CEO of Virgin Money and RHUL alumna speaks at Fawcett Lecture

Rosa Smith

The bi-annual Fawcett Lecture at Senate House held on 20 March saw Royal Holloway graduate and CEO of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne Gadia CBE, in conversation RHUL’s Senior Vice Principle, Professor Katie Normington at the event ‘Break the mould; be yourself’.

Jayne-Anne discussed the current issues of gender pay gaps and equality for women in the workplace in the centenary year of women gaining the right to vote. Having established a highly successful senior role in an industry typically dominated by males, Jayne-Anne spoke about how being herself in a ‘clique of old boy culture’ has led not only to personal success, but change in an establishment known for tradition.

Jayne-Anne also revealed how using her own experiences as an often lone female and known ‘troublemaker’, has enabled her to empower others to develop, and have confidence in their passions, and personalities. She shared a powerful view that, regardless of gender, background or race our most powerful asset is ourselves; our passions, values, experiences and individuality.

This theme resonates with Royal Holloway’s own motto, Esse quam videri, which means ‘to be rather than to seem (to be)’.

Professor Katie Normington, Senior Vice Principal, Royal Holloway, said prior to the event: ‘We’re very excited that alumna Jayne-Anne Gadhia is joining us as guest speaker for the 2018 Fawcett Lecture.

‘In the year where we celebrate the centenary of the right for women to vote, the government’s Women in Finance champion, Jayne-Anne is perfectly placed to talk about her own professional experiences in an industry traditionally regarded as male-dominated.’

Jayne-Anne Gadhia said: ‘I’m very excited to be speaking at Royal Holloway University’s Fawcett Lecture, especially during such an important year celebrating women’s voting rights and with a global audience ready to seriously listen about issues such as gender pay gaps and equality in the workplace.

‘My own experience has taught me that the culture in an organisation is important and that each of us has the power to change it. Now is the time to celebrate where we have got things right and to change if it’s not working for all.’

Rosa Smith, News Editor

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