Venetia Bell – Bank of England

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VENETIA PROVIDES SUPPORT ACROSS ALL AREAS OF THE BANK’S OPERATIONS, INCLUDING TECHNOLOGY, FINANCE, HR AND INFORMATION SECURITY. SHE HAS BEEN CLOSELY INVOLVED IN THE BANK’S WORK ASSESSING DEVELOPMENTS IN, AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF, FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGIES.

“The game is always changing and this is true right now in the financial services industry. It is essential you understand the world around you so as to see how you can possibly get ahead of the game. Women are less likely to put themselves forward than men, I know because I have looked at role descriptions and not thought I was ready. Part of the pressure we feel as women is the pressure we put on ourselves as well as self-doubt. If you have a plan, the plan can always change, but you need a plan. I also plan my development as a leader rather than leave it to chance.

This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a participant in the Mentoring Foundation’s Future Women leaders Programme, which has significantly stimulated my development as a leader. For my team, I’m committed to carving out time for opportunities for development, and to help them make that happen. With the uncertain times ahead we need to focus on making the most of the people we have, helping them reach their potential so they can do their job. Focus should also be on balance and wellbeing so people can perform at a high level over a long period of time.

Performance as a whole depends on one’s resilience. In high-pressured jobs you need to protect the time you have to exercise, have family time and anything you love doing besides work that gives you energy and stamina to do the things you need to do. I find if you enjoy each moment as it comes, be in the moment and focus then your energy and direction won’t tail off.

The Bank has a new strategic plan, looking at transforming how we communicate and work. I’m heavily involved in this, particularly leading work that will ensure our people are focused on work that makes the biggest contribution to the Bank’s mission.

Take chances and you will get there

For growth to happen you need to be clear about where you are going, where you are now and then where you want to be, then figure out the steps forward. Teams need to be a great mix of people and as a leader you need to empower them to deliver. Know your weakest area and make it a strength.

Overall you need drive. To succeed you need to be able to try really hard, pick yourself up perhaps more than once and give it another go. Take chances and you will get there”.