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A Week in My Life: Lisa Maynard-Atem, Marketing and Inclusion Director, Acacia Training

Lisa Maynard-Atem

Lisa Maynard-Atem wears a number of hats.

She is marketing and inclusion director for award-winning training provider Acacia Training in Manchester and a board member of The Black United Representation Network (BURN), an organisation focused on the social and economic empowerment of the black community in the North of England.  

She also sits on the board of the Blair Project, a trailblazing social enterprise that is diversifying the STEM workforce and working to accelerate the world’s transition to net zero through sustainable motorsport. She’s also a non-executive director of MBH Corporation Plc, an organisation that connects capital with talented businesses.

Lisa shared what a busy week in her life looked like…



My day starts at 5am. I wake up, get ready for work, have some breakfast and quiet time before opening up my laptop. Whilst it’s hard to wake up early, it makes a huge difference as I can get so much done before 9am which is when the world of work usually starts for many people.

Mondays are usually catch-up meetings with board members and directors and preparing for the week ahead. I also use Mondays to prioritise dealing with anything challenging or business critical. I am a big believer in tackling the tough stuff first – putting the things you dread doing the most to the top of your to do list.

For me, it makes work even more gratifying as I can then focus on the really enjoyable elements of what I do – being creative, coming up with ideas, brainstorming. Mondays can be fun too. I recently went on a site visit of what will be the new Soho House Manchester, which was followed later in the day by a get together and meal at The Black Friar for all committee members. Great company, good food and fine wine – a perfect end to what many consider to be the least popular day of the week.


This is the day that I usually find myself going into the office. Whilst I enjoy working from home, it’s great to get out and see people, and have those all important in-person interactions. I also use them as opportunities to discuss any pressing matters with colleagues and check in on them from a wellbeing perspective. Tuesdays are also usually the days that I feature on BBC Radio Manchester as one of Becky Want’s trends, talking about the topics of the day, whether it’s your favourite old school sweets or the latest government shenanigans.

Once the radio show is out of the way, it’s back to more meetings. Strategising for the marketing of an award-winning training provider is tough but someone’s gotta do it. I spend some time revisiting the strategy and reviewing it in terms of what changes need to be made, especially around the area of relevance. Agility is so important in business nowadays, so you need to ensure that everything you are doing is current but flexible.

Lisa Maynard-Atem
Lisa Maynard-Atem


Campaign meetings usually take place on a Wednesday. Various stakeholders come together from across the organisation to report/discuss performance – what’s working and what isn’t alongside possible new ideas to be road tested and that all important key topic – revenue. Each meeting will conclude with a number of tasks that stakeholders have to take away and work on.

I allocate some time to working on my presentations and panel discussion preparation for International Women’s Day. As someone who is passionate about social justice and the need for greater equality, diversity and inclusion across society as a whole, I take every appropriate opportunity possible to talk about these issues. Representation and visibility matter. I want girls and women to see me occupying these leadership spaces and know that it is possible for them to occupy these spaces too. Growing up, I never saw anyone that looked like me occupying the spaces I now find myself in so it’s important I use the position I am now in to show others what is possible.


Thursdays are often the day when I record content with my fellow MBH board members for our various channels (LinkedIn, YouTube, etc…). We talk about a variety of subjects from investing to the need for sharing best practice amongst fellow entrepreneurs and business owners.

It’s one of my favourite things to do as I always learn so much. Hearing how others approach their work and overcome challenges, gives me terrific insight not only into them but also into how their business became the successful entities that they are today. ESG is a big focus for Acacia Training and MBH, so we often have conversations and debates about how we can strengthen this particular footprint.


Very early morning PT session which really sets me up for the day and the weekend. Exercise is an important part of any routine and even though I don’t particularly enjoy it, I ensure that I allocate time to doing it every week. To perform at my best, I need to feel my best.

Next on my list is to look at any tasks that have not been completed this week, establish the reasons why and then ensure that they are at the top of the to do list for the following week. I also touch base with any stakeholders to follow-up on critical matters or wrap up any loose ends. I tend not to have meetings on a Friday because let’s be honest, most people are in ‘weekend’ mode which is totally understandable.

Life can’t be all work and no play. Provided they aren’t on strike, you’ll find me on a train to London to see my sister and brother-in-law for the weekend.

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