Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! This is a day that has been celebrated for over 100 years to recognise the achievements of women, the progress that has been made in terms of gender equality, and to act as a reminder to all of what still needs to be done.
For IWD this year, we’re shining the light on some of the amazing women at PM+M who have made a difference and are paving the way for future female leaders of our firm.
We conducted a short Q&A session with:
– Jane Parry, Managing Partner
– Wendy Anderson, Director – Private Client Tax
– Claire Astley, Director – Corporate Tax
– Helen Clayton, Partner
– Jill Morris, Partner
– Kirsty Pilkington, Manager – Office and Facilities
– Kathryn Rigbye, Manager – HR and Talent
We asked, they answered…
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
– Jane Parry: It’s all about attitude. If you approach life with a positive, can do attitude, chances are you can (and will) do it!
– Helen Clayton: It’s output and not input – don’t measure yourself or indeed others by how many hours have been put in, whether that be at home, work, self-care, family or any other aspect of your busy life. Look at the outputs and see whether they’re enough, whether you deem those to be great and whether you’re satisfied with them and they ultimately make you happy and proud. Focus on your strengths and what you enjoy as the output and your achievements will be far superior than beating yourself up for stuff you’re not so great at. If we were all meant to be great at everything, we’d have been replaced by robots by now!
– Jill Morris: Don’t ever presume what someone else is thinking – you don’t and can’t know, this has been proven to me over and over when I talk openly to businesses about different opportunities and options for them. Those are the conversations that people value the most.
– Wendy Anderson: The client you are working on at that moment is your only client. This applies both in work and in life.
– Claire Astley: You shouldn’t need to shout to be heard.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING WOMEN IN BUSINESS TODAY?
– Helen Clayton: For me, there are many and we’re all different and we deal (or choose not to deal) with them in various ways. I see and hear from others and I feel it too – the big question of ‘Am I enough?’ The answer is of course a resounding yes. We all have fabulous qualities to share and improve our own and other people’s lives with. The proverbial monkey on our shoulders challenges that response though and the imposter syndrome creeps in far more often than it should. This only goes to show we’re human and that ourselves and others really matter to us.
Linking into this too is that we should all be true to ourselves, be proud of who we are and certainly don’t compare yourself to others. Respect yourself and others will follow. Don’t try to be what you think others expect you to be – that’s exhausting. Follow these simple principles consistently and you’ll improve your resilience, happiness and fulfilment. Be yourself.
– Claire Astley: Finding the correct work-life balance. Technology has helped with this and allows for far greater flexibility, however, having such easy access to your work station at home can also mean it is very tempting to work longer hours to get the job done, infringing on what should be family time, it is about getting the balance right between the two which is sometimes difficult.
– Kathryn Rigbye: Getting the work and family/caring balance right. Mum guilt/work guilt – it sometimes feels like a no win situation! You have to find a balance that works for you and your employer. Having a flexible/supportive employer makes finding that balance so much easier.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR WOMEN LOOKING TO PROGRESS THEIR CAREER IN LEADERSHIP ROLES?
– Jane Parry: Forgive yourself. You don’t need to be perfect at everything. Understand what your strengths are and play to them, whilst building a team who can complement and support you.
– Wendy Anderson: Have confidence in your own ability but don’t be afraid to take advice and never give up.
– Kathryn Rigbye: Become an expert at what you do – make people trust in your advice. Seek feedback – we can always improve on what we do and how we do it. Keep learning – the key to development and growth is knowledge.
WHAT ARE 3 KEY THINGS YOU THINK ARE IMPORTANT TO SUCCEED AS A WOMAN IN BUSINESS?
– Claire Astley: To believe in yourself. Having a strong support network – whether at home or at work. Having the ability/confidence to say no and make the right choices.
– Wendy Anderson: Resilience, confidence and respect.
– Kirsty Pilkington: Believe in yourself. Passion. Maintain a positive attitude.
WHAT WOMEN INSPIRE YOU AND WHY?
– Jane Parry: I think Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, is an inspirational leader. It’s not about power or ego, she just calmly does the right thing.
– Jill Morris: Whitney Wolfe – ex-vice president of marketing for Tinder, she quit after issues with her male co-founders. She didn’t quit her career or her vision though – she went on to found Bumble, the female-empowering dating app, heralded as a game changer in the industry. Whitney is notorious for her bold nature and decisions and it has reflected in her business ideas as well, she is now a billionaire after floating Bumble for $13bn.
At PM+M, we are incredibly proud to have so many inspirational female figures working within our firm. We embrace diversity in the workplace, strive for inclusivity and focus on upholding gender equality by recognising the accomplishments of all members of our team – both men and women.
To all the amazing women not only at PM+M, but across the world, Happy International Women’s Day!