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Published Date: 13-03-2024
Author: Executive Compass
Category: News & Insight
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In recognition of Women’s History Month, we sit down with Mary, one of the longest-tenured members of the team, to gain insight into her experience, day-to-day work and how she envisions the future at Executive Compass.

My experience

I joined Executive Compass as a bid writer in 2018, after several years working as a researcher following my degree in crime science. Applying my skills in research, analysis, interrogation and writing, I quickly got to grips with bid writing and have formed long-standing relationships with several of our key clients.

Initially, I worked across multiple sectors, including construction, asbestos and facilities management and was supported to develop knowledge, including being funded to complete a three-week health and safety course leading to a NEBOSH (Construction) qualification. I also spent time going out to visit clients at their sites to learn more about their services, including cleaning companies, roofing companies and an orthotic shoe manufacturer!

Memorable projects and progression

Across six years of writing, a few of my most memorable projects and wins include logistics management for major works at Gatwick Airport, disabilities adaptations in Greater Manchester and a catering concession in a botanical garden.

Despite enjoying the variety of working across sectors, after completing health and social care training with Technical Director Matthew Walker, I found my preferred area and gradually spent more of my time working with care providers. I have enjoyed supporting care companies to secure contracts, ensuring service users receive person-centred care and support.

Following maternity leave in 2022, I have specialised in the health and social care sector, as a bid writer and, since November 2023, a quality reviewer.

Typical day

After dropping my children off at nursery and school, I arrive back home for a hot coffee at my desk, where I enjoy the peace and quiet while checking my inbox and perusing Find A Tender for any contract notices for my clients. At 08:30 the whole team joins a short daily meeting via Teams, to check progress of projects. With more than 60 bids on the go at any one time, the bid managers keep a close eye on how they are progressing, quickly identifying any challenges.

I then work through any responses I have received for review. As part of the quality team, each week I work with 4–5 of our 21 bid writers; we will spend time discussing the question, dissecting exactly what the buyer is looking for and planning how to structure the response. The writer then sends me their draft response which I review for quality and compliance, considering:

  • Does it comprehensively address and answer the question?
  • Does it comply with the requirements of the contract specification?
  • Is it persuasive and does it emphasise the benefits to the buyer?

I return the response to the writer with comments and suggestions for improvements, frequently following up with a Teams call to discuss the areas where it could be strengthened to ensure the final response is high quality. At lunchtime, I often go for a walk if it’s dry.

If I am working on a project myself, I might have an information-gathering call with a client in the afternoon or work on an answer plan. Alternatively, in between reviewing responses I might be working on training resources for our Care Division or undertaking training myself to develop my sector knowledge – I have recently completed online training in the Mental Capacity Act and the Oliver MacGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disabilities.


Since transitioning to a ‘hybrid’ role, in which I both write and review, I have enjoyed the increased exposure to my colleagues’ writing. As well as the variety, I find it valuable to see what works well and identify tips to use in my own writing. I have also enjoyed the increased opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues, with frequent Teams calls throughout the day to discuss questions and responses.

As we embed and develop the new Care Division, I am looking forward to continuing to develop my knowledge of the sector, through further online training courses and visiting clients to ‘shadow’ them on the job. This will reinforce our existing knowledge and expertise in the health and social care sector, in addition to learning practical details to include as evidence for our writing team’s quality responses.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

As part of our continued participation in recognising Women’s History Month, we will be posting a series of Q&A sessions and spotlights on several other members of our bid writing and bid reviewing team. Follow Executive Compass on LinkedIn to find out more over the month of March.

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