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Tracy Jordan

news published date 19 February 2018
  • Our Stories
“The WIBF awards are highly recognised across my sector and have introduced me to so many other inspirational women”

Under Tracy’s leadership as programme director, Credit Suisse’s Modern Muse has engaged the next generation of female business leaders by showcasing diverse women and their roles within banks. The programme has directly reached 1,850 girls and inspired more than 200,000 young women and girls in the UK, partnering with approximately 35 schools and three universities and are looking to expand into other countries.

Tracy has served as a Muse herself and is a highly valued role model – she is the mother of three children who returned from a six-year career break and achieved promotion to Director, while still dedicating time to voluntary initiatives. Tracy has encouraged other companies to support Modern Muse, actively reigniting interest in the financial services sector among girls and young women and addressing gender diversity. With her professional impact as a board director, trustee and business leader, alongside her philanthropic efforts, mentoring and dedication to young people playing sport, Tracy is a true inspiration to others.

Tracy was the winner of the WIBF 2017 Champion for Women Award, we caught up with her to see what she has been up to since, her memories of winning the award, the Modern Muse Program and more!

You won the Champion for Women award last year; can you tell us what you have been up to since then?

Since winning WIBF’s Champion for Women Award I have continued to build the Credit Suisse Modern Muse programme further by also focusing on young women within Credit Suisse, providing mentoring support from the  Modern Muses as well as running a pilot event focusing on an individual’s personal brand, social styles and the importance of role models. I have also been working on expanding the program to Pune, India in Q2 2018.

How did it feel when your name was announced at the awards luncheon last year?

I was really surprised! I did not expect to win and felt very humbled to be chosen above so many amazing women who were also shortlisted. I was extremely happy to win an award for encouraging gender diversity as it is something that I have been so passionate about all my working life.

Receiving an award from an organisation I truly admire was amazing. To receive it for my contribution to the Modern Muse programme – an impactful diversity initiative that I feel passionate about – made the award extra special. The WIBF awards are highly recognised across my sector and have introduced me to so many other inspirational women who I would not have had the pleasure to meet otherwise. So a big thank you to those who nominated me and WIBF for using these awards to recognise the successes and contribution of so many amazing women.

Was there a stand out moment in your career when you decided you wanted to champion women?

After seeing so many amazing women leave the industry because they felt they did not have any direction or support – and personally experiencing the challenge to continue to build a career after having a career break – I wanted to use my experience to help other women progress when I returned to the industry after my career break. This experience has enabled me to have direct impact I started mentoring a number of women and established the Credit Suisse Modern Muse program in 2012.

You took a six year career break when you had your children, what advice would you give to women who are worried about returning to work themselves?

Many people told me that I would struggle to go back into a senior role – as so many things change when you are out on a career break – but this was not the case for me. If you have built up your career over a number of years before taking a break, you do not lose the ability and knowledge you had. It’s more about building confidence back up and figuring out how to juggle work and children. Women need to believe in themselves more – they are more capable than they realise and it will just take time to get back into the day-to-day routine again. Perhaps start gradually: if feasible, a four-day week (using any holiday days owing) taking a Wednesday off so that you are only ever working two days in a row and then build back up to five days over time.

What needs to be done to get more young women to consider a career in banking and finance?

There are still too few women in the banking and finance sector, especially in senior positions so we do need to target those at school and university now by profiling a diverse set of role models. The Modern Muse programme has the objective to inspire young women and girls aged 14-24, using inspirational role models to encourage them to consider the same career path.

You are a role model for many women, who are your role models?

Internally, my role model is Marisa Drew, the only other woman at Credit Suisse besides me who has won a WIBF award. She is so warm and inspiring and also spends a lot of her own time mentoring and championing many internal/external initiatives to help move the dial on diversity. Externally, my role model would be JK Rowling who worked tirelessly even as a single mother to build her career as a writer and despite many setbacks was determined to overcome these challenges and prove the critics wrong.