Linda Peka

Linda Peka

In her role managing the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Linda has been recognised by those she works with as an inspiring leader, supportive colleague and senior female role model. Her work on Athena SWAN and encouraging female technical staff across the college in particular is something she believes wholeheartedly in and works tirelessly on behind the scenes.

Linda’s proudest professional achievement was perhaps the moment the Vice Chancellor informed her that an additional £1.2m in quality-related research funding (QR) had been secured following an excellent 2008 RAE result. She explains, “It had involved me working hard alongside academic colleagues building Biosciences for four and half years. It was a privilege to share in their success.”

This year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Equality for women is progress for all’ chimes with Linda’s view that ‘That good practice benefits everyone.’ She added: “When drawing up a revised policy for carers it has been fantastic to see the positive impact on all staff in the working environment, helping us all to balance work and life commitments.”

Drawing inspiration from those closest to her, one of Linda’s important role models is her energetic and caring sister, of whom she says: “My sister has four children, works part-time in the NHS providing dietary advice to those with mental health difficulties and runs a successful holiday business. She still has time for everyone and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. No chance of me ever claiming to be too busy!”

Linda’s first boss gave her a piece of advice she has called on many times throughout her career, as she explains: “They said, ‘Linda – you always tell people what you can't do before you tell them what you can do - you have to have the confidence to flip that around.’ We all lack confidence sometimes and this advice has helped me in those moments.”