As the first woman in her family to have a career, growing up at a time when there were no senior women to look up to as well as coming from a background where her family were refugees, Leonor Stjepic definitely had a difficult start to her journey and her success as a woman in business has not come me easy. However, she has not let this hold her back and made the decision early on that nothing would stand in the way of her achieving the things she wanted. At a time when career choices for women were limited to secretarial positions, air hostessing, and the like, Leonor trod a different path. Now, as the CEO of RAFT ( Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust ) charity, Leonor has since progressed into the boardroom, achieving a number of awards and accolades along the way.



  • I was the first woman in my family to have a career. I grew up and started working in a time when there were no senior women, the only senior woman I knew of was Margaret Thatcher and she was the Prime Minister.

Coming from a background where my family were refugees, my name was strange and I was growing up in a time when racism was prevalent it was difficult.

Words of Wisdom

  • Don’t be put off by taking another job because you will learn
  • Some of the most valuable lessons I learned about dealing with people I learned while I was  a Sales assistant at John Lewis
  • Understanding that the path isn’t always straight is really important, I don’t think you always necessarily see that when you’re young.
  • Part of being a senior person is being able to manage your emotions


You don’t have to be the alpha male in the room to get things done, be the alpha female and you can still get things done if not a lot more


Check out the incredible work that RAFT has underway on the website 

Resources mentioned

  • Task within Outlook

On really busy days I try to say what are the three things that I’m going to achieve and sometimes it’s what is the one thing that I’m going to achieve.