Up and Coming: Vicky McDermott of the Papworth Trust

McDermott joined the charity that supports disabled and older people in May this year, making her its youngest chief executive at 34

Vicky McDermott says her passion for the cause is an asset
Vicky McDermott says her passion for the cause is an asset

Are you the charity's youngest chief executive? I've joked that they tried to cover as much diversity as possible in one appointment. I am not only the youngest chief executive, but also the first female and first disabled chief executive.

How is your age an advantage? The senior team is on average about 10 years older than me, but a lot of young people work for us on the front line and I think I can connect with them differently. I'm Generation Y, a child of the 1980s, so my style is more relaxed, and I'm conversant with Twitter and blogs.

What's your biggest career break? I wanted to be an equine vet, but I was involved in a car accident at 17, which affected my mobility and caused a career rethink. While working in a BT call centre, I contacted the director of project management and became her PA. I learned a lot and experienced exciting projects.

What advice would you give to other rising stars? I'm often told to be less passionate because I can't change the world, and that I'll understand when I'm older. If so, I hope I never grow up. You should never feel the need to conform.

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