Catherine is the Communication & Engagement Lead for the Motor Finance Value Stream in Group Transformation in Lloyds Banking Group. Catherine, through her dedication, focus and commitment achieved senior manager promotion at an early age where her knowledge and professionalism sets her clearly apart from her peers.
Catherine Perkins
Catherine Perkins
Lloyds Banking Group

The impact she has had developing others is hugely significant. Enabling the delivery of ILM professional qualifications for colleagues across Wales, at zero business cost has allowed colleagues to obtain quality recognised qualifications in leadership and business administration.

Currently completing a degree with Henley Business school in Applied Management sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and Chartered Management Institute. Catherine is a Finance School Governor for a Special School in Cwmbran (where she lives), and sits on the Board of Trustees for Cyfannol (Welsh Women’s Aid).

Catherine has been nominated for the 2019 Young Professional Award.

How does it feel to be nominated for our Young Professional Award?

I am absolutely thrilled to be nominated for The Young Professional Award, amongst all these fantastic inspirational female Leaders. I am so excited to be recognised amongst some of the best talent in the industry and so pleased to be part of something that celebrates women, a cause very close to my heart, let alone to be shortlisted it’s a real honour!

You initiated a training program offering funded ILM courses for colleagues within business change across Wales. Can you tell us more about that?

From a young age I have been extremely passionate about learning, and whilst considering my leadership objectives I identified an opportunity to help the colleagues within Lloyds Banking Group develop whilst also delivering against the Groups drive in Helping Britain prosper. Leadership Apprenticeships were not readily available to internal colleagues aspiring to achieve beyond a Level 4 qualification, however through working with Welsh training organisations I was able to pilot the level 4 and 5 leadership qualifications through ILM in my team.

This was a great benefit to the Group as the courses were funded through the European development fund and the Welsh Assembly Government with no financial cost to the business. The pilot ran for an academic year with 100% of delegates achieving level 4 or higher, including myself where I achieved my Level 5 ILM diploma in Leadership Management. The training provider is now being used across the Welsh business to support further role out of this programme and I have been successful in securing a place on a Level Degree apprenticeship with Henley’s Business School sponsored by the Chartered Management Institute and Lloyds Banking Group as a result.

Whilst a role model yourself, who are your role models?

I have been really lucky to have strong female role models in my life, inside and outside of my organisation and I believe in if you can see it, you can be it! My personal role models over the years have been Senior women in Banking (Anna Helberg- Hanson, who has been shortlisted for the Champion for Women Award is one) who have worked their way through the career jungle. Watching how they work has driven me for years and what makes each of them inspirational to me is, despite any challenges/setbacks/career redirections they keep going!

As Chair of the Welsh Women’s Network I am an advocate for diversity and inclusion, I am obsessed with seeing women encourage, support and empower other women and when this happens in the workplace amazing things happen. We need more of it!

How did you get into the banking and finance industry and was it what you always wanted to do?

Banking was never my first choice in school, I was really into art and design and wanted to take my creativity into Graphic Design. Since starting with Lloyds Banking Group 10 years ago I have worked in many different teams, had the opportunity to work all over the country, had rapid career progression whilst learning about so much about many areas that make up the business. I knew straight away my passion was in developing others and supporting them to achieve their personal goals and aspirations, Through being successful on various leadership development opportunities and programmes I’ve now built a skillset relevant for multiple industries and careers. What I love about the banking and finance industry is my career development continues throughout my career, it’s a continuously fast paced challenging environment, and I’m excited to be part of it!

If you could change one single thing about the banking industry what would it be?

If I could change one thing it would be the perception of how working in the banking industry is perceived with school leavers and graduates as not an ‘exciting’ industry to join and be part of. I coach and mentor individuals on the Bank’s scholar programme, bringing to life the reality of working in the financial services and would encourage more leaders to help make that possible. The best part of the banking industry is the people, I work with intelligent, passionate and talented individuals and this makes every day rewarding and fun! I have had some fantastic opportunities to get involved in so far in my career. Banking is nothing like I thought it would be, not like when I was little girl watching Mary Poppins! The industry is very diverse, always developing new technologies to support innovation and deliver at speed so we are able to respond quicker to customer needs. There are such a broad range of career options available and if the thought of challenge excites you this is the industry for you!

What are you reading at the moment and are you enjoying it?

Outside of work when I’m not out walking my Patterdale Terrier, Willow I’m either at the cinema or reading, I’ve just finished reading Rhinoceros Success: The Secret to Charging Full Speed Towards Every Opportunity by Scott Alexander. It’s an interesting concept, extremely inspiring, very quick to read and I took action from it straight away. The book was recommended to me by a mentor as I started in a new division. It is a great motivational book that gets straight to the point. Top takeaways for me were, grow a thick skin, charge at everything, set daily goals and don’t be scared, Rhino’s aren’t scared!