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Senior Female Leaders in Financial Services: Jane Parry


Our 2018 Salary & Market Report revealed some stark realities on the gender divide within marketing departments across the Financial Services industry.  All of the CMO's who responded were men, as were 59% of marketing directors. And that means men take home greater marketing salaries. Women were most likely to earn £50,000 - £59,000, whereas most men’s salaries were £70,000 to £89,000. And that trend continues with men receiving the bigger bonuses. We also found the financial services industry was less flexible towards working around childcare. And with women still being responsible for the lion’s share of childcare arrangements, is the industry naturally discriminatory to women?

In a bid to try and answer this question and to discover just how females can navigate their way to the top in financial services marketing, we have spoken to six women who have made it. We hope that these interviews go some way to advising aspiring females on how best to manage their careers, whilst providing a little transparency around the pay gap in financial services marketing.

Our first interviewee is Jane Parry, Head of Marketing at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management. Jane’s first marketing jobs were at Barclays, where she rose from Marketing Manager to Marketing Director of Premier Banking. She briefly left financial services to take an interim Marketing Director role at Homeserve, before returning to take on various senior/director level roles from Skandia to Camellia Plc and now Canaccord Genuity. 


You’ve experienced jobs in a wide variety of financial services firms, as well as briefly leaving the sector. Tell me about your career route, and how have you managed your success?

Building a good reputation was key at Barclays. If you made a good name for yourself then you could be recommended to other leaders in the business for opportunities. I was able to experience a variety of marketing jobs and departments, which formed a great and broad foundation on which to develop my career. I feel I was lucky, I had good bosses who looked out for me; I’m returning the favour now. 
My advice to others is to seek variety; learn about yourself. You have to do more than your day job to stand out. Put your hand up, be eager. Your reputation is everything and once it’s established opportunities will come your way.

Have you undertaken any training courses throughout your career? And do you think external training and development is important for marketers?

Definitely, in marketing it’s important to keep up to date with trends. It gives you a wide roster of marketing tools. As well as becoming an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Banking (ACIB), early in my career, I also completed the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) diploma. This definitely helped me understand the complexities and technicalities of the banking world, which meant I was highly credible working with lots of different colleagues.
I have since focussed on developing my strategic marketing and wider business leadership skills – benefiting from one-on-one leadership coaching, a wide array of personal development courses and reading many business books.

What three things do you think have been key to your success?

Attitude, technical knowledge and commerciality.

What would your advice be to women starting out in the industry around managing their career development and salary expectations?

Think about your personal brand and the value you can add to the business. What can you, and only you, do? Know your strengths and then play to them; and don’t be too risk averse, to foster a variety of experiences.
Choose new roles and companies carefully; you need to have the right team environment and boss for you to thrive. And, most importantly for marketers: work in an environment that is supportive of marketing, which is not always the case in financial services!

What is your view on the gender divide that exists in financial services marketing?

It’s hard to quantify the scale of it as there are so few women in senior roles in financial services. A gap shouldn’t exist, especially in London as there are enough opportunities, but clearly it does. Personally, as an employer, I’m happy to pay well for good quality people, whether they’re male or female. However, I do tend to see more young women coming forward for more junior roles. While this probably doesn’t help narrow the gap at the moment, I am optimistic they will have long and fruitful careers and work to narrow the gap over the next few years. 

Have you ever taken a career break or worked flexibly? Do you think having children can hinder a woman’s career opportunities and how can employers help bridge the gender divide for working mothers?

I did take a career break for a few months, I worked at Barclays for 22 years so I needed a break. I have also experienced working as an interim during my time at Homeserve.
I think it’s hard for those who take extended breaks or work flexibly for long periods of time to bridge the gender page gap in the short-term, as they can lack the depth and breadth of experience that full-time working provides – especially when you’re up against other people for a role. To try and bridge the gap, keeping your hand in is important, but it’s a difficult trade-off decision that we all have to make - and a key reason that I chose to focus on my career. But different things are important to different people.


Jane was interviewed by Tom Brockton, manager of EMR's financial services recruitment team. You can read the second interview in our series with Kirsten Burt, Executive Director, and Head of Marketing for UBS Wealth Management here.

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