Request a pilot

International Women's Day 2023 - Clair

International Women’s Day is recognised every year worldwide on March 8th to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination and take action. 

Celebrate women's achievements. Raise awareness about discrimination.

International Women’s Day is recognised every year worldwide on March 8th to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination and take action.

International Women’s Day coincides with National Career’s Week, which runs from the 6th to the 11th of March this year. This week aims to support and guide young people seeking information and inspiration regarding future career opportunities.


At Reading Solutions UK, we know how important support and aspirations are in helping young people reach their potential in life – whatever their goals might be. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work done by some of the women within our business. By sharing the stories of their academic and professional journeys, we hope to provide helpful insight into the many possible pathways and outcomes available to young girls.

Clair Freeman, Reading Development Consultant and Insights Manager

Can you tell us a little bit about your academic and professional journey to Reading Solutions UK?

Teaching was the only thing I wanted to do as a career growing up, which I did for 21 years, with a few years out to work in school improvement and run a business.

Academically I did my teaching degree with many professional qualifications related to the role, such as leadership. Then I branched out and worked on a master's degree in Arts in Health, and recently I have completed a level 5 diploma in Learning and Development.

Is gender equality important to you?

I might be getting on my soap box a bit here, but I feel that gender equality is so closely related to how women are perceived in general that the connotations of it are far-reaching and long-lasting.

Compared to when I started my career in the ’90s, the climate has changed dramatically, but I still feel that it’s not yet a level playing field for women; there’s still a way to go. As a young teacher, I remember being asked in an interview if I wanted a family. I remember thinking that if I answered ‘yes’, I won’t get the job because they would think I’ll want to stay at home and not return – they’ll have to re-recruit, and If I said ‘no’, I wasn’t normal, so I would be perceived to have something wrong with me – or the panel would think I was gay- which again was still taboo at the time.

As a youngster, I didn’t notice it as much. However, as you progress through your career as a woman, you naturally face more challenges when it comes to having children, maternity leave, and other milestones such as menopause. It can leave gaps in your employment record, making career progression more challenging. Such gaps continue to affect women even into retirement as it can impact your pension.

I find that it’s not just men’s opinions that we need to influence and educate, but also women’s. I think that young people today are a lot more educated than my parents and even my generation. I learn a lot from my daughter.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting lots of people from around the UK with different backgrounds. But I get a massive buzz from seeing students make huge progress with reading. I love hearing how teachers give anecdotal evidence about their once reluctant readers now reading for pleasure and loving to read after using Reading Plus.

What does a typical day look like to you?

Busy! If I don’t have a team meeting at 8.15 am, I’m calling to speak with teachers until about 8.45 am.

Then the day is usually filled with meetings where I’m training staff to use Reading Plus, meeting with headteachers to talk about the progress pupils have made, or delivering presentations with Multi Academy Trusts and Local Authorities.

Between the meetings, I try to keep abreast of what’s happening on LinkedIn and Twitter and read about changes in the education/ curriculum/Ofsted etc.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Live a little, and don’t take things so seriously. Your career can wait, go and travel.

What is your proudest achievement to date?

My daughter Daisy! She is an amazingly resilient young woman that has over some tough challenges and never ceases to amaze me.

Despite many promotions and reaching most of my career goals, one of the worst experiences I have had about my career was being made redundant. I’m most proud of how I responded and recovered from that.

Outside of your job, what do you enjoy doing?

I set up a netball club nine years ago for young people, which has gone from strength to strength. I’m also a netball mum, spending evenings and weekends travelling to training and matches.

I love reading. My favourite genre is crime fiction. I love hearing what texts people read and having a good book talk with them. I also love watching a good crime/ psychological thriller.

I also love to bake, mostly cakes and pies, but occasionally stray into bread.


Speak to our team to see how Reading Plus can work for you

Request a pilot Book a demo