We asked this award winning rising star a few questions…
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Winning the WIBF Young Professional of the Year award recently has to be right up there. WIBF is such a great organisation that supports and develops women across the industry and I am extremely proud to be recognised not just within RBC but externally as well, particularly against such a strong shortlist.
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Trading can be a high intensity role and all-consuming so it can be particularly difficult to let go. Something critical to our team is our client-centric approach – we all share the same commitment to care about every client enquiry. For a long time I insisted on being involved in every enquiry on my trading book, but this meant when I was not at the desk I couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand as I was constantly thinking about what I might be missing.
Sian Hurrell, RBC’s Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC) in Europe highlighted to me just how important it was to let go every now and then. If you don’t then how do you expect your team to learn and progress? She couldn’t have been more right – my job is being both a trader and a manger, and my performance will be measured on the team I help develop. This ability to let go has allowed me to focus much more.
What piece of career advice do you give others?
Find a mentor early in your career. I have had various mentors at different points in my career and RBC is great at offering structured programmes which are particularly good when looking for mentors outside of your immediate work area. This said, some of the best mentors I have had have been informal relationships – a mentor not only advises you but can also help you to build your profile and network within the firm.
What is an essential quality of a successful manager?
Authenticity. This means making yourself approachable, being genuine and demonstrating humility. The best managers I have had are also very forward thinking – they not only manage you for the role you are doing today, but for the role they think you have the ability to do in the future, even if you don’t realise it yourself!
How can we get the biggest shift towards diverse and inclusive workplaces?
The industry is working hard to create a more diverse workforce and there has been huge progress, particularly with help from organisations such as WIBF. For me it’s not about having equal numbers of men and women in a certain role or industry but creating an environment that challenges stereotypes and the status quo.
In recent years, financial institutions have really focused on how to retain female talent, which is key to encouraging diversity. But for me, the real question is how we attract more women to our industry in the first place. This has to be done by breaking down the stereotypes within banking and finance early, waiting until University can be too late – Intern and Graduate programmes are extremely important but we need to be in schools earlier educating children on their career opportunities and possibilities. RBC for example runs an Academy programme and sessions such as Teaching Kids to Code, which give children as
young as 10 an insight into the world of banking.