m married to the real brains behind this amazing company, Sinead. Spending over 20 years with someone and watching them recently building an incredible business that makes a real difference is an eye opener. I was on auto-pilot in a job role and started helping with the business a little bit and got more and more involved. I then decided to get involved full-time and it’s been a blast. I’ve had more job satisfaction working as part of the Generation Women team than in any previous role.
What do you do?
I do all the work and Sinead takes the credit. Only joking! I started managing our digital media strategy but now it’s a case of doing everything I can to raise our profile and free Sineads time up so she can coach women to success and provide her services to organisations. Never a dull moment and no two days are the same.
What do you think you can bring to a business focused on addressing the gender gap in the workplace?
I play devils advocate sometimes on some issues (which can be a challenge!) but mainly I think that looking at the issue from a man’s perspective can really help.
Why do you care about equality?
It’s a moral issue for me. It’s that simple. No one should be at a disadvantage for any reason. As a white straight able bodied man I have never suffered due to inequality in my life. But it doesn’t take much to empathise with anyone that does. But there are 2 very selfish reasons why it’s close to my heart. Firstly, I have two daughters, and I want them to be afforded the same opportunities that were available to me. Secondly, issues that effect men are intertwined with feminism in particular, issues around Paternity leave, mental health and child custody can all be improved if men become allies of feminism and equality in general.
What’s it like working with Sinead?
Really easy. And I genuinely wouldn’t have thought that a before I started. Obviously we understand each other very well and we are both straight talkers. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude is contagious. Plus I get great coaching for free! It’s nice to feel appreciated and our successes and challenges are shared so we really are a great team.
What excites you about the future of the business?
We are working hard to make our programmes even more accessible so that you can even do them without the need for direct coaching from Sinead and still get great results. Giving clients access to something that can improve their confidence and get them the job they want or promotion they deserve is at the heart of what we do. Being able to do this for more people is something I’m very excited about.
What are your passions in life?
When I’m not working or enjoying time with my daughters I spend my time playing guitar. I’ve played for years and was in a few bands in my younger years. Despite recently getting back together with the lads from my first band to jam I think my chances of playing the odyssey have gone. But it is great fun. I also enjoy, actually I should say endure, watching my beloved West Ham United. I try and get out on my mountain bike once a week as it helps me clear my head (unless I fall off into nettles like last week).
What advice would you give women wanting to get ahead?
Well other than contacting the Generation Women team…..I’d say set some goals and understand your personal brand. Both of these things can improve your confidence and give you focus. I’ve worked with some amazing women over the years who hold themselves back because of lack of belief. Get the clarity and you are more likely to succeed.
What advice would you give men wanting to be more supportive to women?
Be an ally and listen. I’ve been in some meetings (particularly in the engineering sector) where women can be reluctant to give their ideas and it is such a waste. If they are getting talked over step in and make sure they are heard. Be aware of bias, and confront it where appropriate. Think of every woman you work with as you would your sister or mother…how would you want them to be treated?