To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, this week we will be bringing you a series of guest blogs from leading senior females in Risk and Compliance. They will be discussing their success, career-defining moments and what advice they would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career. This is what Lesley Burvill, had to say.
Lesley is an experienced CRO with over 35 years in financial services including time at 2 of the Big 4 and in the mutual sector. Lesley currently leads the risk, compliance and internal audit functions for eftpos Australia. Lesley’s background in risk and compliance built on operational roles which supports Lesley to partner with the business to achieve its strategic goals and drive growth. Lesley is solution focussed and in recent years has turned her attention to risk culture which the mutual sector has embodied as its ethos for many years.
What are the key habits that you feel make you successful?
Dedication, persistence, working hard and being solution orientated. You can also add research, research and more research:- knowing where the industry, knowing what else can be done, where your competitors are at, staying ahead of the curve as much as you can.
What's the most valuable piece of advice you have received in your career and how did it help you?
Listening to understand people before seeking to be understood; if you are not prepared to listen to people why should they listen to you?, Learn the art of listening, if you listen to people you are more likely to get their buy in and you will need it.
What's the most challenging situation you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Influencing people. Sometimes you get people that just don’t want to be influenced. This happens more in compliance than risk but you should always have to aim a win-win outcome. The minute you get a win and they lose you will cause yourself more pain. You just won’t know when that pain will come.
How do you approach making a difficult decision?
Generally putting a lot of thought into them first. Research, discussion, feedback and the guidance of mentors advocates and specialists. Getting all the information together before forming an opinion. If it’s a group decision that has been made, learn to back it even if it’s not your first choice. Be respectful but firm.
What do you believe will be the most in-demand skills over the next 10 years within Risk and Compliance and why?
Data but more so the ability to influence, thinking on your feet; the ability to pivot and change; mentoring, advocating, supporting. I think the soft skills that tune into culture are crucial – leading and advocating will be more important.
Overall advice to women aspiring to be Leaders. Learn to be less emotive, it just seems to go against us. I think they need to understand that they are entitled to take that seat at the table. Women don’t use their networks as well. Women don’t want to feel like we are bothering people. Don’t be afraid to ask for a seat at the (board) table. Women need not be afraid to ask. Women display too much deference in the board rooms. If you have the skills, do your research and back yourself up in the board. Put yourself forward.
Join in on the conversation on Twitter for this years' International Women's Day using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter