I run a successful business with my sister. We have had and are still having the most amazing adventure with lots of highs and lows.

I’ve learnt a lot and have achieved more than most men in my field.

Yet when I stood for election to the board of ALTO, 4 years ago, I was more nervous than I’d ever been in my life.

The board was dominated by male owners of big chain organisations. I wanted to represent women and independent schools. I was standing for something I passionately believed in. I knew I could do it.

So why, I asked myself, was I so nervous?

I realised that, despite all evidence to the contrary, I doubted my own right and ability to be on that board. I felt like an impostor. As I stood up to make my pitch I had to take a deep breath, conquer my fears and lean in.

And guess what?

I didn’t make a fool of myself and no one stood up and shouted ‘who are you to think you can do this??!’ I was elected to the board, and 4 years on, I am now the Chair of ALTO and loving every minute.

Through Lead5050 I want to make sure that no woman doubts her ability or right to be in a position of leadership because of her gender. And that if she ever does suffer a similar crisis of confidence, she has a network of like-minded peers and mentors she can call on for support and guidance.

Leanne Linacre
Lead5050 Co Founder



Articles by Leanne Linacre