For the first time the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 delegates of The Executive Women’s Leadership Programme (EWLP) held a special event to commemorate an inspirational four years of peer networking across all sectors and functions of the Scottish economy.
The first guest speaker of the evening was Meg Lustman, whom until recently was CEO of HOBBS. She was joined by Rachael Zukerman, UK Partner at Capco, a management consultancy firm focused on financial services and technology, who sponsored the night’s event.
Rachael and Meg were later joined by Prof Lesley Sawers OBE, Scotland GB Commissioner at Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Dr Sarah Hardy, Chief Investment Officer at Archangels Private Equity, for an entertaining and enlightening Q&A.
(from left to right) Judy Wagner, Susan Murphy, Rachael Zukerman, Meg Lustman,
Dr Sarah Hardy, Prof Lesley Sawers
Meg shared her experiences as a CEO and advised the audience to always be authentic and to take advantage of opportunities. She also warned them to take notice of a stuck door – “When I have had to push too hard to make things happen, it has usually backfired on me in the end.”
She went on to say, “Remember that you are not indentured labour and don’t feel afraid to step away from situations that no longer serve you well. Own your power and your destiny. Don’t give your power away… your success is due to you! It doesn’t desert you when you change context, or organisation or partner.
Countering the sometime popular myth, she quipped, “whoever told you that you could ‘have it all’……shoot them!”
Rachael, who divides her time between London and Scotland became Capco UK’s youngest ever partner and cited a number of mentors throughout her career as her motivation. She believes mentoring is a responsibility for any business leader and quoted Michelle Obama from her book ‘Becoming’ – “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
Rachael went on to say “It’s important to remember that it’s not just about you. A lot of people work hard – and probably deserve more than they’re getting from their employer. But in my experience, talent without resourcefulness only gets you so far.“
She praised the culture at Capco and highlighted the importance of this in helping to shape careers – “It’s an entrepreneurial environment backed by a strong team, allowing for reward and recognition whatever your level or salary. If you’re looking for your next career move, I suggest you find companies which share this ethos – and where the baton reaches back.”
This is the last year of the Programme as EWLP moves into the second stage of its evolution and the network of over 200 women continues to grow, influence and develop over the next few years. A programme of events will be developed later this year and ambitious women can join the network. The programme has been aimed at highly rated and ambitious women who want to make the most of their careers.