In addition to her “day job”, Fiona launched and chaired the Parenting arm of the Group’s Women’s Network attracting 12,000 members; such was the momentum that in June 2016 she launched and now Co-Chairs the Group’s Family Matters Network. The Network supports all group colleagues who grapple with the challenges of balancing work and fulfilling their career potential with complexities that family life can bring. She is acknowledged for tackling real colleague issues and barriers including extremely sensitive and historically taboo subjects, tenaciously driving positive cultural and policy changes with LBG now recognised as a Family Friendly Employer and a Top Employer for Women.
For these reasons, Fiona has been nominated for the 2019 Champion for Women Award.
How does it feel to be nominated for our Champion for Women Award?
I am thrilled to be nominated for something that I care deeply about – “supporting others to unlock their full potential”. I also feel humbled to be shortlisted amongst so many amazing women with awesome achievements to celebrate.
Can you tell us about your career path that lead you to your current role?
I actually joined the banking industry straight from school on an A-Level entrant Management Development Programme and at the time would never have imagined the extensive and varied experiences I would collect and the numerous large scale leadership roles delivering transformational change across various banking dimensions. These have included Retail, Operations, Commercial, Complaints, Change, Improvement, M&A’s and Remediation.
I started life as a “waste clerk” in my first retail branch but have always had a hunger for learning, a passion for people and a drive for delivering client focused transformational change. I am currently Director for Client Service Delivery in our Commercial Banking Division at Lloyds leading a multi-site team of 1200 colleagues across the UK to on-board and serve the Group’s commercial clients (from small, local businesses to multi-national corporations and financial institutions).
What motivated you to set up the Family Matters Network at LBG?
Well, I am Mum to two children and when I returned from maternity leave second time round I couldn’t help but notice that more and more colleagues were grappling with trying to find the right work/life balance and women in particular were challenged with the transition back from parental leave and their onward career progression. They needed help to tackle both with increased confidence and support. I am supported by some amazing volunteers and our members continue to drive our agenda keeping us “current” covering a wide range of subjects and real issues faced by our colleagues including managing the return from parental leave with confidence and onward career progression, dealing with infertility/miscarriage, managing the menopause, dealing with post-natal depression, enabling a work/life balance and caring for elderly relatives.
In addition to monthly national events, the Network runs very active on-line discussion forums connecting colleagues to share their experiences/offer support, a website with a library of useful materials for colleagues and includes a playback facility of all past events, a mechanism to support colleagues find a “buddy” or a mentor, and job sharing events supporting colleagues find a suitable job share partner. In addition, the Network has become a recognised voice for its members and as a result supports the shaping of HR policies and agenda. So the motivation for the Network continues!
What professional achievements are still on your to-do list?
Lots! We work in an age and an industry that is evolving faster than ever before so I personally find that every day is, and needs to be, a school day, to ensure that I and my team are fit for the future!
Why do you think gendered awards are still so important?
The reality is we need to accelerate the speed of change in achieving gender equality across the Financial Services industry and the UK economy more broadly. We need to continue to support breaking down the barriers faced by female colleagues in the workplace, contributing to a wider talent pool; more engaged and motivated employees; and a workforce more representative of our customer base and society as a whole. Therefore the opportunity to recognise women in our industry with their great stories to celebrate is a great way of showcasing progress being made but more importantly, I hope encourages other women to fully pursue their aspirations. It’s a world of possibilities – more than ever before.
How do you like to relax?
As a full time working Mum, my favourite pastime outside work is simply spending quality time with my children, family and friends. It’s the most precious time.