At Virgin Money we encourage all our colleagues to bring passion and energy to what they do. We asked our colleague Sandra to share her story and her passion for the work she is doing on Gender Diversity at Virgin Money.
My passions in life are people and progression, whether that’s personal or career development, so when I joined Virgin Money just over 4 years ago as Head of Risk Operations I was delighted that I would get to use my passion in my day to day work. I got to grips very quickly with the company value Everyone’s Better Off. It pretty much ties in with how I operate in my own life, especially when it comes to doing my bit for colleagues and the community.
There are so many opportunities to work on projects alongside your own job at Virgin Money, so when Jayne-Anne (Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO Virgin Money) was asked by the Government to produce a paper on Women in Finance it was a real catalyst for us to set up our own working group and network to look at gender diversity within Virgin Money. We were starting from a good place, we have a female CEO and we have diversity on our Executive Team and also on our Board but there’s still more we can to do.
In March 2016 we launched our Gender Agenda network with three main aims
- to provide an opportunity to colleagues to network internally and externally
- to enable colleagues to build and grow their confidence
- to inspire the next generation of leaders
Our network operates at all Virgin Money sites and we have held some really engaging networking events with quite a large selection of topics and speakers. They’ve been really popular with both male and female colleagues. Where else would you get a visit and talk from an ex MI6 Spy?
I’ve been involved in supporting women in the workplace as far back 1996, just as the Spice Girls were everywhere with “Girl Power”, but for me it has never been about “Girl Power”, more about fairness. I firmly believe men want fairness for women as much as women do. And I believe that when women work together on issues that concern women, we get a deeper insight and better understanding which leads on to the right changes and plans for moving forward.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate how far we have come and highlight issues that may be holding us back. Its a great way to remind us that our own journey is actually part of a much bigger journey.