Whether it’s new faces within the business or those who have worked their way up through the ranks, at Capital International Group, we are incredibly proud to work with a team of talented and tenacious women who are playing a key role in steering the business to future success.
Some of our team now share their experiences of being women in banking and finance and give advice to those just starting out.
Climbing the Ladder
Sue Shute - Director: Success, I believe, comes from enjoying what you do, finding a niche, having confidence in your ability, and pushing yourself to go for that new role or promotion even when you don’t have all the right experience or qualities. It’s also important to be accountable while not being afraid of making mistakes. My advice to others would be not to get hung up on being a woman in business – just be good at what you do.
Jill Harrison - IT Service Desk Team Leader: When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had a GCSE in IT but had never considered it as a career. At the age of 19, a friend who worked in IT suggested that I apply for a junior position at their firm. A month later, I was given my first position as an IT administrator with the opportunity to learn on the job. IT was and continues to be a predominantly male dominated sector, but I’m not really sure why! The IT world is ever evolving, no two days are ever the same. If you have an interest in technology, enjoy helping people and problem solving, this may be the career for you! My advice would be not to be afraid to take on things you’ve never done before; never stop learning.
Claire Baldwin - Banking Operations Team Manager: Find what motivates you! Whether it’s saving up for a big holiday (post-covid) or climbing up the ranks to become a director. Working hard with determination and dedication has given me ample opportunities within my role since I started working at Capital just over two years ago. Keeping myself focused and motivated to achieve my goals has allowed many of them to become a reality.
Minna Perup - Marketing Team Leader: After university, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but by not being afraid of going for jobs that pushed me outside my comfort zone, I was able to get a foot in the door. By embracing continuous learning, showing initiative, and not being scared to voice my opinion, I was able to be seen and heard and progress within my field. If you don’t get noticed, you won’t get the chance to show what you are capable of. My advice would be to speak up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to come up with new solutions that will allow you and the company to progress.
Lucy Cureton - Banking Operations Senior Manager: Wanting to challenge myself 15 years ago, I moved from the UK to the Isle of Man to take on a new middle management back-office role. As luck had it, I had a fantastic line manager who acknowledged my previous achievements and encouraged me to fast track through multiple teams every 12-18 months to build up my knowledge and most importantly my stakeholder sponsor network.
Don’t be afraid to step back to go forward. Always at least consider the opportunities offered to you; they are all chances to challenge yourself and learn new things. Accumulating a strong knowledge and awareness of Banking Operations has led me to my current role and I am sure I have many years more of learning ahead of me. It’s great now to have the chance to give back and support others with their own career journeys.
Kim Quirk - Business Development (ESG Investments): As a child, I was privileged to have a positive influence in my father who taught me to have strong ambitions and a good work ethic. This foundation combined with working for companies who have been very supportive and encouraging has been vital in helping me move up the ladder. I have also been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by some powerful and motivating women along the way. I have embraced every opportunity presented to me, which was scary at times and not all opportunities led to positive outcomes, but I learned something from each experience. If I could give any advice, it would be to remain true to yourself and don’t try to be like anyone else. Our different approaches are what make us unique.
Kavitha Rajagopalan - Senior Product Manager: Being a woman in the workplace to me means to be recognised for the impact that I have and the passion I bring to the workplace. I started my career working as a software developer in India and when I moved to the Isle of Man, I restarted my career as a marketing analyst and worked my way up in product management having children along the way.
My advice? Don't hesitate to try new things or make fresh starts. Get outside your comfort zone, keep learning, take breaks when you need them and bank on your transferable skills. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint.
Laura Morris – Risk Manager: There has never been a better time to be a woman in business. Key bodies internationally are waking up to the benefits of diversity in their leadership structures and wider businesses. The number of women on FTSE boards is up 50% in just five years, and women occupying a third of positions at the highest level is not only inspiring, but a call to action for those of us that want to join their ranks.
Having both male and female sponsors who believe and champion the benefits you can bring has been key in my experience. Investing in mentoring relationships with those working at a senior level and making career decisions that challenge and develop me professionally have been essential in my professional journey so far.
Lucky Kemigisha - Senior Internal Audit Manager: Being a woman in the business world for me means continually transcending gender barriers and being the best version of yourself every day. Working through the ranks, I started my career in a ‘Big 4’ audit firm which taught me the value of hard work and laid the foundation for the professional that I am today. Over the years, I have learnt that my career is in my hands. I need to steer it to where I want it; no one is going to do it for me.
My advice to young women? “It can be” is a powerful mantra. Believe it and align yourself to it. Identify a mentor and career coach, someone to hold you accountable and likewise someone who can remind you that your dreams and aspirations are valid. Do not tell the time using someone else’s watch - our paths are different.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security or to make a bank deposit.