Q&A for International Women’s Day 2018 with Jyoti Jiwani, Link Asset Services
Brewer Morris is proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2018. We have interviewed a selection of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women’s gender parity #pressforprogress
Brewer Morris interviewed Jyoti Jiwani, Treasury Consultant, Link Asset Services
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
Getting on the property ladder and moving out of my parents’ home. As a single Asian female, it was tradition (and still is for many young women from my community) to only move out of your parents’ home when you get married so it was a big challenge and I had little support from my parents when it came to house hunting. Husband hunting was definitely high on their agenda but was not even listed on mine! They eventually accepted the fact that there was nothing they could do or say to change my mind and came on-board fairly soon after I got the keys by being very supportive with the numerous DIY projects that were needed to help make my house a home.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
An exciting career opportunity that was sold to me turned out to be very different, very limiting and a big step backwards for my career and personal development. It was a tough lesson. Quitting was considered failing so in spite of making every effort to address the issues and try to make it work, the ability to make things better was beyond my control. I definitely should have resigned much sooner and rather than wasting my time trying to make it work.
Like with any bad investment, it is important to cut your losses and move on, sometimes the personal cost of staying in a role is far greater than the impact on your career or the financial loss of leaving without a job already lined up.
The experience has definitely made me a stronger person and I have since worked with companies and people who not only value me and my experience but also recognise the value in so many different areas that I bring to table. I get a lot of job satisfaction from being able to add value to the bottom line.
Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
They are passionate about what they do and what they believe in. They never give up and are willing to work hard in order to have a better life for themselves and their family. As well as being passionate, for me truly inspiring leaders are those who have a clear vision and a high degree of emotional intelligence. They are optimistic and recognise potential. They are willing to invest their time supporting, engaging and communicating with people of all levels within their organisations. They embrace change and encourage improvement.
If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
Be ambitious and be vocal about where you want your career to go. Take ownership of your career development and have open discussions with your line mangers/mentors about what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
Treasury is a specialist field, most corporates have small treasury teams and many treasurers stay in their roles until retirement so it’s important to accept that no matter how much you love doing what you do, you may outgrow your role and you may need to be ready to look externally in order to progress your career.
What is your personal mantra?
Give everything a go once, you don’t know if you will like it unless you try it and in the same vain, don’t be scared of making mistakes as they really are lessons for growth, development and success.
How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
Although more women are joining the profession, the majority never reach the top. Yes, more women are being promoted to treasurer level, however, like with many professions, it is still very male-dominated at the senior level.
Diversity seems to be a buzzword at the moment and whilst a lot of organisations recognise that it is beneficial to their company’s performance to employ more women and increase diversity in leadership roles, they consistently fall short and struggle to convert the goals that they set.
The lack of gender parity affects many professions, not just treasury, and many organisations. There isn’t a simple solution otherwise there wouldn’t be this large imbalance. I believe in order to really change the gender parity, companies need to really focus on developing talent and leadership skills throughout their organisations and at every level. The board also need to focus on addressing the specific barriers in their organisation that prevent groups of people from raising their profile, being promoted and pursuing promotion. They need to have gender-neutral policies that benefit everyone such as flexible working and encourage women to go for opportunities even if they do not tick every box, something that a lot of men have little problem doing.