I joined Midland Bank, which was later bought by HSBC, in 1988 as a data input clerk in payroll and moved up through the business until I took maternity leave and had my first child in May 1996.
When I went back to work I found managing a new baby and trying to re-establish my position very difficult. But then I had the chance to work in a data centre, doing shifts, which meant I could manage both work and home better. I thrived in my new role, learning something new almost every day. In May 2000 I took maternity leave to have my second child and when I went back I had a lot more help to manage my career - I couldn’t believe the difference in four years.
I am now the Regional Head of Floor Management, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and have a close working relationship with my counterparts in Asia and the Americas. I have recently returned from Chicago and will soon be heading to Hong Kong. I love my role and the opportunities it brings.
I am also involved with the Women’s Development Programme and am a big advocate of promoting women and encouraging them to be more confident in the workplace.
My advice to anyone wishing to join HSBC is to look at the bigger picture, learn new skills, look where you want to move next and don’t get too blinkered about working within your own country. We are a global organisation and there are many opportunities. Take charge of your own career, no one else can do it for you.