Amanda Sutton photo.pngMeet Amanda Sutton. She explains how she had to change her career path because she was made to feel like she was a woman in a man's world.

Here is her story and why she thinks International Women’s Day is important.

My name is Amanda Sutton and I am the Freedom to Speak up Guardian for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. I have been with the Trust 13 years, I am an advocate for LGBT+ and I am an active Branch officer locally and regionally in Unison. 

Tell us about your career and how you got into it: I trained as an electrical Engineer in college but left to go into administration and then management due to the bullying from my fellow engineering students, college tutors and work colleagues. 

As a 16 year old having moved out and living in the city away from my family and friends, I was not the confident person I am today.  I suffered a lot with my mental health but with the right help and support I found a new career which I loved. 

I miss my engineering work sometimes but I put my training to good use and am able to see things from a different perspective, working through issues in an analytical way and seeing the bigger picture.  From then on I wanted to make a difference no matter how small to ensure others didn’t face the same issues I did or that if they did they would know where to turn to.

Who has been a female inspiration in your life and why? As a teenager I listened to a lot of the female artist Pink’s music, I identified with her lyrics.  She is a bit of a geek and had such a good attitude to difficulties in her life.  She is also a huge LGBT+ ally and has done amazing charity work.  She was the inspiration I needed to not let the small stuff get to me, to be my own person and that I could achieve whatever I wanted.

What are you most proud of? This is a really hard question, I am proud of lots of things.  Very proud of my 3 wonderful children and my amazing fiancée Laura, but if I had to pick one thing I guess I would say that it was being successful at securing my current job, such a fantastic opportunity to help support staff and encourage them to speak up when things aren’t right, if I had the opportunity to raise the bullying issues back when I was at college perhaps I would now be working my childhood dream of being a NASA engineer in space.  I can now support those that face similar and give courage to others.

If you could give your younger self advice what would it be? Be brave, don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let the muggles get you down.  It won’t always be bright and rosy but you will get through the bad days and there will ALWAYS be help for those that ask for it.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you? Our society and culture is ever changing.  We can all make the decision to call out inequality and raise the issue of inappropriate language and behaviours.  #ChooseToChallenge

If you are interested in joining the Trust you can find out more about career opportunities on our website.

There are a number of administration and clerical jobs currently advertised which is how Amanda joined the Trust.