Jackie is an executive sponsor of Standard Life’s Women’s Development Network and actively engages in the broader diversity and inclusion agenda.
Jackie is a non-executive director of Edinburgh Leisure, a charitable trust that manages sport and leisure facilities and drives health and wellbeing on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council. Jackie chairs the Edinburgh Leisure Audit Committee.
Jackie lives in Edinburgh with her husband. She has two grown up children and enjoys running and keeping fit.
What is it about the Banking and Finance industry that you enjoy the most?
Our industry affects the lives and the wealth and wellbeing of people, so in my view it has a great purpose and a huge impact across our society. The industry connects with customers and on a personal level, I really enjoy being in a role that makes a difference to our customers. Throughout my career, I’ve had a number of roles that are customer facing and it’s great to be able to provide support and service to our customers, advisers and employers. I find my work really interesting and have had lots of opportunities to develop and broaden my experience as a leader. In addition to this I’ve met loads of great people along the way.
Working with stakeholders can be challenging. What is your top tip for working well with others?
I’d love to say that there is a single magic bullet for great stakeholder engagement because success is usually a factor of who the stakeholders are, what they respond best to and what their objectives are. I do believe however that, while people have sometimes vastly different views about how things should be done, we usually all want great outcomes. Be prepared to listen to different opinions and to value what other people can bring to the table. Keeping that at the front of mind can be pretty helpful. Also take some time to think about the stakeholders you are working with. It helps to understand them as individuals and groups and use that insight to shape your approach to engage with them.
What is the proudest achievement from your career to date?
That’s a difficult question as there are many things I feel proud about. If I have to pick one it would be the progress we have made since we established our Women’s Development Network. The Diversity and Inclusion agenda is very much to the fore in our organisation, thanks to the efforts of some great people. There’s still work to do but there’s a strong foundation in place and clear plans to progress the agenda with buy in and active support from senior stakeholders.
You have achieved a lot in your career – what is still on your list of goals?
There’s always a lot to learn and I’m keen to keep learning throughout my career. I’m a Non-Executive Director of a charitable trust and working with another organisation has given me great opportunities to broaden my perspective and to use existing skills in a different setting. I’d like to build on this over time. I want to see the diversity and inclusion agenda go from strength to strength and to see the talent pipeline translating into more executive level roles for women in particular but also to see a broader range of diversity coming through. The business case for diversity is clear, with greater commercial success being delivered by those organisations that are more diverse.
What’s the best piece of career advice you ever received?
I have had the good fortune to work with some great people of the years and with a number of excellent mentors and coaches, so I’ve had lots of good career advice. If I had to pick the best piece of advice that I’ve been given it would be to broaden your networks and get a sponsor. I always believed that simply doing a great job would lead to recognition and further opportunities to develop and take on bigger roles but that’s not necessarily the case. Having worked with lots of women, I have seen this trait across a number of us – we just get on with the job and can underplay the importance of making connections and strong sponsorship. While hard work is good, it doesn’t go without saying that contribution alone will lead to further success. So, on that note, having strong sponsorship and a good network can help career progression by opening doors and getting yourself known for what you can bring to the table professionally.