International Women’s Day is a celebration of all of the achievements of women across the world. At TLA we are incredibly fortunate to have many successful women who work tirelessly to ensure we deliver our mission and vision. This week we’re highlighting some of the brilliant women at TLA. Today we’re joined by Kathy Fleming and Terri Bailey!
I joined TLA in October 2017 and I’m TLA’s Head of Quality & Compliance
My role involves various compliance responsibilities, such as GDPR, PECR, FCA and ISO27001, as well as overseeing the Quality & Compliance Team, who aren’t the most popular team in TLA because we can sometimes be seen as getting in the way of making things happen, but I always work hard to try to change that opinion…my team just want to do their best to keep TLA safe and work within the rules and regulations that we are subject to.
I first dipped my toe into compliance when I worked for one of the 5 big banks where part of my responsibilities was to carry out audits on external debt collecting agencies. After that, followed a role at a Local Authority back in 2005. Like many other people in this line of work, it wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision to go into compliance, but rather I came across an information governance role after being made redundant. Understandably, my background in the finance sector meant that I had an appreciation for the high level of operational rigour that needs to be in place. It’s a decision that I have no regrets about, and in fact was a turning point for me; being in a compliance role has given me so many opportunities to develop.
Being the right person for a compliance role, is really more about individual traits and skill sets; Its not a role for everyone and I wouldn’t necessary say there should be a cause to champion just women in a compliance role…but perhaps women are more inquisitive (not to stereotype 😊), which is a great quality to have when you’re in compliance!
So, to any women thinking of a career in compliance, I would say go for it! Compliance is an area that can bring lots of genuine reward, it’s a role that allows you to be exposed to all parts of the organisation, it’s also about being the conscience of the business and helping your colleagues do things the right way, but it still allows you to celebrate success when it all comes together.
To young women I’d like to say, find your natural strengths and build on them. Involve yourself in experiences that give you confidence; when you’re naturally good at something, there’s a great chance you’ll enjoy doing it. And it sounds a bit cheesy, but don’t try to be someone you’re not, just be you and definitely find the right level of work-life balance!
I joined TLA as Chief People Officer in February 2021 – I’m a newbie!
My role is to help drive a high-performance culture through the development and engagement of the TLA team. This covers all people activities from employee engagement and personal development to how we reward and recognise our people.
I started out in HR many years ago because I loved the people aspect of the working environment and knowing that I could make a difference to how people feel about being at work. Most of us have to work and I feel so strongly that you should get up everyone morning and love what you do. Even when my children were young I used to say to my team – I want this to be a great environment that you love coming in to. If you have to work, like I do, then I want us all to make it somewhere we feel valued and happy as well as being challenged.
I think it is fair to say this is one profession that has a high level of females already in it which is great.
To women looking at a career in HR I’d say that they need to understand the business so you can look at things from a commercial as well as a people perspective – getting a good balance between the two is crucial. You need to continually develop yourself and encourage your team to do the same. My thoughts and opinions on different elements of work have changed over the years, through experience, research, trial and error you learn a lot, so make continual learning and development of yourself a priority. Remember to ‘give back’ if and when you can, whether it’s coaching, mentoring, volunteering. I have learnt a lot from others by doing this.
I would say to young women, to rise up to any challenge and have confidence in yourself. Push yourself to do things you might not normally have the confidence to do.