Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022 – a Q&A with PM+M’s Managing Partner, Jane Parry

PM+M is delighted to be celebrating International Women’s Day once again, as this year’s theme focuses on overcoming bias and challenging discrimination.

We sat down with PM+M’s managing partner, Jane Parry, to discuss IWD’s #BreakTheBias theme, as well as her experience of being a woman in business and PM+M’s approach to diversity.

The theme of International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias – Jane, what does this mean to you?

International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements of women, both in business and on a personal level. I have been fortunate enough to work with many inspirational female colleagues and clients over the years, and I think celebrating our successes is important.

Throughout my career, I have witnessed some great progress in terms of gender equality and diversity in the workplace, but of course, I am aware that challenges continue to exist and more work needs to be done in some areas.

I think the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day conveys a key message and talking point – recognising that bias and stereotypes unfortunately do still remain in some places, so what can we be doing both individually and as a society to help overcome this?

As a woman in business, is breaking the bias something you have focused on throughout your career?

Absolutely – my aim has always been to challenge the status quo both for myself on a personal level, but also to make a difference to the wider business landscape. I’m sure we can all agree that ‘having it all’ isn’t always possible – but it’s great that over the years, the gradual shift in society has meant that women (and men!) now have the option of finding a balance between their career and life outside of work, without having to sacrifice one or the other.

What is PM+M’s approach to gender diversity?

Although accountancy might once have been known as a male dominated industry, at PM+M, we consistently work towards changing this narrative. With four female partners, we understand the need for gender equality in the workplace and are proud that our leadership reflects that.

As employers, we believe in the ‘best person for the job’ approach and we base all recruitment decisions on each candidate’s experience, character and potential – as we recognise that having the right team in place helps us support our clients in the best way possible. Across our firm, we are huge advocates for maintaining diversity and creating an inclusive working culture is something we’re very passionate about.

What advice would you offer to a female just starting out in business?

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic role models (not all of them women), who have given me some useful career guidance – having a strong work ethic, focusing on personal development and grasping opportunities when they arise are some of the key points that stand out.

My advice to any woman embarking on their career would be:

  • Absorb all the advice and training opportunities that present themselves to you.
  • If you don’t like the narrative or the status quo, change it. Don’t rely on others to do that for you – life is what you make it!
  • Try not to worry too much about the small things but focus on your end goal – whatever that is.
  • Finally, work on building a strong support network around you – whether that’s friends, family, colleagues – they will all play a key role in your journey and help you get to wherever you want to be.

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