On 8th March this year, International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The theme this year is Choose to challenge.
We caught up with key members of the Stonehage Fleming team in Jersey to hear about how best to challenge bias, the things they have faced as working women over the last year and what advice they might give to younger women at the start of their career in Jersey in 2021.
Camilla joined Stonehage Fleming in 1999 and is Senior Associate in the Family Office division. She is responsible for the administration of a portfolio of structures held for high net worth clients. She qualified with the Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) in 2005 and holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients.
Choosing to challenge means calling out gender bias wherever you see it. It includes standing up for yourself and supporting others if you feel they aren’t receiving equal treatment. For me it also means seeking out and celebrating women’s achievements. Days like International Women’s Day are very important to highlight what we are doing and what more needs to be done.
Keeping my mental health in check has got me through the challenges of the Covid pandemic. Stonehage Fleming is supportive to its employees and we have had regular check-ins with the team. During the first lockdown, though, with two young children, I found juggling home and work life overwhelming at times. I decided to take advantage of the milder weather and started running which I hadn’t done for ages. It really helped to clear my head and stop overthinking things.
For our clients, their biggest concerns were around us being able to operate business as usual. Many wanted the reassurance that they would be able to contact us as normal. We had to think outside the box sometimes to get around that – using technology to change the way we work. New practices allowed us to provide a seamless service and will now stay in place.
To young women starting their careers in Jersey, I would say: believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities, you are capable of so much more than you think. Don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy. If you don’t, 10 or 15 years later you might look back and ask yourself ‘why?’ You might disappoint yourself.