International Women’s Day – An Interview With Redsquid’s CFO Jane Phillips
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we’re taking the time to sit down with some of the women from our office to find out what gender equality means to them and some of the challenges they face. Today we’re talking with Jane, CFO of Redsquid.
What are your main responsibilities and achievements as a CFO?
As CFO of Redsquid I am responsible for the overall financial performance and health of the company. As part of the Executive team, we provide the strategic leadership to drive and deliver a successful growing business within a supportive culture and environment. In short, happy employees means happy clients which ultimately leads to strong financial performance.
How did you get where you are today? Did you always want to become a CFO?
After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I decided I wanted to work in commerce, specifically in SME companies that were looking to disrupt the market place and were also more likely to trust me to make improvements quickly and without the red tape and politics. The IT & telecoms sector was (and still is) undergoing a lot of change and I believe you learn the most in times of change and indeed that has proven to be true. I specifically chose to work for companies that had a supportive and inclusive culture, which allowed me to rise quickly up through the ranks to CFO as they recognised and rewarded hard work and success.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
I have always been a strong independent woman, I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve and in what timescales, this focus allowed me to achieve goals ahead of time and become a CFO. True I had decided to work within a male dominated industry but I never saw this as an issue as I made sure the company culture was right for me, I always chose the role based on the people I would be working with. With this in mind I worked hard, always going the extra mile, trying to find innovative solutions to the latest issue, to ensure that I delivered more added value than anyone else.
The theme this year for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual; What does gender equality mean to you in your work life?
Quite simply, a role should be performed by the best person for that role regardless of gender. I believe in equal employment rights and fair consistent policies to ensure everyone is treated the same.
Is there anyone (male or female) that inspires you and why?
I spent 8 years working at Virgin and loved every minute. Yes it was a very busy even chaotic role at times, but for Richard Branson to have the foresight to make the workplace truly enjoyable was a game changer for me.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
I think Estee Lauder got it right when she said, “I never dreamed of success. I worked for it”.