London Montage

Inspiring Women Lead The Nationwide Search for UK’s Super Achievers

“Women are born multi-taskers and naturally work well under pressure”
says ex White House Director of Events

With their credentials ranging from writing for a renowned international women’s magazine; speaking at events across the globe; and having worked their way up the White House from answering phones to become Director of Events, the high profile panel of successful business women sitting as Super Achievers judges know exactly what they’re looking for as they start to hunt for the most inspiring people working within UK businesses this month.

Supporting Pitman Training’s National search for ‘Super Achievers’, judges include:-

  • Laura Schwartz (Ex White House Director of Events)
  • Sophie Goddard (Cosmopolitan Writer & Journalist)
  • Kate Hardcastle (Business woman, charity founder & TV & Media Commentator)
  • Marion Lowrence (PA Hub Founder & Previous Super Achievers Award Winner)

With nominations now open and running until 31st January 2014 categories cover:-

  • Working Mum of the Year
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • PA of the Year
  • Business Newcomer of the Year
  • Student of the Year (Nominated solely by Pitman Training Centres)

Entries can be submitted for free via

The UK’s leading independent training provider, Pitman Training launched the Super Achievers Awards to show anything is possible and to help reward people committed to driving their careers forward in a bid to inspire more of the British workforce to strive for more.

Recent survey results from Pitman Training and The Princes Trust show that 27% of young people in work feel depressed ‘always’ or ‘often’ and 48% of NEETs feel this way; only 8% of us feel we’re in our dream job; over 42% waste up to 4 hours a week dreaming of what we could be doing instead but 72% of people rate being happy at work as one of the most important factors to their job.

Super Achievers judge and ex White House Director of Events Laura Schwartz said: “I think that a lack of confidence can be the root of the problem for a lot of professionals that get stuck in their career path – and this can often be an issue more so faced by women but women certainly have some characteristics that allow them to progress in their career differently than men. While men are great at completing the task at hand, women are born multi-taskers. Women naturally work well under the pressure of work and home – they work at keeping different departments and teams connected. Women are also great active listeners which allows them to gather and synthesize information to make decisions and explain the reasoning behind such decisions.”

Her advice for having the right approach to career success? Laura said: “I have found throughout my career and especially in my years at the White House that all great leaders and successful professionals have a thirst for knowledge and with this great things can be achieved. I have also learnt the power of networking. Working at the White House I learned so many ways to use the networking power of social events as I rose through the ranks there. Positive networking and partnership building knows no borders, genders, ages or careers – it can empower each one of us!”

She added: “My family taught me the true meaning of hard work, as my parents both owned their own businesses while growing up in the Midwest. I think that having a strong work ethic instilled in me at a young age has allowed me to continue charging ahead with my career”.

Amongst the winners of the previous Super Achievers Awards was Marion Lowrence who won the hotly contested PA of the Year Award. Marion has since launched her own business on the back of winning the award, which gave her confidence in her skills and ability and inspired her to develop a community that now helps others in her sector.

Marion said: “Winning Pitman Training Super Achievers PA of the Year award was such a wonderful feeling. It means a lot to me to be recognised at the top of my profession but it also gave me the platform to inform other PAs to recognise their own potential. Since winning the award my whole career has taken on a new direction and I embrace every minute of it.  It gave me the confidence to follow my goals and my dreams in my career.”

M.D of Pitman Training, and Entrepreneur Claire Lister said: “We’ve got another fantastic panel of successful individuals supporting these awards and they are excited about finding talent across the UK. We want to discover and recognise the unrewarded hard workers that are helping to keep British businesses thriving. We work really closely with our students to help them reach goals, rather than just providing them with training, as the end result is always our focus. We’ve seen many lives transformed after people have a renewed energy, after topping up their skills and this is really inspiring. What we’re looking to do is now share these stories to help inspire others.”

Pitman Training offers flexible, tailor-made courses and qualifications with one-on-one student support in subjects including Office, IT, Administration, Finance and Business, which are recognised by employers. The teams also offer free career clinics and CVs advice. For more information see



Office Show* 8/9 October 2013

office2013_logo_HORIZ FINAL for webLondon PA Network look forward to seeing members and colleagues at Office Show today and tomorrow!  The two days promise to be packed with interest.  If attending a seminar – enjoy and reap the benefits.


Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras International – Interesting Facts

The magnificent ceiling at the top of the Grand Staircase
  • All the apartments on the top floor have been purchased by private buyers for between £450,000.00 and £10million.
  • The Royal Suite is now an apartment but used to be the hotel ballroom, the most expensive apartment in the hotel, and is rented out at £10,000 a night!
  • There are 650 fireplaces in the hotel and some of the length of flue has been made into air-conditioning ducts, so making them serviceable again.
  • The original Axminster carpet on the landing was made in one piece on a giant loom that is now housed in a museum inHalifax.  The carpet now in situ is an exact replica except it is woven in sections and stitched together.
  • When the hotel was built, the corridors were designed to be wide enough so the Victorian ladies in their wide skirts and bustles could pass each other in the corridor comfortably.
  • The café area used to be the taxi rank; the cabs would drive right up to the booking office so you could jump out and buy your ticket.  Now it is the perfect place to ‘spot the celebrity’ as famous people will often sit there with their friends drinking coffee.
  • The Gilbert Scott restaurant is run by celebrity chef, Marcus Wareing.
  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel was voted the Number One Hotel in the UK published in the Sunday Times Magazine’s 2011 Top 100 Hotels in the World.

Finally, if you are organising an overnight stay for your football team prior to an important match, do not book them into the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.  Every team that has stayed there prior to a match has lost. .  You have been warned!

Linda Sargent, LDS Virtual Services


St Pancras International

It was all very exciting!  Members and guests, met with, the Revd Jonathan Barker, Chaplain to St Pancras International Railway Station who was to be our guide, at the iconic 9 metre high, 20-tonne bronze statue named “The Meeting Place”, under the clock – where else – at St Pancras International on 31 May 2102.

Jonathan described how the evening would unfold, first with a guided tour of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, next door to the station and built specifically for railway travellers arriving in London, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the St Pancras International Train Station and Eurostar Control Room, and then dinner at Carluccios for those who wished to participate.

Although I have been to St Pancras International Station before, I did not even know the 9 metre high, 20-tonne bronze statue named “The Meeting Place” existed.  It is incredible!  Not only has Paul Day, the artist, captured every muscle, stance and expression of the main statue beautifully, but there are scenes depicted around the base of the statue that are all about travel and show people in different situations, whether strap-hanging on the commuter line or standing in top hat and tails on an empty platform waiting for a train that you suspect will never arrive – in bronze!  The perspective he has achieved on each of these scenes is incredible.

Linda Sargent, LDS Virtual Services

Website Launch

Before starting the project it was essential to ensure the branding was right and to consider the unique selling points. This started me thinking about some of the great marketing statements used by supermarkets and big brand names. Whilst we are not in that field, it was important to establish these factors, which don’t come quickly! A specification was produced giving the requirements envisaged for the web design and the next step was to find the right person to guide us along the road to the end product. Research, time and patience proved valuable. I am absolutely delighted with the support provided by our web designer, freshSPRING, in not only challenging my thinking but also their limitless patience with our many questions and nurturing us to, I hope you agree, get a great result.

At our first meeting Nick asked many probing questions which completely challenged my thinking and threw up more questions than answers at that stage! This proved valuable in thinking about the audience London PA Network wished to attract. Other meetings followed. To begin with the appearance of the site was very bare, making it very hard to visualise how it would eventually look, and what content was required. Web writing proved very different to my ‘layperson’s’ initial idea before these discussions.

As time moved on, Nick threw into the equation ‘Social Networking’ and the importance of utilising such sites as a great marketing tool. At this time I was feeling rather ‘overwhelmed’ but with his encouragement my fears soon disappeared, enabling me to concentrate on the task ahead.

Nearing the end of the project now, there are still one or two more questions for our Web Designer team plus checking and double checking the final product. At a recent London PA Network event, Lucy Brazier, Publisher and Editor of Executive Secretary mentioned in her talk to members, the importance of utilising the free’ marketing tools ‘social networking’ provides and how right this has proved to be – thank you Lucy!

This has been a challenging but exciting project which has taken considerable time and energy but I am grateful to my colleague, Brenda, who has been a great support and help in proof reading and bouncing ideas off.

Anne Marks