As part of International Women’s Day, please meet Geny Foster – Medigold Health board member who has been with us from the very beginning. We’ve asked her a few questions regarding her journey as a woman within the Occupational Health industry.
1) Can you give us a short summary from where you started, and where you are today?
I joined Medigold Health in 1998 coming over from the Construction Industry. I came armed with good secretarial skills and a strong work ethic, but my IT skills were very limited and my knowledge of Occupational Health was next to nothing! My knowledge, skills and competencies have increased and improved enormously at Medigold Health, with everyday proving to be a learning curve.
2) To this day, what is your proudest accomplishment within your career?
I am an absolute advocate of further education and there is seldom a time when I am not undertaking some educational course to improve my skills and competencies. It is very hard to combine work, family and education, whilst still maintaining some semblance of balance (and sanity!). The accomplishment I am most proud of is achieving my Masters Degree whilst juggling a busy Senior position at work with family obligations.
Despite there being many, my standout proudest moments in Medigold Health are; winning the first client by myself, publishing my first article and the day I was made Managing Director. I am also incredibly proud to have been a key player in the development and growth of this fantastic company.
3) What is the main difference between working as a woman within the HR division in the 90’s compared to the 00’s?
The main difference is that there are more women in higher positions! When I first started progressing up the career ladder, I definitely felt I was in a man’s world. Today, however, I am surrounded by female peers in senior roles which is incredibly refreshing.
4) Name one challenge you have experienced as a woman, and has this evolved or changed?
Work-Life balance has always been a challenge not only in this industry but also across all sectors. This issue may have changed shape, but it has not been resolved. As a female, to get on back in the 90’s you had to work extra hard to achieve, now the challenge is to work extra smart to achieve.
5) Who originally inspired you to demonstrate the work ethic and dedication you have shown throughout your career? Any tips for the young women entering the industry?
There are two people who have had a major impact on my work ethic, and both have given the same advice: It is just as easy to do it right as it is to do it wrong.” One is my grandmother who, at 97, still gives me sound advice and the other is Dr. Mike Goldsmith, (who originally interviewed me at 5.30am in the morning!) who has continued to inspire me throughout my career.
My advice to any young women entering the industry is: Work smart, be ethical, maintain your morals, make your own opportunities and do not be afraid to fight your corner.