CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Craigs Investment Partners, 8 March 2023
Our Women’s Wealth programme is back this year, with events already running throughout the country. Craigs Women’s Wealth aims to empower women to invest, by providing education and guidance. We know that supporting women to improve their financial confidence and knowledge improves not only their lives but also those of their families and their long-term security and success. This goal is also reflected in one of International Women’s Day’s main missions – “to forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive, and their achievements are celebrated”.
In light of this year’s theme, for the celebration of International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, being #embraceequity we asked a number of successful women in our business a simple question.
What is the best advice you received, which enabled your career to thrive and/or your achievements to be celebrated?
Susan Peterson – Independent Director
One of the most helpful pieces of advice given to me early in my career (and life) was to always volunteer to work on the most important problems.
Implicit in this simple statement is:
Purpose - the most important problems will be those matters that can drive better outcomes in a scalable way.
Prioritisation - forces you not to sweat the small stuff.
Making a difference - you are helping others on the things that they most value matter.
Confidence - you are forced to overcome your own self-doubt, and
Growth mindset - you will always be facing new challenges, meeting new people, learning from others and growing.
Hannah Gillespie – Head of Strategy
The best advice I have received is from a family member who has always encouraged me to “go for it”.
It is a simple motto, but it is often the prompt I need when considering opportunities or challenges outside of my comfort zone.
There’s great value in putting yourself forward. Life is a journey of discovery, and you never really know what you’re capable of until you try!
Tania Bui – Head of Marketing & Communications
Along my career I’ve been given 2 pieces of advice that I’ve found valuable.
The first is do something that makes things better – not just for yourself but others as well. Inherent in this is the idea of contributing positively and beyond what you do as an individual. The second part of this is the idea of service – be that for the greater good of the business, your team, others in your community and/or family.
The second piece of advice, especially for women is find a champion – someone you respect and is respected who can support you to develop and be the best you can be. This person is someone who will vouch for you as well as challenge and guide you. They could be your manager, a past manager in your business or another business. It’s based around my belief that no one gets to where they’re going or want to be, by themselves.
Ruth Jackson-Smith – Investment Adviser
This advice was from my Dad many years ago when I probably suffered a bit from the infamous ‘imposter syndrome’!
Back in the day, I was a female in this predominantly male orientated industry and realised early on that in order to achieve (survive) I needed to toughen up a bit, put my head down, try to do a good job and gain respect and then (hopefully) watch my business grow from walking the talk.
Dad always said that whilst people can work towards a list of letters after their names, it was much harder to teach a person how to build trust, be genuine and empathetic and that these are ultimately the glue and foundation for your relationships whether they be business or personal.
As such, I have never tried to be anything other than what I am and this along with experience allowed me to gain more confidence. The fact that females are different is to be celebrated too, so instead of trying to swim in the same pool and compete - just find your own and be true to that!
Angie Smith – Head of People & Performance
I recently watched the documentary on Stutz (a psychiatrist). He says there are three aspects of reality, one of which is constant work and that made me smile. Constant work, on myself – that’s a theme that has enabled my career to thrive!
I had a mentor early in my career who taught me the importance of understanding my individual purpose and personal values, going deep on what this means has helped anchor me.
As well as my purpose and values, I find daily rituals are important, these are simple things, for me journaling, walking, creating space (this maybe just 15 minutes as a Mum with young children). Constant work on self, also means surrounding myself with people who are open and honest with me, giving me feedback, coaching and mentoring has been invaluable for my career.
“As human beings we are given access to the infinite, but we have to work for it; it doesn’t come for free.” Phil Stutz & Barry Michels.
Michelle Perkins – Senior Research Analyst
Listen to the advice from those closest to you. When I was young, I was instilled with a strong work ethic, and my mum showed me what could be achieved through hard work. I have applied this to my education and my career, and it has provided me with some great opportunities to learn new things, grow my knowledge base and enhance my experience.
During my career I have seen in practice that you shouldn’t be afraid to recognise the skills you have, and to keep an eye out for opportunities that allow you to use those skills for a more advanced role. And if you doubt those skills, as many of us women do, then listen to those closest to you. It may be cliche to say, but when you think you're not capable of something the perspective of those closest to you is usually quite different to what you think. Looking at yourself through their eyes will give you the support and encouragement to take that next step and open-up further opportunities for you.
Deidre Copley – Head of Fixed Income
This first piece of advice was given to be by a professional woman peer, outside of Craigs.
Be courageous - if you believe in something then give it a go, be prepared to risk failure.
Failure sits uncomfortably with most of us and but, age and stage when I was given this advice, I recognised if it happened it wouldn’t be defining. Far worse was not to take the risk and have regrets.
Some others that have helped during my career are:
Ask if you don’t know, chances are everyone will learn something from the answer.
Be positive and work towards achieving good outcomes.
Be present, listen to others and understand the importance of personal contact and relationships.
Craigs Women’s Wealth aims to empower women to invest, by providing education and guidance. If you’re interested in learning more about investing, take a look at what events are happening in your area and register.
Stay up to date, follow Craigs Women’s Wealth.