Choose to Challenge - International Women's Day 2021
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
celebrate women's achievements
raise awareness about women's equality
lobby for accelerated gender parity
fundraise for female-focused charities
This years theme
The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021 is 'Choose To Challenge'. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So let's all #ChooseToChallenge.
With this in mind we are going to celebrate the women who work at Meridian and their achievements. Starting with our Finance Director, Jeanette Barrowcliffe.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Jeanette Barrowcliffe and I’m the Finance Director for Meridian Business Support. Prior to Meridian, I trained with EY following which I had roles with Astra Zeneca and CWS before joining Meridian in 1997 as Finance Manager. I was promoted to Financial controller in 1998 and appointed as Finance Director in 2003. I was part of the MBO team in 2005 and work closely with and support the Executive and Senor Leadership teams as well as being directly responsible for all of the support functions within Meridian, ranging from Finance to HR to IT to Marketing.
I have been fortunate to be given various opportunities over the years which includes currently being on the Board of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the largest trade body for the recruitment sector and being a Trustee for Walsingham Support, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities. In addition to being on the Board of Walsingham Support I am also the Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Remuneration Committee and am a member of the Strategy and Governance Committee. Previously I was a Parent Governor of a Primary School for eight years.
What's the best thing about your current job?
The best things are the people I work with (very corny I know but true!), the variety of my role and seeing other people develop and grow – which when you see this happen it is just amazing. We have some super people at Meridian and in my teams, who I know I can rely on to do a great job and who support me in doing my job. The variety just stops me from getting bored!
How do you manage stress or switch off from work?
Funnily enough that’s never been an issue for me, maybe because I’ve never seen work as 9-5 & I enjoy what I do so it’s never been a chore. Of course I have off days and the last year has been particularly challenging but finding solutions to challenges is something I enjoy and I have loads more good days than bad! If I were to pick a few things out, I’d say I only try to managed the controllables; I don’t have an issue reaching out to ask for help if I need it and I have strong personal values including integrity and authenticity which I live by, that helps me not to feel conflicted. Outside of work, I have a family with two (now grown up) children and a dog who keep me occupied and I like to read – anything and everything, especially if I can learn something from it!
What's the best lesson you have learnt in your career?
There are a few - just go for it, never be afraid, never stop learning and developing yourself or asking ‘why’ (it really is the best question!) and always be kind – Karma is a bitch!