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Denise Hanlon

  • What made you choose the career you have?

I chose to become a physiotherapist because I was interested in human biology and how humans worked, plus my Mum attended for physiotherapy as an outpatient when she fractured her heels and I saw how she was helped to regain her mobility.

  • What challenges have you faced getting to where you are now? (these can be personal and professional)

Although the field of physiotherapy was predominantly female when I started working the opportunities to progress into more senior roles were (and still are) limited. I progressed quite quickly but then hit a ceiling as I wanted to remain in a clinical role. I was able to take on an extended role including taking on tasks previously undertaken by doctors but this was not recognised by progression in grade or financially. Subsequently, more recently I have moved into a managerial post.

In addition I was fortunate to be able to have children and work part time so I could take more of the caring for them, I feel this was a valuable role that I enjoyed. However, I have accepted this has limited my career as I chose not to take opportunities further afield which would have allowed further progression clinically.

  • How does what you do make a difference to other people?

Working in a managerial role I hope that I make a difference to the staff that I manage. I aim to offer them the best working environment we can and for them to know that they are supported and can enjoy their work. As a result I hope that we are able to provide the best service possible to our patients.

  • What would you say to other women aspiring to be in a similar field and who may have doubts about their ability to achieve their goals?

Keep being passionate about what you believe in and be confident in yourself. Look to find support from a mentor or someone you trust who knows you well.

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