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Trailblazer Sophie Godbold

news published date 26 March 2024
  • Communities
  • Our Stories
In the third of our Trailblazers series we meet Sophie Godbold from the Bank of England. Sophie won the Women in Banking and Finance Future Leader Award last year so we thought she was an ideal subject!

Sophie is a Central Policy Adviser on the Ask Conflicts Team, part of the Secretary’s Department at the Bank of England. The Secretary’s Department is responsible for supporting the Bank’s board of directors. 

She has responsibility for the individual conflict of interest policies that are reflected in ‘Our Code’, and for the provision of advice. This role has enabled her to gain experience in producing clear, concise, and structured written communication which is something she lacked confidence in prior to this role.

Sophie delivers in person induction presentations weekly which has helped her get over a fear of public speaking, and this is also a great opportunity for her to represent the Bank and get to know their new members of staff.

Tell us about your involvement with WIBF

I won the Women in Banking and Finance Future Leader Award 2023 which has been life changing. This award celebrates someone aged 35 or younger who has had an exceptional impact within their organisation with regards to Diversity and Inclusion. I set up and co-lead a pillar within the Bank’s gender network, Women in the Bank (WIB), to work on breaking down barriers for career progression, focusing mostly on staff in administrative roles. This mainly impacted the career prospects and lived experience of women who have historically not received the same level of career support as those in more senior roles. From organising events and coaching, to driving forward real change through developing a Career Navigator Programme. I used my own lived experience of progressing my career and balancing a busy home life as a mother of three.

How have you found the right opportunity or next opportunity to continue your growth?

I have had a squiggly career, seeking out opportunities that interest me and gaining new skills along the way. I started my career working for an advertising agency serving coffee and lunch. I’ve worked as an Administrator, a Personal Assistant, a Community Officer, Analyst and I am currently a Policy Adviser. With each role I have gained new skills, made new connections and, in turn, built confidence in my own abilities.

The WIB network has also had a huge impact on my career, providing opportunities for growth that I didn’t get in my day-to-day role and giving me a real sense of community. It was pointed out to me when I joined the Bank as a new mum, that the network was about breaking down barriers for all women in the workplace. I learnt about intersectionality and the importance of recognising that not everyone comes from the same place, and the need to make adjustments to tackle imbalances. I wanted to contribute to helping the organisation to be more accommodating, particularly for staff like me, who hadn’t had the opportunity to go to university and who juggle caring responsibilities to be able to thrive in the workplace.

What tips or advice do you have for our Future Leaders network?

I have had to learn to overcome self-doubt and challenge my internal belief system about what is possible to achieve. I have had to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone to progress. I have found American professor, Brene Brown’s studies on vulnerability and leadership helpful. She quotes “we can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you’re willing to be”.

A tip given to me by a colleague when doing something scary in your career is to imagine the hands of the people who have supported you on your back, I have found this has given me courage when I needed it, particularly when speaking up about cultural change in the workplace.

What advice would you give to yourself at the outset of your career?
To always be authentic and chose courage over comfort.