The first episode of The Last Mile explores the importance of sponsorship and support in all aspects of life, within and beyond the workplace, in a fascinating conversation with Cathryn Drew-Bredin.

Once you know what you really need, you start to get better at advocating for yourself in your career. So then you can articulate that – drawing on your influencing skills, your negotiation skills – to say, ‘Hey, listen, I’m a valuable member of staff, I offer these skills, I bring this to the table, I need x, y and z in my personal life in order to bring my best self to work.

You do get to a point in your career where you have that experience, and you draw on all that experience to be able to advocate for yourself. And that’s really important. If you can crystallise that, you can get somebody to understand where you’re coming from and what you need. You can always negotiate. And I think that’s a good thing to remember that you have a value and it’s just understanding what that value is so that you can properly articulate that.

Cathryn Drew-Bredin

Cathryn speaks about the need for a flexible type of sponsorship that acknowledges the phase of life you are in. Life can get in the way of our professional goals – and this can be tough, no matter how temporary. Cathryn therefore advocates continued career support for women while navigating life outside work.

Cathryn is a Director of DesignInc. She has over two decades of experience delivering integrated transport design solutions that create vital, coherent and enlivened spaces. A project director and registered architect, she guides highly collaborative design processes, contributing deep insight and understanding of complex airport operations and wider transport interchange systems. Leading large multidisciplinary teams, she champions innovative, commercial and sustainable solutions.

The Last Mile is an initiative of the Champions of Change Architecture Group Sponsorship Action Group.

Interviews were conducted by Brian Clohessy, Isabella Aliberti, Tia Soulakellis and Sam de Jongh and are published in collaboration with Parlour.