Danielle is the Coordinator in our Business Excellence Team. She tells us why she decided to request a mentor, how it has helped her with her professional development and what #BreakTheBias means to her.
Tell us about your role
I work in Business Excellence and spend a lot of my time on our 'helpdesk' answering queries from all parts of the firm including ID and AML, file opening, costs, conduct issues and our policies and processes. I also run our annual SRA practising certificate renewal, CQS reaccreditation and support with Lexcel file reviews, insurance renewals and various reporting.
No two days are the same and I enjoy the variety. I love the problem-solving aspect of my job - thinking outside the box to balance being commercial with being business-safe. I particularly like providing training and helping to support and develop my teammates and colleagues. Although anyone who knows me well also knows that I always love a Creditsafe refer (when client ID issues are flagged)!
What were you hoping to focus on with a mentor?
I wanted to have a sounding board, someone more senior from a different part of the firm, who I could discuss problems with and who would have a different approach to myself or my team members.
How has mentoring helped you with your development?
It's helped me to develop strategies for tackling parts of my job and personal development which I find difficult – like getting out of my comfort zone and building confidence. With my mentor, we explored the different scenarios I felt uncomfortable in, what was causing me that anxiety, and ways that we could reduce it - like making notes and preparing ahead of difficult phone calls. It's helped a lot.
What advice would you give to other women who are considering getting a mentor?
I would definitely recommend it! My main piece of advice would be that when you make your request, it's important to choose the right person for your mentor otherwise you won't use them.
I thought about what I might need from a mentor and who I knew in the firm who could fit that role. For me it was important to have someone I felt comfortable speaking with, personally and professionally, who could provide me with honest feedback in a sensitive way, who I found aspirational, and who had knowledge and experience that I could learn from. If you don't know who a good mentor for you would be then you could discuss options with your line manager.
What does #BreakTheBias mean to you?
For me, it is the breaking down of stereotypes by challenging our own thoughts and actions, especially unconscious biases which are caused by false beliefs and assumption. Instead, we should be deliberately choosing to move away from those biases and behaviours and be open-minded - whether that’s around diversity of gender, sex, ethnicity, race, religion or age, so that we can make better-informed decisions which celebrate the value that diversity and differences bring.
What does powering your ambition mean to you?
It's the drive and determination to succeed, for our clients, for the firm and for ourselves as individuals.