A qualified Executive coach Sally also mentors staff within Barclays and is the ExCo sponsor of the Group’s Wellbeing agenda. Diversity Initiatives across the Bank. Sally was appointed to the IIA Board in 2016 and is CMIIA qualified.
How did you get into the banking and finance industry?
I joined Williams and Glyns bank straight from university having done a degree in English Literature – but it’s true to say that back then I didn’t really think I had an appreciation for what I was getting into.
Tell us a little more about your day to day role.
My days are really varied – which is why I have continued to do this for 30 years. I can be reading reports that are due to go the Board, working with my team on what we are putting in our audit plan, coaching a member of my team, speaking at a conference, attending our Executive Committee, or an Institute of Internal Audit Board meeting, preparing for one of my Town Halls or talking to a group of school leavers about why Finance is a great profession to go into.
What is the biggest challenge facing your area of the sector?
Internal audit needs to work out how to harness data and data analytics to enable functions to test large populations rather than manually test small samples. We have to understand the risks that new technologies bring and get ahead of this to determine how to audit these new risks. Concurrently we have to determine how to audit culture which is a more nebulous topic requiring quite different skills.
What is an essential quality of a successful manager?
There are many – prioritising and managing time is essential – knowing what is important and needs your time focused on it vs what you can empower and leave your team to do. Balancing support and empowerment is another great quality to have. Communicating with ones team – to inspire them with a vision for the future, to keep them abreast of what is going on, to provide clarity of what you need them to do and to praise and support them when they are delivering.
What would you tell the 18 year old you knowing what you know now with regards to your career?
Do something you love – that enables you to go home each night and say I had a great day and to wake up each morning happy to be heading into work. Also. Work with people you like working with – life is too short to be spent with people who drain your soul.
What is your most memorable lesson in terms of diversity and inclusion?
We all have unconscious bias even if we are convinced we don’t – remember this and challenge yourself often.
What role does networking play in building a successful career?
Networking is part of our day job – it becomes more important as you become more senior – I achieve much more at work through the relationships I have built and harnessing them rather than the facts I have learnt and harnessing those.
What is your best tip on how to run an open and diverse recruitment process?
Ensure that the panel who are deciding on candidates is diverse and insist that the people sending you candidates have a diverse slate – if it isn’t send them back to search harder.
Caring responsibilities comes with many challenges – what is one way workplaces can better support parents and carers?
Giving people the ability to manage their time through dynamic working is a key way to support parents and carers. This requires trust on the part of both employee and manager and requires people to operate on an adult/adult basis. For my function we have operated on this basis for a number of years and have found it to be a great way to motivate the team and to get great quality performance from our people – measuring on the basis of outcomes and outputs rather than presenteeism is the right way to go.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
I have worked out when I am best doing different elements of my role – for example I focus best on reading detailed papers in the morning and I am best therefore using my time in the afternoon to be in meetings and discussions with the team. I endeavor to leave the office regularly by 5.30 and know that I will take home some work to do once I have spent time with my family. I work from home regularly which gives me time to focus on strategic elements of my role. I try to be out only a couple of nights a week and make an effort to ensure that my weekends are kept free of work. Its about being organised and also about making sure you create principles and stick to them. When I chose to have a family I made a commitment that they would come first and that I would do everything in my power to make sure that I was always there when I was needed.
How do you like to unwind?
I unwind in a number of ways – I enjoy going to the gym for a variety of different classes, I enjoy relaxing with friends at home and especially cooking for and with them, and I like watching films.
If you were stranded on an island, who would you chose to join you and why?
Bear Grylls – because he would know exactly what to do to keep us both alive and healthy!
What would be your one wish for the banking and finance industry?
That we restore the trust of the community, our customers and clients in us and that we provide useful, exciting products and services that our customers really need and value. Of course, being an internal auditor – that we do this in the right way both in the spirit and letter of the laws and regulations that guide us.