“My best advice would be to have boundaries, not walls. I live by that.”
There’s so much change going on in Client Financial Management (CFM), revolving around our digital transformation, that it’s a really exciting time to join our business. Change demands clarity of what we’re doing and where we’re going – and that’s an essential part of my job. I’m involved in setting targets 12 to 18 months into the future.
I also work on key global initiatives, as well as shaping our people agenda and developing individual capabilities within the team. A lot of my time is spent dealing with people one to one, providing support and offering career advice. My role is not client-facing, and I do less financial analysis than I did, but it offers a good mix of autonomy and teamwork. It’s really varied – no two days are the same – which I enjoy.
I’ve now been at Accenture for 12 years. What I can say for certain is that I have a lot more self-belief now than I did when I started. The thing about Accenture is that there are always doors open to you and I’ve developed the confidence to look for them. Being part of Accent on Women and Accent on Gender has meant I’ve also been able to grow my network beyond CFM.
One thing that has really stood out for me during my time at Accenture is the focus on people. Our employees are at the centre of everything and everyone shares our core values, so we’re strong on training, collaborative learning, informal coaching and giving people guidance when they need it. On my part, I’ve spent time getting close to our mental health allies – I believe it’s important to be passionate about mental health issues so you can provide appropriate support when it’s required.
But I’ve received support, too. My line managers and mentors have been invaluable in enabling me to progress my career while bringing up a family. I have two daughters, now nine and seven. When the younger one was born, I was able to flex my time to work four days a week, before going back to five only when I was ready. It was the kind of support I was looking for – and moving to a four-day week never hindered my progression!
My best advice would be to have boundaries, not walls. I live by that and I’m comfortable with the way I manage my life. I wouldn’t say I have an easy week, but I don’t focus my time exclusively on the office. Time with my children is important to me – they do a lot of activities and I want to take an interest. I also love to spend time socialising with friends and I’m trying to get back into running. I was once a pretty good middle-distance runner!