Diane Roberts was brought up on a large council estate by an inspirational and resilient women. When she became a teenage mother, Diane showed her own resilience by not letting it deter her from following her career aspirations and becoming a teacher.
Used to stepping out of her comfort zone, as well as teaching, Diane has started coaching football as well as playing it herself! More women are paving their own careers and pursuing their passions, whilst looking after their families. We spoke to Diane to find out more about her career and what she finds important to teach young people...
Tell us a bit about your current role...
I teach Childhood Studies to 16-19 year-olds. It is massively important to teach equality, diversity and inclusion. There are so many misconceptions through media, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat; young people fail to know what to believe.
How do you feel about being a positive role model?
If I am, then really proud. There are so many young people who look at celebrities for inspiration and they idolise them. If they look closer to home and knew their own abilities they would be just as proud of themselves. They'll learn in a few years!
What barriers have you faced in your career?
Where I grew up, everyone seemed to fail. I wasn’t going to be another teenage mother statistic haha. I've had to limit my hours to ensure that my children get a good start. I couldn't afford childcare so I worked 3 hours, then 10, then 14 until eventually 22 to full-time but only 4 years ago. It's massively held me back financially but my children are well rounded young people. That's the payback.
Who are your inspirations?
My gran. She grew up in the war. She had 4 children and lived with her parents. She continued to work full-time and looked after her mother through dementia. She even got a job in a care home to be able to have it all. She had me, my sister, and then as we had children, our children for tea every Tuesday up until 6 years ago. The resilience and passion for survival. It's inspirational.
“The resilience and passion for survival. It's inspirational.”
How do you ensure that you are an inspiring leader?
I try and see a different side. There’s always another way around something. I listen at work. If I can help, I will. If I wouldn't do the job myself then I wouldn't ask anyone else. If I can fit something in my diary without delegating I will. I try and be real.
What are your proudest achievements?
Gosh. My children made me the woman I am today. I've had to struggle and learn a whole new game. They've taught me to go out and enjoy myself and not to worry about other people. My eldest is 20 and she proves every day that you can break the cycle and become an independent woman. I'm very proud of starting football coaching and playing for a team. It's massively out of my comfort zone but just an absolute pleasure to be involved in.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I would like to coach a young girls team and develop my own football skills. I've been playing for about 1 year, after never playing in my life. It's a blast!
What would you say to your 16-year-old self now?
Be you, stop thinking about what everyone thinks of you. Trust in your views and opinions.
Why is #YesSheCan important to you?
It promotes the best of yourself. It's not airbrushed. It shows true stories.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
Don't give up but don't get taken for granted.
Develop the best you. Be confident in your abilities.
It's not always University that counts, sometimes it's life experience and your resilience.
If you enjoy reading about women in football, make sure you check out our blog about Derby Country Ladies Coach, Sarah Green.