Deborah Gill says there’s a wealth of hidden talent in your organisation, but often women who don’t put themselves forward. Sponsor them to find an untapped talent pool.
“The most important thing in developing talent is helping people to spot their own. A really good example is my PA, who quietly sat in the background doing a pretty menial job, way below her potential, for many years.
Through a combination of getting her to understand what she could do, giving her opportunities to shine and to stretch herself, she’s now been transformed into an international business manager, who is suddenly using all of the skills that she has and is really enjoying her job and thriving in her role.
The most important step is to hold up a mirror and get people to acknowledge that they have got talent. That’s particularly the case for women.
Quite often, women like quietly doing a good job and they get pleasure out of that, but after a while they get very restricted in what they’re doing, and they’re not reaching their full potential.
Getting a woman to talk about what she can do and what she’s capable of is really important, as is acting as a sponsor for that person. Speak up for them, put them forward for tasks and jobs so they get opportunities to do new things and build their self-confidence.”
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Professor Deborah Gill is the director at the University College London Medical School. Deborah qualified in medicine in 1990 and trained as a GP.
She began her academic career at Barts and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry as an academic fellow in primary care. She joined what was the Royal Free Medical School as a lecturer in the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences in 1996.
In 2002 she joined the Academic Centre for Medical Education as a senior lecturer in medical education and became deputy director of UCL Medical School in 2010.
Deborah was appointed interim director in the summer of 2014 and to the substantive post in April 2015 when she was also appointed to a chair of medical education. As well as being the director, she is also now the vice provost (Education and Student Affairs), providing academic leadership to transform UCL education.
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