We put questions to the Assistant Principal at Nottingham Girls’ Academy; Rania Turner- Ramadan. See what she has to say.
Tell us a bit about your current role:
I am Assistant Principal at Nottingham Girls’ Academy in charge of behaviour and attendance. With the ever-changing landscape of education, it is important to keep up to date with the changes and adapt policies accordingly. In between all of that, I teach Physical Education, Health and Social Care and I share and learn good practice with and from colleagues.
Give us an idea of how your normal day pans out:
I like to get into work nice and early so that I can get myself sorted for the busy day ahead. A teacher’s life is very unpredictable, there are lots to juggle; teaching commitments, student issues, leading various teams, working on policies and strategies to improve behaviour and attendance even further and one of my favourite times of the day is when I get to hang out with the students at duty time. A child’s mind is a fantastic place to explore, they’re the ones teaching me.
What is one thing you would change about the working world:
I believe that we are heading in the right direction, now more than ever, to close the gender pay gap and create more equality. I just hope that doesn’t occur through tokenistic gestures and job appointments. What I would like to see change is the culture and ethos surrounding all levels of jobs, that it doesn’t matter what your gender or any other vulnerable classification may be, if you’re capable of doing the job that should just be it full stop. So creating more opportunities for people to have the confidence to go for whatever job they wish without there being any underlying stereotypes or barriers to achieving it.
What do we need to do to break down barriers in the workplace?
The turnover for leadership roles are rare in good schools, certainly in my case, so when higher roles do become available, women tend not to go for them unless they are sure that they can fulfil the role, whereas men generally tend to go for them regardless. The barrier that we need to address is ensuring all staff feel confident, empowered and prepared for those bigger leadership roles. In education, and I’m sure in many other professions, we are time poor due to the day to day nature of the job therefore, it isn’t as simple or as easy as saying that leaders just need to prepare leaders. For that reason, making more time and building people’s confidence would be a good start to breaking down the barriers.
What are your proudest achievements?
Representing England and Great Britain in Australian Rules Football, representing Great Britain in the World University Games in football. Professionally, being appointed as Assistant Principal is my proudest achievement to date.
What are your key motivators?
I am motivated by making a difference, empowering and helping others to succeed. Our young people need a lot of direction therefore, I get a lot of satisfaction from leading others and watching them develop. Making sure I am happy is a key motivator; the company I keep and success are key contributors to that.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
1. Don’t worry about what others think about you, it says more about them than it does you, so stay true to yourself and what will be, will be.
2. Be confident, you have totally got it in the bag, they wouldn’t have employed you otherwise.
3. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, that should just fuel your motivation to achieve even more.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self now?
To make the most of every opportunity that you can, be modest and content with who you are and what you can become.
As well as Rania, we have many inspiring women who are also bringing us amazing content. You can find more here, also check out our jobs here.