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 Transformation. 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 Jill Hopkins, Executive Business Officer at BOQ, had to say.
Profile: Jill is a seasoned professional with a career spanning over 30 years and culminating in key management roles in transformation and technology across the financial services sector. She has combined roles in execution and delivery with implementation of training, coaching and mentoring programs across the largest financial institutions in Australia. Jill’s current role is Executive Manager Enterprise Solutions at the Bank of Queensland reporting into the Group Executive.
The role provides leadership and direction across key areas for Enterprise Solutions' strategic outcomes. Jill’s early exposure to programming, project management and framework development has created a formidable foundation for an extensive and diverse career in and around technology and innovation. Jill resides in the lower North Shore and frequently retreats to the hinterlands of Byron to reframe and relax.
What are some of the key factors you attribute your career success to?
When I think about what has been key to my success I think persistence and a belief in myself has been at the forefront. I have never viewed gender to be a disadvantage in my career. Maybe that is partly due to the fact that I am from a large family of 10, 8 girls and 2 boys so there was no shortage of strong role models around me and I had to find my voice early on. I have been very fortunate to have a very supportive network of strong females around me that would always be there for me. I didn't realise how important this was until later in my career but it is something that I never take for granted. Donna Vinci my current CIO and Inge Brown have both been huge supporters for me over the years.
What have been the Career-defining moments for you?
A real defining moment for me was when I stepped out of my comfort zone to teach a project management course I had designed at Bankers Trust. I had always been really passionate about project management methodology and a mentor of mine at the time Michael Knapp had inspired me to actually follow my passion and develop a project course. I clearly remember my nerves that first morning when I spoke to my sister about how scared I was to be standing up in front of a large audience to facilitate a two day workshop for the first time. Not loving public speaking I stretched myself and I remember feeling so satisfied at the end of the program that I had really helped the attendees improve their skills.
What advice would you give to other females coming through Transformation?
Take the time to create your own support network, you need it more than you know, both professionally and personally. This is something you need to nurture, take care of and always reciprocate. Treat your team as you want to be treated yourself, and reciprocate. Treat the partners in your professional life, with integrity and always treat people with respect. Observe what others around you are doing, it may open up new opportunities, you can do anything you choose and just because you don't have all the skills today you can always learn.
Join in on the conversation on Twitter for this years' International Women's Day using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter