After many years in the City, I decided to take a career break at the end of 2013, to spend more time with my two children as my eldest was transitioning to senior school. I had spent most of my career in the equities business and knew I wanted a change but wasn’t sure what to do next. I decided to follow my interests and within a few weeks had enrolled to read a Masters in Corporate Governance. I enjoyed learning again more than ever, maybe because I was mature enough to appreciate the opportunity and continued after my Masters to take the Chartered Director exams at the Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Level 7 Diploma with Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Although studying, I was also able to spend quality time with my boys which was very important to me. I has always felt that I had missed that opportunity when they were younger.
By the summer of 2016, I felt more than ready to come back to work but I wasn’t sure where to start. A friend of mine recommended Women Returners’ programmes. I went online, saw that Macquarie were embarking on their inaugural programme and decided to submit an application. From the first welcome experience at the Macquarie presentation and meeting with David Fass, Macquarie Group CEO EMEA, and other members of the Executive team, I felt that something special was happening. Seeing the programme supported by so many senior staff on that first day was testament to how much support there was for the programme.
Although initially aligned to Macquarie’s equities business as that was where my experience was, I asked for opportunities outside of equities and I was invited to come and meet members of the management team in the Corporate and Asset Finance (CAF). A whirlwind few weeks later I was walking onto the CAF floor, knowing little about the asset finance business but tasked with project managing the establishment of a new operations hub in the M4 corridor.
Since then, I haven’t looked back. I love my role, work with a great group of people and am enjoying being at work more than ever. There is something very special about Macquarie. Its flat structure really does encourage each and every employee to seek opportunities for themselves and for the firm. The values of Opportunity, Accountability and Integrity, are not buzzwords at Macquarie, they are part of the fabric of the organisation.
The Returner Programme is designed to genuinely help talented women find a role where they can thrive after taking a bit of time out and I would recommend it to anyone who believes they have value to add to the workplace but are unsure about how to take that first step.