What's the best career advice you've ever received?
Be really clear about what you bring in terms of skills, experience and capability to any role – what is your story? Be authentic, think twice - speak once, have a view, stay cool, calm and smile.
How did you choose what industry you wanted to work in?
I wanted to receive strong, credible management training as a foundation for my career. Financial Services is a major industry in the UK . Starting my career in this sector seemed to be able to provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills and and have huge breadth and opportunity.
What difference do you believe being a woman has made to your career?
I do not think this has made a material difference. In fact sometimes , I sometimes find I get more ability to make a contribution in senior team meetings, as a different perspective is valued. I did take 6 months out of work when my son was born, however returning to work was straightforward.
What have you had to risk/sacrifice to get to the position you have?
Its all about risk, reward, ambition, challenge and choice – each individual has to weigh up what is important to them in and out of work to inform their position and decision. For me I am happy to take a high degree of personal risk, this is well rewarded and the challenge motivates me – it gives me choice outside of work to do the things I want to do with my family and for my future.
What advice would you give to aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?
You can have a broad, varied, portable and fulfilling career that does make a difference.
What have you struggled most with since starting your career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?
A key challenge is knowing what skills and experience are relevant to support your career in the medium /longer term and when to identify right roles and the right time for a move. My advice is to get as many different experiences at the start of your career. Never stop asking questions or seeking out something different to get involved in.
Do you feel diversity is an issue where you work?
It is an issue, as we currently do not have enough women in senior leadership positions. However the senior leadership of Lloyds Banking Group take this seriously. Our Chairman is a founding member of the 30% club – which is dedicated to achieving the goal that all FTSE 100 companies’ Management boards are made up of directors, 30% of whom are female. We also have a colleague network ‘Breakthrough’ which aims to support the career development of female colleagues across the Group.
What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
There are a huge variety of careers available within the Banking / Financial Services industry. Whether you are looking at developing a specialist skill-set or to develop as a general manager. You get to interact with a wide variety of people; including customers and regulators, as well as be part of a team– working together to make a difference.