International Women's Day - Interview with Lucy Canning, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Carter Murray is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2017. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they have been bold for change #BeBoldForChange.

Carter Murray interviews Lucy Canning, Brand, Marketing & Communications Leader at Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Lucy Canning

Do you have any secrets to having a successful career?
I think there are three key things; caring about what you do, being willing to step outside of your comfort zone and being very good at working with others and recognising the greater value to be derived from team work.

It's critical to find a role, a team and an organisation that you genuinely care about and believe in. If you care about what you do and feel passionate about it, then how you approach everything will be with the intention to make things work, make things better, you don't look at things as isolated tasks, you view everything in the context of the overarching aims.

I think the second thing is to look for ways to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, ask to take on new responsibilities, forget the 'job spec' and look for opportunities for you to add value, experiment with a new idea, learn something new, get exposure to different people.

Lastly, I think you can get so far by taking a self serving approach to your career; promoting yourself, positioning yourself, but I think that those who tend to be most successful recognise that bringing different people, opinions, and skills together is what will create the best outcomes. This is leadership.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I tend to think barriers are largely self created - that's not to say I don't recognise it can be more difficult for women in certain more traditionally male environments. And so I'd say a lack of self confidence and self belief is the biggest barrier. I see more women who lack this than men. Role models, both in terms of female family members and female leaders within industries or individual workplaces, set precedents that help to show other women what can be achieved - this helps, to some extent, to break down self limiting beliefs

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you in the workplace?
I don't know that I would say that challenges for the next generation are gender specific. There are all sorts of challenges (and opportunities) for the next generation - the pace of change means all the rules are changing. But I don't see gender specific challenges.