In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re sharing stories from the Society. Hear from our Chief Risk Officer, Rebecca Griffin, below.
I am from a hardworking family which was always supportive of education and I was told that hard work was the key to success. The schools I attended were pretty academically poor so the access to knowledge on how to achieve my ambition to be a lawyer was limited to what I could find out in a library and from my family. Fortunately my family is full of strong people with strong views, where everyone is an equal and no one supressed my ambition, least of all because I am a woman.
This meant, when I set out in the world of work, that I didn’t see being a woman as a barrier to overcome in my career and every step in my career has been inspired by women supporting each other and trail blazing ahead of me. After university, I started working in accountancy at KPMG and whilst there were predominately men in my immediate team there were women at director level in my office and I consistently saw women being promoted on merit to manager and senior manager. I realised quickly that I only wanted to work in businesses where the culture was to support equality and promote diversity in the workplace.
I joined Hinckley and Rugby Building Society in 2013 in a financial risk role within the Finance Department. This role gave me the ability to develop my technical knowledge and work across the whole Society. Then I was offered the opportunity to apply for the first BSA Masters in Management and Leadership at Loughborough University which developed my leadership skills, put me in uncomfortable situations, such as presenting to a huge auditorium of CEOs at the annual BSA conference, and undertaking a 20,000 word research project.
If this was not enough to keep me busy, we also adopted our daughter and this is when I knew I worked for an organisation that truly supported women. As I returned from adoption leave being a new mum was never seen as a barrier and I was empowered to focus the next two years building, with the support of my team and mentors, an independent second line within the Society. As part of this journey I was then also able to accomplish my biggest achievement to date – being appointed as the Society’s first Chief Risk Officer.