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Professor Alison Wolf, Baroness Wolf of Dulwich

 Children: three children, two boys and a girl.
1.       Have you used skills learnt as parent in your career?

Yes – I became extremely good at multi-tasking.

2.       Has your leadership style changed after having children?

I wasn’t a leader before I had children, because I had them quite young. But I think I did learn that confrontation is usually counter-productive, and I’ve tried to hang onto that insight.

3.       Why do you know you are a good enough parent?

My children still like and talk to and spend time with me  (and are now adult)

4.       When do you love combining leadership roles with caring for children?

I don’t think I do! I cope, don’t love.

5.       Tell us about a memorable Leader with Baby moment.

Nothing very leader-ish about them really, as I always had child-care for times when I was ‘on stage’. But for ending up without clean clothes when you need them, nothing beats travel with a baby.

6.       What is the biggest barrier you have overcome?

Exhaustion and a (related) tendency to welcome in any passing germ.

7.       What do you admire in parents?

Stamina

8.       Do you experience feelings of guilt?

Endlessly, but in controllable quantities. My own mother said to me “You can only do what you can do” and that was superb advice.

9.       What advice would you give to your younger self?

Try to be a bit more realistic about the number of hours in a day, and behave accordingly. Also, you’re quite right to try and juggle so hang in there. You will regret it if you don’t spend time with your children. But you do need to keep some sort of link with the labour market if you’re ambitious (and I was).

10.   What are you still hoping for?

To achieve work-life balance – see answer 9 above.

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