At PAM Wellbeing, we take pride in our commitment to gender equality and are proud to have a knowledgeable, skilled and dynamic team.
This International Women’s Day (8th March), we introduce you to our new Clinical Director, Nicola Jagielski, who is responsible for ensuring the high-quality delivery of our services within PAM Wellbeing. We have spoken with Nicola to learn about her both on a personal and professional level, as well as discuss her experience as a woman in leadership.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
“Coming from a family with many relatives in the police, I had always wanted to work in a police liaison role. I completed 6 weeks of work experience with Liverpool HQ, including working with the dog team, flying in helicopters, and patrolling the streets. However, during the period of police cuts, I was unable to join as a police officer, so I took up counselling as suggested by my uncle, who saw the similarities with police liaison work. After ten weeks of basic counselling training, the rest is history. I accidentally found my way into the counselling world, and my role as an EAP counsellor with another organisation proved successful and I worked my way up through the career pathway to Clinical Director.”
How did you develop a passion for Health and Wellbeing and why?
“My mum was my inspiration in always standing up for yourself, doing what is right and never letting anyone dull your sparkle. I wanted to help those who were less confident, struggled to speak out and had suffered trauma to find their voice again and not be afraid to use it. My mum played an integral role in helping me achieve this. I come from a very female-orientated family and all of them are strong individuals. As a young me, I never really thought about counselling, thinking the only people who “helped others” were the Police. So, I will be eternally grateful to my mum for helping me grow my strength and determination and my uncle for suggesting the route of counselling.”
What’s it like being a woman in leadership?
“I’ve thought long and hard about this one… I’m a Clinical Director at 35, but when I first got a director role at 30, a fellow director congratulated me and then said, “how old are you again?” It made me question their meaning. Although they later praised me, I couldn’t forget the initial comment, which highlighted age discrimination, something I was familiar with. However, with movements like the gender pay gap and more female leaders in the industry, I can see positive change and more women being represented within senior roles.
Thankfully, my positives far out way any negatives. Being a woman in a senior role has certainly brought different dynamics to a board meeting for the better I would say. The positives for me would be when other colleagues would tell me how I’ve inspired them to go for a promotion, to work towards a certain goal and to have belief in their own ability knowing they too can achieve whatever they want to achieve in both their personal and professional life.”
How do you influence your team and colleagues around you?
“I try to not take myself too seriously and I truly believe in being your true self all the time. I want to show people who I am – not a job title.
A job title doesn’t define who you are, so I hope I influence colleagues around me by encouraging others to be who they are, despite levels within an organisation and to always treat everyone fairly. I want my colleagues to see that anything is achievable and try to share as much insight as possible with them.”
What is your proudest achievement?
“Gosh, there are many achievements that I am proud of. I can think of certain individuals that I have worked closely with helping them achieve their promotions and they are flourishing. Specific clients also spring to mind, both on the helpline that haven’t completed suicide due to the support either I provided personally or my colleagues around me.
On a personal level, it would be climbing mount Toubkal to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.”