International Women's Day 2023 - Paulette Simpson
We met with Paulette Simpson, CBE, the Deputy CEO of JN Bank UK and Executive Director of The Voice newspaper and asked her for her thoughts and experiences about how women can succeed in the workplace.
No, not all! That said, I am extremely proud of the positions I now hold and I am keen to help more women to reach Executive level roles.
I focus on being my authentic self in all the roles I have held. That authenticity relates to my heritage, gender and to beliefs and principles. When I enter a room, I don’t start by thinking I am at a disadvantage because I am a woman. Likewise, I don’t see gender differences in my colleagues. I focus on making sure we all have the space to contribute and to be heard. I have experienced occasions when the women in a meeting or discussion have been treated as invisible by their male colleagues or just plain talked over.
In those situations, I have learned to find my space by being intentional in what I am saying and to bring other women into the conversation too. I’ll speak and I’ll invite other women to speak too, if we all do that for each other our voices can be heard and listened to. And, never, ever, buy the line that keeping your head down and letting your work speak for you is true. Women need a voice; we must be bold, and we must support each other to be heard.
I try to ensure that I always find a space for women to shine and encourage them to be good at what they do, be strong and to stick to their beliefs. It’s better to speak up, state your opinion and be part of the debate, than hold back and worry that you may be wrong about something. I also try to connect women who can empower and help each other to achieve their ambitions.
Remembering there are only 24 hours in a day, and you do need to sleep for some of those! In my roles I have many stakeholders to manage, so have to learn to carve out my time effectively, including time for myself.
It’s important to make time ’me time’, to maintain your health and well-being and by doing this you can give your best at work. I’ve also learned to say “No”, politely, and to feel comfortable doing so. I had to practice it, but now I don’t feel guilty when I have to tell someone that I can’t do what they have asked. I try to focus on what I have the capacity to deliver.
I would say “Paulette, exercise more. Be open and learn new things. Be confident in who you are. Don’t create a stressful life in your quest to achieve 100% perfection, 80% will be a good job done most of the time.” Take time to listen and help others and most of all be kind.
To cap off the International Women's Day celebration, we want to tell you a little bit about what we do here at JN Bank UK to support women in the workplace and at our own bank.
JN Bank UK is committed to promoting gender diversity and creating a supportive environment for women in finance, and across other industries. As a bank, we recognise that women face unique challenges in the industry, such as a lack of representation in leadership positions, pay disparities, and much more. To address these challenges, JN Bank UK has implemented several policies to support women in the workplace.
One way that JN Bank UK supports women in finance is through mentorship programs. We facilitate relationship-building events to pair experienced leaders with up-and-coming women in the industry. These mentorship relationships provide valuable guidance and support to women navigating the challenges of the finance industry. These are fantastic opportunities to help women build their skills and connect with others in the industry.
JN Bank UK is also committed to creating workspaces that support women. The bank recognises that traditional work arrangements may not meet the needs of all employees, particularly those with family responsibilities. To address this, JN Bank UK offers flexible work arrangements, such as remote work and flexible hours. Additionally, the bank has family-friendly policies, such as parental leave and childcare benefits, to help support women who are juggling work and family responsibilities. By creating a supportive and inclusive workplace, JN Bank UK is helping women to thrive in the finance industry.