Becky Riffel

Director, Head of Business Development, InnerCircle

"Growing up in a working-class family with no strong female role models, I didn’t know what I wanted to achieve or where my career would go. I eventually chose healthcare communications so I could give something back. I always struggled with confidence, however after over 12 years working in this field, my personal growth and development has lead to impressive business achievements. These have included becoming a director at the age of 32, winning and leading the biggest client in my team (£0.75m+) and launching social mobility workstreams. However, my greatest passion has always been helping others. 

 What I’ve learnt:

 1. Be the role model you want to see. Instead of emulating other negative leadership behaviours and competing with female colleagues, I’ve supported and mentored junior women, giving them the confidence they need to succeed. I’ve helped women achieve PR apprenticeships, hit the PRWeek 30 under 30 list, navigate career changes and secure their promotions. 

 2. Celebrate diversity of thought. I have shaped roles to maximise people’s strengths, rather than set them up to fail, ensuring their roles focus on their talents. I have also advocated for those who don’t fit the mould. A career highlight for me has been championing social mobility and driving the business’ I work within to be better. At Hanover Communications I launched a socio-economic internship programme, led the company into the Social Mobility Foundation’s Top 75 employer index and support a junior team member to lead the DEI workstream at InnerCircle.

 3. It’s ok to be emotional. I’ve always fundamentally believed there is a different way to lead and it doesn’t start and end with the bottom line. People want honest and authentic leaders who are open and create psychologically safe spaces to work in. Wearing my heart on my sleeve and allowing others to talk if they’re struggling isn’t weakness, it helps to foster collective strength. This is demonstrated through my testimonials and the inspiration that I’ve bought to other team members.

 4. Practice what you preach. Working in the healthcare industry, I’ve won business and driven impressive growth figures by showing true passion for the field I work in. Healthcare PR isn’t just spin, I want to change the world. This led me to join start-up InnerCircle, as I fundamentally believed the first-of-its-kind communications model will be industry redefining, and as Head of Business Development I want to play a leading role. It’s also shaped how I spend my spare time. Outside of work I volunteer on the frontline for St John Ambulance, am a trustee for two health charities, and I’m training to be a therapist. I want to inspire people to achieve their personal as well as professional goals. While doing all of this I’m also training for my first Olympic triathlon and taking swimming lessons, play hockey and tag rugby. No mountain is too big to climb."